Surgical orthodontics, or orthognathic surgery, is a form of orthodontic treatment that is implemented in cases where severe orthodontic abnormalities are present. This surgery can correct problems in the mouth, jaw, face, and skill. It is only performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and is one of the nine dentistry specialties.
When Is Surgical Orthodontics Needed?
We consider surgical orthodontics to be a last resort—not because it is bad, but because it is invasive, expensive, and has a recovery period. Our preference is to solve issues using appliances and even tooth removal before resorting to surgery. This surgery can only be performed once the jaw has stopped growing—age 16 for women and age 18 for men.
How Do I Know if I Need Surgery?
We often see patients who are convinced they need orthodontic surgery because their problems appear to be severe. However, even when things look impossible, we can often correct them through the use of various appliances. This means you cannot know if surgery is needed until you come to see us. We will complete a thorough examination to determine what forms of treatment are viable options for you.
What to Expect from Orthodontic Surgery
The exact type of surgery used will depend on your needs. Surgery can last an hour or several hours, and it could be an outpatient procedure or require an overnight stay. After you are home, there will be a two week period of no work or school. Then, once you are healed, braces will be used to perfect the bite.
This type of surgery is as safe as any other form of surgery, and you should not be worried about it if it is recommended for you. To learn more, schedule a consultation.