Orthognathic surgery, or surgical orthodontics, is a treatment that is used to correct severe dental issues. These can include abnormalities in the jaw bone, bad bites, or malocclusion. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon can treat complex cases that involve the skull, jaw, face, and mouth. Your orthodontic dentist will assess your oral health and recommend treatment if it is required for your oral and overall health.
Surgical orthodontics may be required when there are issues, such as improper bites, that remain after the jaw has finished growing. It corrects aesthetic issues as well as other problems that could cause discomfort and other problems in life.
Surgical orthodontics is performed when the jaws are not lined up properly, and orthodontic treatment by itself is not enough to correct the misalignment. Orthognathic surgery is performed to align the jaw and braces are used to move teeth into alignment. Your dentist will examine your mouth and determine whether or not orthognathic surgery is right for you or if there are other treatment options available.
Your surgery will be performed by a trained oral and maxillofacial surgeon in a hospital. It may take several hours to complete depending on the severity of your orthodontic issues. After it is done, you will need to rest for about two weeks, taking time off from work or school while you heal.
Orthognathic surgery is major, so be sure to take care of yourself during the healing period. Once you return to the dentist, you will be fitted with braces to align your teeth and correct remaining bite issues. Most braces are worn for about 6 months, but you will also need to wear a retainer so that your new smile is properly maintained, and teeth don’t move back into their original position.
There are some risks that come with orthognathic surgery, and your dentist will tell you all about it at your appointment. Be sure to ask questions and get as much information as possible about your treatment plan and how orthognathic surgery will affect you and beautify your smile.