Surgical orthodontics, or more formally, orthognathic surgery, is orthodontic treatment required when severe abnormalities are present and were not treated during childhood. The surgery can address complex issues with the mouth, face, jaw, and skill. When a patient requires this form of treatment, we refer them to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for specialized care.
When Is Surgical Orthodontics Needed?
Patients cannot determine on their own if surgical intervention is needed. Only a doctor will be able to tell if appliances alone will work.
In general, surgical orthodontics is used when a patient presents with one ore more significant orthodontic abnormalities that either cannot be corrected with appliances alone or attempting to do so would take a significant amount of time and potentially deliver less than desirable results. Patients must be done growing before they are eligible for surgical orthodontics. For females, that is 16, and for males, it is 18.
How Does Orthognathic Surgery Work?
The specifics of surgery will vary depending on the corrections needed. It is performed either in a hospital or a surgical center and takes several hours to complete. In some cases, the patient is released the same day, while in others, an overnight stay is required.
After surgery is complete, there is a two-week rest period where you cannot work or go to school. After that, the doctor will determine when the next phase can begin, which involves using appliances to fine-tune the bite. Within 1-2 years after surgery, the final results will be apparent.
If you suspect that you might require orthodontic surgery, allow us to evaluate you to see if it is possible to treat your condition with appliances alone.