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Surgical Orthodontics

Surgical orthodontics, also known as orthognathic surgery, involves a combination of orthodontic treatment and jaw surgery.  It is used to correct severe cases that include bad bites, jaw bone abnormalities, and malocclusion.

If you need surgical orthodontics, Drs. Brown and Fasy will work with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to ensure you receive the best possible care.  Oral and maxillofacial surgery is one of the nine recognized dental specialties. It focuses on treating complex craniofacial cases that involve the mouth, jaw and face.

When might surgical orthodontics be needed?

Surgical orthodontics may be used to treat adults with improper bites or other aesthetic concerns. Typically, jaw growth stops by age 16 in females and 18 in males. Orthognathic surgery is performed after the jaws are done growing.  

The need for surgical orthodontics occurs when the jaws do not line up correctly, and a proper bite cannot be achieved with orthodontic treatment alone. Orthognathic surgery will help align the jaws, and orthodontic braces will then be used to move the teeth into their proper position.

How do I know if I need orthognathic surgery?

Drs. Brown and Fasy can tell you if orthognathic surgery is needed as part of your treatment. It will depend on the severity of your case and the alignment of your jaws.

How does orthognathic surgery work?

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon will perform your surgery, which will take place in a hospital. You will have a presurgical consultation with the surgeon to discuss the procedure in detail.  Orthognathic surgery can take several hours depending on each individual case. Once the surgery is complete, you will have about a two-week rest period.

Since orthognathic surgery is a major treatment, we recommend you schedule some time away from work and school during the healing process. After your jaw has healed, your orthodontist will “fine-tune” your bite. After surgery, you will still have to wear braces. Most braces are removed within six to 12 months following surgery. After your braces are removed, you will wear a retainer to help maintain your new smile.

What are the risks associated with orthognathic surgery?

As with any major medical surgery, there may be certain risks to having orthognathic surgery. However, the procedure is not new and it has been performed for many years. If you are concerned about an upcoming treatment with orthognathic surgery, please contact our practice. We are happy to answer any questions you may have, and provide you with any additional information. Your comfort is important to us.

What are the rewards of having orthognathic surgery?

For many patients, the most important reward of having orthognathic surgery is achieving a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. Orthognathic surgery can help leave you smiling with confidence for many years to come.