WHAT IS SURGICAL ORTHODONTICS/ORTHOGNATHIC SURGERY?
It is used to treat severe cases of teenagers and adults with bad bites, jaw bone abnormalities, malocclusion, or other aesthetic concerns (i.e. want to change position of chin forward or back). The necessity for surgical orthodontics occurs when the jaws do not line up correctly, and a proper bite cannot be achieved with orthodontic treatment alone. Most surgeries are done after the jaw stops growing, age 16-17 in females and 18-22 in males. Orthognathic surgery will help properly align the jaw, and orthodontic braces will be used to move the teeth into their proper position. With this type of treatment, it is a collaborated effort with your orthodontist and oral surgeon.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED ORTHOGNATHIC SURGERY?
Dr. Gu will give you a thorough examination and 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.
HOW DOES ORTHOGNATHIC SURGERY WORK?
Following initial consultations and treatment planning by both the orthodontist and oral surgeon, orthodontic treatment will start for a period of time. We will move the teeth at the proper position to prepare for new jaw position. It is not uncommon that your bite may actually look “worse” during this time. When ready, an oral surgeon will perform your orthognathic surgery in a hospital. Your braces stay on for the surgery. Once it’s completed, you will have two-week rest period. You will be able to open and close, but you will be restricted to a softer diet and told not to exert yourself. After your jaw has healed (about six weeks later), you will come back to our office to have your bite “fine-tuned”. You will wear braces 6-12 months after the surgery. A retainer will be provided to help you maintain your new beautiful smile as the regular braces treatment will do.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF ORTHOGNATHIC SURGERY?
As with any major medical surgery, there may be certain risks of having orthognathic surgery. However, orthognathic surgery is sophisticated and has been performed for many years in practices and hospitals. We are happy to answer any questions if you have further concerns, and provide you with any additional information. Your comfort is important to us.
WHAT ARE THE REWARDS OF HAVING ORTHOGNATHIC SURGERY?
Patients may find it easier to chew, bite, sleep, or speak. Combination of orthodontic treatment and orthognathic surgery help to achieve a healthy and beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime. If your case isn’t so severe that it requires surgery, consider Invisalign or traditional braces.