Surgical orthodontics, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a type of orthodontic treatment used to correct severe cases that include bad bites, jaw bone abnormalities, and malocclusion. Oral and maxillofacial surgery is one of the nine recognized dental specialties, and it focuses on treating complex craniofacial cases that involve the mouth, jaw, face, and skull.
Dr. Murphy will recommend surgical orthodontics for you if your issue is more closely related to an underlying skeletal growth issue than tooth position. As the premier providers of surgical orthodontics in Washington, DC, we are very comfortable and experienced with treating these complex cases to ensure you will receive the best care possible.
Dr. Chelsea Murphy received her specialty training in a hospital-based program. A large portion of her practice is dedicated to treating more complex orthodontic problems that require a combination of surgery and orthodontics to correct. Read on to learn more about the surgical orthodontic services offered at Friendship Heights Orthodontics, then call our Washington, DC, office today to schedule a consultation! We also welcome patients requiring surgical orthodontic care from the Georgetown, Potomac, and Bethesda communities.
When might surgical orthodontics be needed?
Surgical orthodontics may be used to treat adults with improper bites or other aesthetic concerns. Typically, jaw growth stops by age 16 in females and 18 in males.
The need for surgical orthodontics occurs when the jaws do not line up correctly, and a proper bite cannot be achieved with orthodontic treatment alone. Orthodontic braces will be used to move your teeth into their proper position centered in bone, so the oral surgeon will be able to align the jaws optimally in surgery.
How do I know if I need orthognathic surgery?
At your initial exam, Dr. Murphy will examine you and your diagnostic records and health history to determine if orthognathic surgery is needed as part of your treatment. Depending on the severity of your case and the alignment of your jaw, you may or may not need surgery. All options will be presented and thoroughly discussed.
How does orthognathic surgery work?
We will use Invisalign or braces to move the teeth to the position we and the oral surgeon have determined is optimal for the best surgical outcome. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon will then perform your orthognathic surgery in a hospital.
Orthognathic surgery can take several hours depending on each individual case. Once the surgery is complete, you will have about a two-week rest period. Since orthognathic surgery is a major treatment, we recommend that you schedule sometime away from work and school during the healing process.
After your jaw has healed (typically in 5-6 weeks), we will begin once again to “fine-tune” your bite. You will continue to wear braces, and most braces are removed within six to 12 months following surgery. After your braces are removed, you will wear a retainer to help maintain your new smile.
What are the risks associated with orthognathic surgery?
As with any major medical surgery, there may be certain risks to having orthognathic surgery. However, the procedure is not new, and it has been performed for many years in practices and hospitals.
Dr. Murphy is an expert in surgical orthodontics and works with only the most experienced oral surgeons. If you’re concerned about an upcoming treatment with orthognathic surgery, please contact our practice and let us know.
We are happy to answer any questions you may have, and provide you with any additional information. Your comfort is important to us.
What are the rewards of having orthognathic surgery?
For many patients, the most important reward of having orthognathic surgery is achieving a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. Many patients also report generally feeling better due to an improved airway.
Whether you need orthodontic treatment to correct a bad bite, malocclusion, or jaw abnormality, orthognathic surgery can help restore your confidence and leave you smiling for many years to come.