Surgical orthodontics, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a type or 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 cranio-facial cases that involve the mouth, jaws, face and skull. If you need surgical orthodontics Dr. Goldman 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 esthetic concerns. Typically jaw growth stops by age 16 in females and 18 in males but may continue into the early 20s in males. In order to have orthognathic surgery the jaws must be done growing. The need for surgical orthodontics occurs when the jaws do not line up correctly in any of the 3 planes of space, and a proper bite cannot be reliably achieved with orthodontic treatment alone. Orthognathic surgery will help properly align the jaw(s) coordinated with the proper alignment of the teeth in the jaws.
How do I know if I need orthognathic surgery?
Dr. Goldman can tell you if orthognathic surgery is needed as part of your treatment. Depending upon the severity of your case and the alignment of your jaws you may or may not need surgery, or if it is an option.
How does orthognathic surgery work?
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon will perform your surgery which will take place in a hospital. The surgery can take several hours depending upon 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 or school during the healing process. After surgery you will continue to wear your braces to complete detailing your treatment. Typically this post-surgical phase takes 4 to 8 months following surgery.
What risks are associated with orthognathic surgery?
As with any major medical surgery there may be certain risks of having orthognathic surgery. However, the process or orthognathic surgery is not new and has been performed for many years in practices and hospitals. If you are concerned about any 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 have 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.