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Surgical Orthodontics 101

Published on January 16th, 2020

When Surgical Orthodontics Might be Needed?

Surgical orthodontics, alternately called orthognathic surgery, is often used to treat adults with abnormal bite alignment, to correct malocclusion, and jawbone abnormalities. It is one of the nine recognized dental specialties, and focuses on complex cases that involve the mouth, face, jaw, and skull.

When surgical orthodontics are used to treat a misaligned bite, the jaw must be finished growing. This usually occurs around the age of 16 for females and 18 for males. When the jaws are improperly aligned, and a correct bite cannot be achieved with orthodontics alone, orthognathic surgery can realign the jaw, allowing braces to move the teeth into their proper position.

What Can I Expect if I’m Going to Have an Orthognathic Surgery?

Your surgeon will usually perform your surgery in a hospital. The procedure can take several hours, and once it is completed, you will be advised to rest for about two-weeks. Because this is an intensive procedure, we do recommend you plan on taking time off from work or school during the healing process.

After you have healed, you will have your bite “fine-tuned,” and will have braces fitted. You can expect to have the braces removed within 12 months of surgery. After that, you will wear a retainer to help you maintain your new smile.

The Benefits of Orthognathic Surgery

For most patients, the primary benefit of an orthognathic surgical procedure is achieving a healthy, beautiful smile that will last a lifetime. This type of treatment can also correct functional abnormalities, which for some patients, allows them to speak or chew food without difficulty for the first time.

If you have a less than perfect smile, malocclusion, or jaw abnormality, we can help restore both your smile and your confidence. Make an appointment for an evaluation with our skilled orthodontist in Downers Grove to discuss your treatment options.

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