For patients with more severe orthodontic cases, traditional treatments such as braces may not be enough to achieve the ideal smile.
An Overview of Surgical Orthodontics
Surgical orthodontics, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a type of orthodontic treatment used to correct severe cases that include bad bites, jaw bone abnormalities, and malocclusion. Oral and maxillofacial surgery is one of the nine recognized dental specialties, and it focuses on treating complex craniofacial cases that involve the mouth, jaw, face, and skull.
If you need surgical orthodontics, your orthodontist will work with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to ensure that you receive the best care possible.
When might surgical orthodontics be needed?
Surgical orthodontics may be used to treat adults with improper bites or other aesthetic concerns. Typically, jaw growth stops by age 16 in females and 18 in males. In order to receive orthognathic surgery, the jaw must be done growing. The need for surgical orthodontics occurs when the jaws do not line up correctly, and a proper bite cannot be achieved with orthodontic treatment alone. Orthognathic surgery will help properly align the jaw, and orthodontic braces will then be used to move the teeth into their proper position.
Conditions and Treatments
Your oral and maxillofacial surgeon has many years of education and hands-on training to provide treatment for a wide range of conditions. Click here to learn more about the conditions and treatments included in this specialty area.
How do I know if I need orthognathic surgery?
Your orthodontist can tell you if orthognathic surgery is needed as part of your treatment. Depending on the severity of your case and the alignment of your jaw, you may or may not need surgery.
How does orthognathic surgery work?
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon will perform your orthognathic surgery, and the surgery will take place in a hospital. Orthognathic surgery can take several hours depending on each individual case. Once the surgery is complete, you will have about a two-week rest period. Since orthognathic surgery is a major treatment, we recommend that you schedule some time away from work and school during the healing process. After your jaw has healed, your orthodontist will once again “fine-tune” your bite. After surgery, you will have to wear braces, and most braces are removed within six to 12 months following surgery. After your braces are removed, you will wear a retainer to help maintain your new smile.
What are the risks associated with orthognathic surgery?
As with any major medical surgery, there may be certain risks of having orthognathic surgery. However, the process of orthognathic surgery is not new, and it has been performed for many years in practices and hospitals. 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. Your comfort is important to us.
What are the rewards of having orthognathic surgery?
For many patients, the most important reward of having orthognathic surgery is achieving a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. Whether you need orthodontic treatment to correct a bad bite, malocclusion, or jaw abnormality, orthognathic surgery can help restore your confidence and leave you smiling with confidence for many years to come.
Your First Visit: What To Expect
Every smile starts with an initial consultation!
Braces or aligners just for you.
Your new smile.
Answers To Your FAQs From Dr. Andrew Rosen
If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great time to see an orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens.
About one in every five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any age is a good time to visit our office.
We will thoroughly explain your options to you after he completes the exam, and will recommend the best course of treatment. You’ll learn the answers to five important questions during your consultation appointment, including:
- Is there an orthodontic issue, and if so, what is it?
- What treatment is needed to correct the problem? Can braces and/or Invisalign correct the problem?
- Will any teeth need to be removed?
- How long will treatment take?
- How much will treatment cost?
We can only determine treatment costs after your initial consultation is completed, as each patient’s case is unique. You can learn more about our Financing & Insurance policies on our website, or speak to one of our staff members at the office. We’ll review your financing options with you, and will work with you to maximize your insurance benefits.
If you think you or your child needs braces, you may be surprised to learn you do not need a referral from your dentist. You can make an appointment with Braces520 any time to discuss your orthodontic needs and set up a treatment plan.
It is also important to note that if your dentist does make a referral, you do not need to choose that orthodontist. You’re free to see anyone you feel can do the best job for you.
This doesn’t mean your dentist is not an important part of your care. He or she definitely is. It is important to continue to see your dentist throughout your orthodontic care.
With or without a referral, you should bring your child for an orthodontic consultation by age 7, as the American Association of Orthodontists recommends. Examining young children before all the permanent teeth have erupted may enable an orthodontist to correct problems that would be more difficult and costly to address later.