Orthognathic Surgery: A Solution for Severe Malocclusion
Traditional orthodontic treatment can successfully move teeth, but it cannot move bone. Therefore, if your bite problems are due to a skeletal issue, orthognathic surgery may be necessary for long-term correction. Our doctors at Smile Orthodontics partner with a skilled oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS) to provide this solution for our patients with severe orthodontic malocclusion.
What Problems Can Orthognathic Surgery Address?
Simply stated, orthognathic surgery is indicated anytime there is an orthodontic problem that cannot be corrected with traditional braces alone. Essentially, braces move the teeth, while orthognathic surgery moves the jaws. This procedure is typically only performed in adults, as it is recommended for patients who have reached full growth. You may benefit from orthognathic surgery if you have:
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain
- Chronic headaches
- Excessive tooth erosion
- Difficulty biting, chewing, or swallowing food
- A protruding jaw
- A receding chin
- Unbalanced or asymmetrical facial aesthetics
- A severe open bite (there is a space between your upper and lower front teeth when your mouth is closed)
- Airway issues, such as severe snoring or sleep apnea
Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
The first step toward your new smile is having your first consultation at our practice. Your teeth, gums, bite, jaw joints, and surrounding oral maxillofacial structures will be evaluated. During this visit, scans, x-rays, photos, and other diagnostic information will be gathered to provide an accurate diagnosis. After a thorough assessment, your doctor can let you know if orthognathic surgery may be a necessary aspect of treatment for you.
Optimal oral health is achieved through the evaluation and maintenance of several different elements. In some cases, a comprehensive treatment plan can only be implemented by a team of dental professionals. That is why we work alongside a trusted specialist in cases where surgery is necessary. If orthognathic surgery is recommended for you, the oral surgeon will see you for an evaluation before the treatment process begins. Your general dentist, orthodontist, and oral surgeon will all work together to provide the most comprehensive and conservative treatment available. Your team of doctors will design a personalized treatment plan, which will outline your fees and approximately timeline.
The Treatment Process
Patients who undergo orthognathic surgery typically complete their orthodontic phase first. Once your teeth have moved according to plan, your surgery can be scheduled.
When the day of surgery arrives, treatment will be performed in a hospital or in the oral surgery office, where appropriate anesthesia can be administered for your comfort. Depending on your unique needs, bone may be reshaped, added, or taken away. The jaws will then be carefully repositioned, and will be held in place by screws, plates, wires, or other surgical-grade materials. The length of the surgery will vary, and will be based on your specific case. However, this type of procedure typically takes several hours to complete.
The hospital staff will be there to make sure you are relaxed and comfortable throughout your stay. As always, our team at Smile Orthodontics will be available to answer any questions you have before your treatment begins.
Schedule a Consultation with Us
While orthognathic surgery is not necessary for every patient, it can significantly improve the quality of life of those who need it. To find out if surgical treatment can help you, schedule a consultation with one of our doctors. You can contact us online or call one of our Suffolk, VA office locations.