Surgical orthodontics, also called orthognathic surgery, is a type of orthodontic intervention that is used whenever a patient presents with severe orthodontic abnormalities that cannot be treated with appliances and tooth extraction alone. Depending on the exact surgery performed, surgical orthodontics can correct issues with the mouth, jaw, face, and skull.
When Is Surgical Orthodontics Needed?
At Pella Orthodontics, we consider surgical orthodontics to be a last resort. We do not say this to make it sound scary. However, because the procedure is invasive, expensive, and requires weeks of recovery, it is better to solve the problems at hand with non-surgical methods whenver possible.
How Do I Know if I Need Surgery?
No one is a candidate for jaw surgery until their jaw has finished growing. For females, this is age 16, and for males, this is age 18. We often see patients who are convinced they need surgery to correct their orthodontic problems because to the untrained eye, they look severe. However, the vast majority of abnormalities can be corrected without surgical intervention. To know if you need surgery, you must see an orthodontist.
What to Expect From Orthodontic Surgery
Because the surgery used depends on your needs, we cannot tell you exactly what to expect from the surgery. It could last an hour, or several hours. In most cases, you go home the same day, but at times, overnight stays are needed. Usually there is a two-week period away from school and work to ensure a full recovery. After you heal, braces are used to fine-tune the bite.
To learn more about surgical orthodontics, schedule your consultation.