When problems are too severe and too progressed to correct with appliance therapy, surgical orthodontics is needed. Also known as orthognathic surgery, it corrects bad bites, jaw abnormalities, and malocclusion. It is one of the nine dental specialties recognized in the United States.
When Is Surgical Orthodontics Needed?
Whenever possible, we solve problematic cases without resorting to surgery. However, sometimes it just isn’t possible. We use orthognathic surgery to address any orthodontic abnormalities that appliances cannot fully correct. This type of surgery can only be done once the jaw has finished growing, which is usually age 16 in females and age 18 in males.
It is important to note that patients cannot diagnose themselves as needing this surgery. Due to advances in orthodontic appliances, many cases that once required surgery no longer do. Speak to a doctor about your options.
How Does Orthognathic Surgery Work?
How the surgery works varies depending on what is being corrected. You will need to sit down with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to discuss exactly what the procedure will be like.
Post-surgery recovery tends to be pretty similar across procedures. There will be a two-week resting period where the patient should not attend work or school. Then once the jaw is fully healed, braces are used to perfect the bite.
Are There Risks With Surgical Orthodontics?
All surgery comes with inherent risks. However, the risks associated with orthognathic surgery are not any higher than with other procedures. If you are feeling anxiety about your upcoming procedure, sit down and talk with us. We will help you work through your concerns.
If you have orthodontic abnormalities that you think might require surgery, contact us to set up your consultation.