Surgical orthodontics, or orthognathic surgery, is a orthodontic treatment combined with jaw surgery to correct severe cases where abnormal jaw growth prevents the teeth from meeting and functioning, resulting in extreme difficulty chewing and swallowing properly.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is one of the recognized dental specialties: It focuses on treating complex craniofacial cases that involve the mouth, jaw, face, and skull.  If you need surgical orthodontics, Dr. Neely will coordinate your treatment and work with the surgeon to ensure you receive the best possible care.

When might surgical orthodontics be needed?

Surgical orthodontics may be used to treat adults with improper bites and function and aesthetic concerns. The jaws must usuall be finished growing before surgery can be performed. Jaw growth stops by age 16 in females and 18 in males. 

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. Orthognathic surgery will help align the jaw properly, and orthodontic braces will be used to move the teeth into their proper position.

How do I know if I need orthognathic surgery?

Dr. Neely 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, you may or may not need surgery.

How does orthognathic surgery work?

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon will perform your orthognathic surgery in a hospital. The surgery can last several hours depending on each individual case. Once it is completed, you will have about a two-week rest period.

Since orthognathic surgery is a major treatment, we recommend you schedule some time away from work and school during the healing process. After your jaw has healed, Dr. Neely will once again “fine-tune” your bite.

After surgery, you will have to wear braces. 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 orthognathic surgery?

As with any major medical surgery, there may be certain risks to undergoing orthognathic surgery. However, the procedure is not new, and has been performed for many years in practices and hospitals.

If you are concerned about an upcoming treatment with orthognathic surgery, please contact our practice and let us know. We are happy to answer any questions you may have, and to provide you with any additional information. Your comfort is important to us.

What are the rewards of having orthognathic surgery?

To be able to chew food is number one. Having normal facial proportions and appearance is another. As well as achieving a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. Whether you need orthodontic treatment to correct a bad bite, malocclusion, or jaw abnormality, orthognathic surgery can help restore your confidence and leave you smiling with confidence for many years to come.

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