Surgical orthodontics, or orthognathic surgery, is a type of procedure that we use to correct conditions of the jaw, including malocclusion, bad bites, and jaw bone abnormalities. If you need surgical orthodontics, Dr. Whang will consult with an oral surgeon to ensure that you receive the highest quality care possible.
Dr. Julie Whang is a trained and experienced orthodontist who works with oral surgeons to develop comprehensive treatment plans. During her residency, she met regularly with oral surgeons to discuss a variety of cases that involved orthodontic surgery.
When Are Surgical Orthodontics Necessary?
We may recommend surgical orthodontics for certain adult patients who have improper bites or esthetic concerns. Jaw growth typically stops by age 18 for males and age 16 for females. We cannot perform orthognathic surgery until the jaw has stopped growing, so the procedures are only appropriate for adults.
Orthodontic surgery is necessary when the upper and lower jaws do not meet correctly, and we can’t achieve a proper dental bite with orthodontic treatment alone. In this case, surgery would be used to help realign the jaw. When the healing process is complete, we will use braces to move your teeth into their proper position.
How Does Orthognathic Surgery Work?
We first put braces on and align the teeth respective to each jaw. This part of orthodontics may make you look worse than when you came in, but it is designed to properly place you teeth to the respective jaw and get you ready for jaw surgery.
Then, the oral surgeon will cut the jaw/jaws and place the jaws in the correct position. Remember that this procedure requires the same type of rest and recovery period as any major surgery. After your jaw has healed, Dr. Whang will make any necessary alterations to your teeth to “fine-tune” your bite.
You will still need about 6-12 months of braces to “fine tune” the bite. We work with highly trained oral surgeons who work in the field of orthodontic surgery. For your safety, surgery will take place in a hospital under the supervision of your oral surgeon and an anesthesiologist.
Treatment times vary by individual, but you can count on about six to twelve months wearing braces. After your braces are removed, we’ll provide you with a customized retainer to help maintain the position of your teeth.
Is Orthognathic Surgery Safe?
While orthodontic surgery is as serious as any other type of major surgery, these procedures have been performed safely and effectively for many years. We know that you have concerns about your treatment, and we’re here to support you and answer your questions. Before we schedule your procedure, we’ll make sure you have all the information you need to feel completely comfortable with your decision.
Please Contact Our Office for More Information
We want to do everything possible to help you achieve excellent oral health and a beautiful smile. Please contact Arcadia Dentaldontics, and a member of our team will help you arrange a complimentary consultation with Dr. Whang at your convenience.