In most cases, orthodontic treatment can be carried out without the need for surgery but in some more severe cases, there are surgical options that can offer dramatic results. If you suffer from malocclusion or have jaw bone or bite abnormalities then there are a number of surgical solutions.
Surgical orthodontics is also known as orthognathic surgery. If you require surgical intervention, your orthodontist will work with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to ensure that you receive the best care possible. Oral and maxillofacial surgery is one of the nine recognized dental specialties so surgeons working in this area are experts in treating complex craniofacial cases that involve the mouth, jaw, face, and skull.
Am I a candidate for surgical orthodontics?
If your jaw does not line up properly or you have a misaligned bite then you may be a candidate for surgical orthodontics. Orthognathic surgery can have a dramatic effect on the aesthetics and function of the jaw by properly realigning it. Braces may also then be used to straighten the teeth and further improve the aesthetics of the smile. In order to be considered for orthognathic surgery your jaw will need to have stopped growing. This means that, typically, surgical orthodontics is only performed on adults over the age of 18. Your orthodontist will advise you on what is the best option for you. Surgery is usually a last resort and only performed in severe cases.
What happens during orthognathic surgery?
Surgery can be a daunting thing for many people but you should rest assured that if you do need to undergo any surgical procedure you will be in safe hands. Your oral and maxillofacial surgeon will perform the surgery, which will take place in a hospital. The surgery can take several hours and you will need to rest up for around two-weeks afterwards, so it is recommended that you plan to take time off work or school while you recover. After your jaw has healed, your orthodontist can “fine-tune” your bite with brace. This can take a further six to 12 months, after which you will have a beautiful new smile.
What are the risks associated with orthognathic surgery?
Any major surgical procedures carry a certain amount of risk, however, it is impprtant to remember that orthognathic surgery is not a new speciality, it has been performed for many years and, as such, today’s surgeons are highly skilled and the procedure is generally very safe. If you are at all concerned about an upcoming orthognathic surgical procedure then please contact us at one of our practices and we will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. Your comfort throughout the treament process is very important to us.
What are the rewards of having orthognathic surgery?
Making the decision to undergo surgery is a major one, however, the benefits far outweigh the risks for many people. The results of orthognathic surgery can be dramatic, not only helping you to achieve a beautiful new smile that will last a lifetime but also boosting your confidence and improving your appearance in general.