Orthognathic surgery is a form of orthodontic treatment that may be used to treat severe or complex malocclusions. This surgery is typically performed by an oral/maxillofacial surgeon, which is one of the nine recognized dental specialties. This specialty focuses on treating complex craniofacial issues that involve the mouth, jaw and skull. The surgeon will work in conjunction with your orthodontist in order to ensure your treatment results in your most ideal smile.
Surgical orthodontics is used to correct improper bites and/or address aesthetic concerns in patients whose jaws can no longer be guided. Jaw growth stops around the age of 16 in females and 18 in males, so if you are seeking orthodontic treatment after this age and have a more severe issue that includes a discrepancy in your jaw, surgery may be required. Surgery will ensure your jaw is properly aligned so that braces can then guide the teeth into their proper positions, creating a harmonious smile.
The only way to know for sure if surgery will be required is to have a consultation with an orthodontist. Your orthodontist will be able to determine the severity of your issue to determine if surgery is the ideal course of action.
Surgery will generally take place in a hospital or surgery center and can take several hours. You will require a two-week rest period after surgery for recovery. We recommend taking time away from school and/or work to focus on proper healing. After you are fully healed, your orthodontist will then straighten your teeth using braces to give you the smile of your dreams.
Orthognathic surgery is considered a major medical surgery, so there are risks involved. However, it is a common procedure that is performed regularly by skilled surgeons. Your surgeon and orthodontist will work together as a team and will be available to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have.
While it is an involved procedure that requires a commitment to healing after surgery, most patients are more than willing to go through the procedure for the reward of a healthy, straight, beautiful smile and bite at the end.