Severe corrections including malocclusion (bad bites) and jaw bone irregularities may require surgical orthodontics; or orthognathic surgery. Surgical orthodontics treats complex circumstances that include the mouth, skull, jaw, and face. If surgical orthodontics is required, your orthodontist will let you know. Drs. Hurley and Volk work with the top oral and facial surgeons in the area to make sure you receive the best in quality care.
Because jaw growth has typically finished in adults, surgical treatment may be used to correct improper bites or other aesthetic concerns. Typically jaw growth stops around age 16 for females and age 18 for males. Orthognathic surgery requires that the jaw is fully grown. Surgical orthodontics can be necessary when the jaws do not align properly, and the correct bite cannot be achieved using traditional orthodontic treatment alone. Braces or Invisalign can be used to position the teeth correctly, and at a certain point during treatment, surgery is performed to align the jaws.
Although surgical treatment is rare, Drs. Hurley and Volk will let you know if surgery is required as part of your treatment. To know for sure, patients need to schedule a free consultation for Drs. Hurley and Volk to evaluate if surgery is recommended. Depending on the complexity of your case and the alignment of your jaw, surgery may not be required.
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon will perform your orthognathic surgery. Once surgery is complete, you will have a two-week rest period. Since orthognathic surgery is a major treatment, we recommend that you schedule some time away from work and school during the healing process. After your jaw has healed, your orthodontist will continue to adjust your bite. After surgery, patients wear braces, and most braces are removed within six to 12 months following surgery. After the braces are removed, patients wear a retainer to help maintain their healthy smile.
As with any medical procedure, there may be risks of having orthognathic surgery. The surgeon will address any and all of these concerns with you, however, the process of orthognathic surgery is established and proven. Have some concerns about your treatment with orthognathic surgery? Let us know! We are happy to speak with you about them. We would love to answer any questions that you may have and provide you with any additional information. Your comfort is paramount to us.
For many patients, the greatest benefit to surgery is the resulting healthy, beautiful smile that lasts. Whether orthodontic treatment is needed to correct a bad bite or jaw irregularity, orthognathic surgery can help restore your confidence for many years to come.