What is surgical orthodontics?

Top-notch orthodontic treatment is the name of our game. 

For most patients, clear aligners, metal braces, lingual braces, or a clear brace fix their teeth and jaw alignments without a problem. If your case is a bit more complex, surgical orthodontics might be necessary to achieve the same results.

What is surgical orthodontics?

Surgical orthodontics consists of surgery performed on the mouth, jaw, face, and skull for oral healthcare or cosmetic purposes. Surgical procedures can realign the jaw by moving it in any direction or shortening or lengthening it. We only perform this treatment when a patient’s jaw has finished developing. 

Sometimes, orthodontic surgery is necessary before a patient can begin “standard” orthodontic care. Addressing these more extreme jaw misalignments with surgery first reduces the risk of unnecessary pain, joint problems, or an undesired change in facial structure. Without surgery, these patients may have a higher chance of relapse with nonsurgical treatment options alone. 

Does every orthodontic patient need surgery?

No! Needing orthodontic treatment like braces or clear aligners does not automatically mean you need surgery. If you might,  Dr. JK Dillehay will talk you through a potential operation to improve your teeth and gum health, jaw joint function, chewing ability, speech, breathing, and more.

Who might need surgical orthodontics?

Jaw complications can be from trauma (like a sports injury, for example), congenital disabilities, or simply from how the jaw developed as you grew up. Whatever the cause, jaw issues can lead to difficulty breathing, challenges communicating, digestive issues (struggling to bite into food or chew sufficiently), and oral health issues. You might also notice abnormalities in facial structure or aesthetics.

Many factors might be keeping you from a bright smile. You may need orthodontic surgery if you have the following:

  • an underbite (lower jaw that sticks out)
  • an overbite (lower jaw that goes inward)
  • trouble swallowing
  • persistent teeth friction or grinding
  • an open bite (the teeth don’t meet when the mouth is closed)
  • an unbalanced facial appearance
  • TMJ or jaw joint pain
  • headaches or migraines
  • breathing issues when sleeping, like sleep apnea
  • a dry mouth from frequent mouth breathing
  • an inability to comfortably make your lips touch

Noninvasive, traditional orthodontic treatments alone may solve many of these cases. We customize care to each individual, taking into account the severity and impact on your quality of life will help our team determine if surgery is necessary. 

Will one of our orthodontists perform your surgery?

While our orthodontists will not personally perform your surgery, we will be involved in the decision-making process. An oral surgeon, a dentist, our doctors, and other specialists will work together to determine if you are a candidate for surgery and ensure you get a functional and flattering result. You’ll receive the best care possible with this team approach!

What can you expect?

Surgery Prologue

The first step is where our skilled team will thoroughly examine your mouth, teeth, gums, and jaw using X-rays and digital scanners. This detailed assessment gives us a comprehensive look at your oral health status and facial structure. Then, we use our state-of-the-art technology to create a 3D interactive model of your mouth that we’ll use to plan your orthodontic treatment and consider new jaw placements. The best part? We show you the predicted final look after surgery and brace.

After surgery, a sneak peek

If you’re worried about old-fashioned techniques like wiring the jaw shut, fear no more! Modern technology and equipment have come a long way. We use screws and plates instead, meaning you’ll feel good as new much sooner! Still, you should take at least two weeks off from school or work to rest and heal comfortably and safely.

At some point after surgery, you will get your braces. While the duration of your time depends on your circumstances, six to twelve months is the average time spent in braces. Then you’ll get your retainer and be well on your way to enjoying your new look for a lifetime!

What is surgical orthodontics?

Surgical Orthodontics won’t be scary or intimidating when you have Dillehay Orthodontics at your side

The decision to change your smile is a huge commitment. It can be overwhelming to walk into an orthodontic office thinking you only need braces and be told you need to schedule a jaw surgery. At Dillehay Orthodontics, we don’t want uncertainty or fear of the unknown to stop you from getting the teeth and smile you have dreamed of.

Book a free consultation with one of our experienced and knowledgeable orthodontists to discover your options for a new smile and better oral health. Whatever your treatment plan, our team would love to be there for you every step of the way.

The sooner you begin your orthodontic journey, the sooner you will see the smile you deserve in the mirror, so contact us soon! We can’t wait to meet you!