Many bite and alignment problems can be treated with braces and other appliances, but these interventions aren’t appropriate for every case. In some situations, surgical orthodontics may be needed to get the best results. This field, known as orthognathic surgery, is useful for correcting severe problems such as malocclusions (bad bites) and abnormalities of the jaw bone.
Orthognathic surgery is a part of the dental specialty oral and maxillofacial surgery, which focuses on the treatment of complex cases involving the skull, face, jaw, and mouth. If we believe that surgical orthodontics is right for you, we’ll work with a trusted oral and maxillofacial surgeon to make sure that you are receiving the absolute best care possible.
Why Are You Recommending Surgical Orthodontics?
We may recommend surgical orthodontics if you are an adult with an improper bite or a similar concern. Your jaw stops growing when you are a teenager (usually around age 18 for males and age 16 for females). We don’t recommend orthognathic surgery unless the jaw has completed growing.
Surgical orthodontic treatment is necessary when your jaws aren’t lining up correctly and there’s simply no way to achieve a proper bite through orthodontic therapy with braces or an appliance. Once the bite has been corrected, we can use these appliances to move the teeth into their correct positions.
Do I Need Orthognathic Surgery?
The only way to know for sure is to schedule a consultation with an orthodontist. We’ll perform a thorough examination and discuss your goals and what can be accomplished. Whether or not you need surgery will depend on how severe the problems are and your jaw alignment.
How Does Surgical Orthodontics Work?
We will refer you to a skilled oral and maxillofacial surgeon who will perform your surgery. Your surgery will be done in a hospital, and it may take several hours. Following your surgery, plan for about a two-week rest period. Orthognathic surgery is major surgery, so it’s important that you allow your body the time it needs to recover and heal. Plan to take some time off from school or work.
Once you have healed from your surgery, you’ll return to our office where we’ll “fine tune” your bite with braces. This usually takes about six to twelve months. After your treatment with braces is complete, a retainer will help you maintain your new smile.
Does Orthognathic Surgery Have Any Risks?
Like any other surgical procedure, surgical orthodontics carries with it some risks. This is not a new field, however, and oral surgeons have been performing these surgeries for years in their private practices and in hospitals.
If you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to talk to us about them. We’re more than happy to answer your questions and give you all the information you need to make your decision. Your comfort matters to us, and we want you to feel confident about the choices you make regarding your health.
What Rewards Can I Expect From Orthognathic Surgery?
The biggest reward will be the attractive and healthy smile that you’ll carry with you for the rest of your life. Even with serious bite abnormalities, you can have the beautiful smile you’ve dreamed of.
Contact us to learn more about how we can help make it happen.
Call our Phoenix office at (602) 242-3289, or if you live in Scottsdale call (480) 451-3088 today.