Surgical orthodontics is used to correct severe cases that cannot be addressed with appliances alone. The surgery is conducted by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who specializes in treating complex craniofacial abnormalities of the mouth, jaw, face, and skull.
When Is Surgical Orthodontics Needed?
Surgical orthodontics is considered a last resort when more conservative treatments involving appliances alone are not successful. It can only be done once jaw growth has finished—around 16 for females and 18 for males. To qualify, the jaws must not align correctly despite efforts with other forms or treatment or it must be clear that appliances simply cannot help. After surgery, braces will be used to perfect the bite.
You cannot tell if you or your child needs orthodontic surgery on your own. You must come in for an evaluation.
How Does Orthodontic Surgery Work?
The specifics will depend on your individual case. The surgery will be performed in a hospital by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. It should take several hours, and once it is over, you will be kept for a while for observation. Once home, you will need to spend two weeks resting at home. Several months later, after your jaw is fully healed, braces will be used to fine-tune your bite. About 18 months to two years after surgery, your final results will be visible.
Is Orthodontic Surgery Risky?
All surgeries come with risks, but orthodontic surgery isn’t new, and the surgeons who perform it are highly trained and experienced. Whatever risks surgery does carry are outweighed by the benefits for most patients. These include being able to eat and speak better, less pain, and a more balanced facial profile.
If you are wondering if surgery is the right solution for you, schedule a consultation.