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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 significant malocclusions. Oral and maxillofacial surgery is one of the nine dental specialties, and it focuses on treating complex craniofacial cases that involve the mouth, jaw, face, and skull. If orthognathic surgery is indicated for you, Dr. Dask will work together with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to surgeon to plan your treatment and execute the plan so 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 that are beyond the scope of conventional orthodontics. Some examples include a very protrusive lower jaw causing an underbite, or an open bite where there is a large distance between the upper and lower front teeth when the back teeth are touching. Typically, jaw growth stops by age 16 in females and 19 in males. In order to receive orthognathic surgery, the jaw must be finished growing.
How does orthognathic surgery work?
Treatment starts with placement of the braces, until the objectives of the presurgical orthodontics have been met. At that point, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon will perform your orthognathic surgery, and the surgery will take place in a hospital. Braces stay on for the surgery, and they play an integral role during the surgery. Orthognathic surgery can take several hours depending on each individual case. After the surgery has been done, you will have about a two-week recovery 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 adjust your braces to “fine-tune” your bite. Elastics from the upper to the lower braces are typically worn during this period. In most cases the 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 procedure, there may be certain risks of having orthognathic surgery. These will be outlined to you in detail on one of the appointments with the oral/maxillofacial surgeon. The process of orthognathic surgery is not new, and it has been refined and improved over the years to make it easier, more predictable, and more comfortable. If you’re concerned about an upcoming 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 self-esteem and leave you smiling with confidence for many years to come.
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