Most orthodontic problems can be corrected with appliances alone, especially when treated earlier. But for those with significant orthodontic abnormalities who are not treated before puberty, surgical intervention is often needed. If surgery is needed, we work with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who is well practiced in the type of surgery needed.
When Does Surgery Occur?
Unlike other types of orthodontics, earlier is not better with orthodontic surgery. For it to be effective, the patient must be done growing. For females, this is usually around age 16 and for males, around age 18. As such, the majority of patients receiving this treatment are adults.
How Do I Know if I Need Surgery?
This cannot be determined by anyone other than an orthodontist. Due to changes in orthodontic technology, some significant orthodontic problems are now able to be corrected with appliances, even later in life. If you have any problems with tooth or jaw alignment, see us so we can determine what interventions will work for you.
What Is Orthodontic Surgery Like?
The specifics of surgery will vary from patient to patient. However, there are some commonalities. The surgery will take place in either a surgical center or a hospital, and there is the possibility that you may need to stay overnight. Licensed and trained professionals man the surgical team, and general anesthesia is used. After surgery, there is a two week resting period during which time you stay home from work and school.
Once fully healed, braces are used. Since surgery corrects the bones, appliances are needed to move the teeth into the proper alignment based on the new position of the jaws. Once all is done, the bite will be functional and attractive and the facial features will be balanced.
Like any surgery, there are risks. However, the rewards of having a healthier bite make the small risks more than worth it. To find out if you need orthodontic surgery, schedule your consultation.