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Surgical orthodontics, or jaw 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 dental specialties, and it focuses on treating complex craniofacial cases that involve the mouth, jaw, face, and skull. Dr. Green will work with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to ensure that if you need surgical orthodontics 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 jaw surgery, jaw growth must be complete. 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. Jaw surgery will help properly align the jaw, and orthodontic braces will then fine-tune the bite and the braces are removed six to 12 months later. How do I know if I need jaw surgery?
Dr. Green can tell you if jaw 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 jaw surgery work?
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon will perform your jaw surgery, and the surgery usually takes place in a hospital. The surgery is done while the braces are on your teeth and can take several hours depending on each individual case. Once the surgery is complete, you will have about a two-week rest period. Since jaw 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, Dr. Green 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 jaw surgery?
As with any major medical surgery, there may be certain risks of having jaw surgery. However, the process of jaw surgery however is not new, and it has been performed for many years in practices and hospitals. If you're concerned about having surgery, please let us know. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have, and provide you with any additional information.
What are the rewards of having jaw surgery?
For many patients, the most important reward of having jaw surgery is achieving a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. Surgery also improves the function of your bite to allow for improved speech and chewing which can help restore your confidence and leave you smiling for many years to come.