Surgical orthodontics, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a type of orthodontic treatment used to correct severe cases that include severe malformed bites, jawbone abnormalities, and malocclusion. Orthognathic surgery focuses on treating the mouth, jaw, face, and skull.
Surgical orthodontics can be used to treat adults with improper bites or visual concerns. You should only consider getting surgery if your jaw is done growing. Typically, your jaw is not done growing until age 16 for females and 18 for males. Orthognathic surgery will help properly align the jaw, when braces aren’t enough. Orthodontic braces will then be used to move the teeth into their proper position.
We will advise you to whether or not you need orthognathic surgery as part of your treatment. Depending on your unique case you may or may not need surgery.
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon will perform your orthognathic surgery in a hospital. Since the surgery is considered a major treatment, it may take several hours, and requires a 2 week rest period. After your jaw has healed, your orthodontist will “fine-tune” your bite. After surgery, you will have to wear braces for 6 – 12 months, and then wear a retainer to set them in place.
As with any major surgery, there may be certain risks. However, the process of orthognathic surgery has been performed for many years. If you’re concerned about an upcoming treatment with orthognathic surgery, please contact our practice and let us know. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have, and provide you with any additional information.
For many people the most important reward of having orthognathic surgery is your beautiful new smile that will last a lifetime. Some other benefits that are not immediately apparent are the sense of confidence you will gain from your new smile and improved dental health for the rest of your life.