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 improper bites or other aesthetic concerns. 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 and orthodontic treatment work together to properly align the jaw and move the teeth into their proper position.
How do I know if I need orthognathic surgery?
Dr. Crain will tell you if orthognathic surgery is needed as part of your treatment. This decision depends on the severity of your treatment and the alignment of your jaw. If you have already seen an oral surgeon who advised you that you do need orthognathic surgery, Dr. Crain can work with your surgeon to make a comprehensive treatment plan to lead to the optimal result. Dr. Crain received intensive training in surgical orthodontics, and he has stayed abreast of the latest advancements in this field. If you do not already have an oral surgeon, Dr. Crain will refer you to one.
How does orthognathic surgery work?
Most commonly, the treatment starts with braces being placed on the teeth. After the teeth are properly moved and prepared for the surgery, the oral surgeon will perform your orthognathic surgery in a hospital. The surgeon will provide special instructions regarding the healing period as it relates to physical activities and returning to work/school. After your jaw has healed (usually for a period of a few months), you will resume seeing Dr. Crain to “fine-tune” your bite, after which your braces are removed and retainers are made.
What are the risks associated with orthognathic surgery?
As with any major medical surgery, there are certain risks of having orthognathic surgery. The specific risks depend upon the exact type of orthognathic surgery that is done. Together, Dr. Crain and the oral surgeon will discuss with you the specific risks before you make the decision to begin a surgical treatment approach. 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 us. We are happy to answer any questions that you have and provide you with any additional information.
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.