What is Surgical Orthodontics?
Surgical orthodontics is the combination of corrective jaw surgery, or orthognathic surgery, and orthodontic treatment. The approach is used to correct severe bite imbalances and jaw bone irregularities. While advances in orthodontics have allowed us to treat more cases without surgery, sometimes, for adult patients with certain bite issues, surgical orthodontics is the only way to get dramatic, lasting results. Dr. Carolyn Cronin and Dr. Scott Czarnik will work with your oral and maxillofacial surgeon to ensure you get the best care and outcome possible.
When is Surgical Orthodontics Needed?
Surgical orthodontics can be used to treat adult patients with significant bite issues or aesthetic concerns. It’s needed when the jaws don’t line up properly and a healthy bite can’t be achieved with orthodontic treatment alone.
In order to receive orthognathic surgery, the jaw has to be done growing. Typically, jaw growth stops by age 16 in females and 18 in males. When jaw growth is complete, orthognathic surgery can be performed to align the jaw and braces or Invisalign can be used to shift the teeth into their ideal places. Since moving the jaw with surgery also moves the teeth, orthodontic treatment is always a necessary part of the process.
How Do I Know if I’m a Candidate for Orthognathic Surgery ?
As experts in your dental and facial structure, our orthodontists, Dr. Cronin and Dr. Czarnik, can assess your bite and determine if orthognathic surgery is right for you. This will depend on the severity of your case and the alignment of your jaw. If you are a candidate for surgical orthodontics in Westminster, your orthodontist will coordinate with your oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
How Does Surgical Orthodontics Work?
Surgical orthodontics takes place in stages. Dr. Cronin and Dr. Czarnik will work with your oral and maxillofacial surgeon to create a treatment plan aimed at improving function and your appearance. You’ll wear braces or clear aligners prior to your surgery.
Once we’ve achieved the first set of tooth movements, your oral surgeon will perform your corrective jaw surgery in a hospital. Depending on the severity of your case, this can take several hours to complete. During surgery, the upper or lower jaw will be repositioned to achieve proper alignment and stability.
After orthognathic surgery, you’ll need to rest and recover. Most patients return to work or school in about two weeks. When your jaw is healed, you’ll wear braces or Invisalign for approximately six to 12 more months so Dr. Cronin and Dr. Czarnik can finetune your bite. After you finish this last round of orthodontic treatment, we’ll fit you for a customer retainer to ensure you maintain your beautiful, new smile for life.
Confident Smiles Start With Expert Care
Don’t let your smile insecurities hold you back! As a top orthodontist in Westminster, CO, we have the knowledge and expertise to achieve fantastic results for patients of all ages. Whether you have slightly crooked teeth, severe orthodontic concerns or anything in between, our doctors will tailor treatment to your unique needs. To get started, schedule a complimentary consultation today!