What is Surgical Orthodontics?

Everyone wants straight, beautiful teeth, and will often seek out an orthodontist to achieve a straighter smile. While many people can turn to traditional treatments, such as clear braces or Invisalign treatment options, there are some severe cases that may necessitate more significant treatment. 

Surgical orthodontics involves surgical procedures to correct larger underlying issues, such as a misaligned or malformed jaw bone. Although oral and maxillofacial surgery is one of the practices recognized as a dental specialty, Melbourne Orthodontics offers specialized surgical orthodontics options that can help correct and treat your jaw, mouth, teeth, and overall oral health. We collaborate closely with our excellent local oral surgeons to help patients get the results they need.

Understanding Surgical Orthodontics

Often referred to as orthognathic surgery, surgical orthodontics is a practice that is used in cases where poor occlusal relationships (bad bites) are the result of a structural issue concerning the jaw bone. Surgical orthodontics can be used to help correct the bones in the jaw, face, or skull so that they align properly. 

With properly aligned bone structures, the orthodontist can then focus on correcting the teeth to create a stunning smile and proper bite. With the help of a maxillofacial surgeon, an orthodontist, like Dr. Reddick, makes a customized treatment plan for surgery that includes corrective action to fix bad bites or bone abnormalities in your jaw.

What Can Surgical Orthodontics Help With?

In the vast majority of situations, surgical orthodontics is recommended for non-growing patients. In most cases, the jaws stop growing in females around the age of 16, and in males around the age of 18. At these ages, the orthodontist has a good understanding of how the adult jaw will look and function in the patient. It is also a stable point to treatment plan from.  If jaw surgery is accomplished prior to growth being finished, there is a risk of future growth negatively affecting the result, necessitating retreatment. Usually, surgery is recommended for people that have a misaligned jaw which cannot be corrected with traditional orthodontic tools alone. Surgery is used to help the top and bottom jaw line up correctly, creating an even bite. Following surgery, an orthodontist will turn to traditional methods to move the teeth into their correct place. The result is a beautiful smile.

What To Expect with Surgical Orthodontics

The surgical procedure will almost always be performed in a hospital setting, usually with the maxillofacial surgeon and anesthesiologist, as well as additional nurses and surgical assistants. Most surgical orthodontic procedures are an intensive surgery which can take hours to perform. Following surgery, there is approximately a two week rest period to allow the bones in the jaw to properly heal. After the jaw has healed, the orthodontist will work with the teeth and jaw to “fine tune” the bite and jaw alignment. Usually, traditional braces are used after surgery for between 6 months and one year to reposition the teeth. This will help refine the bite further.

How Can Surgical Orthodontics Correct My Teeth?

Consider surgical orthodontics the major adjustment to correct a misaligned or malformed bite and jaw bone, with traditional orthodontic treatments used after the surgery as the necessary fine-tuning needed to create a perfect smile. Traditional braces are usually used for up to a year following surgery to help position teeth into proper alignment. 

Other orthodontic treatments can also be used to create a straight smile. Such treatment options might include Invisalign or invisible braces. With Invisalign, our orthodontist can correct your smile without the visible appearance of braces. However, not every person is a good candidate for clear aligners. Working with an orthodontist directly is the best way to create a customized treatment plan. Talk with your orthodontist about your needs and desires and they’ll be able to discuss a variety of treatments available.

Is Surgical Orthodontics Right For Me?

If you have a misaligned jaw or a malformed bone in your facial structure, you may be a good candidate for surgical orthodontics. Working alongside an orthodontist is the best way to create a customized treatment plan. Even the most troublesome bites and jaw structures can be improved with a combination of surgical orthodontics and traditional treatment options. Contact Dr. Reddick’s team today to set up a consultation and see if surgical orthodontics is right for you! 321.254.5232