Surgical orthodontics, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a type of orthodontic treatment used to correct severe cases that include bad bites, jaw bone abnormalities and malocclusion. Oral and maxillofacial surgery is one of the nine recognized dental specialties, and it focuses on treating complex craniofacial cases that involve the mouth, jaw, face and skull. If you need surgical orthodontics, your orthodontist will work with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to ensure that you receive the best care possible.
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. In order to receive orthognathic surgery, the jaw must be 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 properly align the jaw, and orthodontic braces will then be used to move the teeth into their proper position.
How do I know if I need orthognathic surgery?
Your orthodontist can tell you if orthognathic surgery is needed as part of your treatment. Depending on the severity of your case and the alignment of your jaw, you may or may not need surgery.
How does orthognathic surgery work?
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon will perform your orthognathic surgery, and the surgery will take place in a hospital. 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 that you schedule some time away from work and school during the healing process. After your jaw has healed, your orthodontist will once again “fine-tune” your bite. After surgery, you will have to wear braces, and 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 of having orthognathic surgery. However, the process of orthognathic surgery is not new, and it has been performed for many years in practices and hospitals. If you're concerned about an upcoming treatment with orthognathic surgery, please contact our practice and let us know. We are happy to answer any questions that 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. Whether you need orthodontic treatment to correct a bad bite, malocclusion or jaw abnormality, orthognathic surgery can help restore your confidence and leave you smiling with confidence for many years to come.
Reviews from Our Patients
"Dr. Gullick and his staff are awesome!!! Appointment times are convenient and we never wait more than 10 minutes to be seen. I always recommend Dr. Gullick's practice to anyone needing orthodontic care."
~ Shannon C
"Dr. Gullick is very personable and his staff are all great. My treatment took the amount of time that I was told it would take, and my teeth look great!!"
~ Margot L
"I love going to Dr. Gullick's office. Everyone is very friendly. They are always listening to problems or comfort issues from the braces you may have and they are ready to work with you."
~ Karen D
"I like this place because they work hard to keep my smile looking great and everyone there is nice and friendly. Keep up the good work!!"
~ Levi F
"The whole experience is very efficient and the staff is friendly! Dr. Gullick always takes time to ask how his patients AND parents are doing. Plus, my daughter is always excited about going to her appointments. I can't say that about many other doctor visits."
~ Sharry L