Surgical orthodontics, also called orthognathic surgery is a type of treatment which involves orthodontics and jaw surgery.  This procedure is usually recommended when one has a severe under/over bite, jaw bone abnormality, or malocclusion.  If surgical orthodontics is the solution to solve your bite problem, the orthodontist will work with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to make sure you receive the best care.

When is the best time to have surgical orthodontics?

The best time would be after the jaw stops growing.  Typically, the jaw stops growing at age 16 in females and 18 in males.  Surgical orthodontics is needed when the jaws do not align properly, and orthodontics alone is unable to solve the bite discrepancy.  The orthodontist will move the teeth and the oral surgeon will make sure the jaws are in the best position possible.  The two professionals work as a team with your treatment success as their number one goal.

How do I know if I need Surgical Orthodontics?

Your dentist will refer you to an orthodontist for an evaluation of your bite.  The orthodontist will determine if your jaw alignment problem is serve enough for orthodontics alone or surgical orthodontics.

How does orthognathic surgery work?

After your initial consultation with the orthodontist, you will be referred to the oral and maxillofacial surgeon to have them explain the surgical options available.  Once you have decided to have surgical orthodontics, the orthodontist will strategically move your teeth into position for surgery.   This process may take 1-2 years, and then the oral and maxillofacial will perform the surgery providing you with healing and care instructions.  Once the surgery is complete, you will have about a two-week rest period.  We recommend you schedule some time away from work and school during the healing phase.  After you are healed from the jaw surgery, your braces will be adjusted and fine-tuned by your orthodontist for 6-12 month.  And finally, after the removal of your braces you will be given retainers to help preserve your beautiful smile.

What are the risks affiliated with orthognathic surgery?

With any major medical surgery, there will be certain risks involved with surgery.  However, orthognathic surgery has been around for many years with great success in practices and hospitals.  If you are concerned about the upcoming treatment scheduled, please feel free to contact our office or the oral surgeon assigned to your case.  We will be delighted to answer any questions you may have, and provide you with the necessary information.  Your trust and comfort is our top priority. 

What are the rewards of having orthognathic surgery?

For so many patients, the most rewarding part of having orthognathic surgery is finally achieving the beautiful, straight smile they have always dreamed of having.  The confidence of knowing that you now have facial and dental balance that will last a lifetime is life changing.