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Surgical Orthodontics, is a treatment combining Orthodontics and Oral Surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, used to correct severe cases of jaw abnormalities and malocclusion ("bad bites").

If you need Surgical Orthodontics, Dr. Van Westen will work with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to ensure that you receive the best care possible.

When is Surgical Orthodontics needed?

Surgical orthodontics may be used to treat adults with improper bites or other aesthetic concerns.

The need for Surgical Orthodontics occurs when the jaws do not line up correctly, there is no more growth potential to correct the skeletal problem, and a proper bite cannot be achieved with orthodontic treatment alone.

Typically, jaw growth stops by age 16 in females and 21 in males. In order to receive orthognathic surgery, the jaw must be done growing. Orthognathic surgery will help properly align the jaw, and braces are used to move the teeth into their proper position.

How do I know if I need orthognathic surgery?

Dr. Van Westen can tell you if orthognathic surgery is recommended 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.

How does orthognathic surgery work?

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon will perform your orthognathic surgery, while your braces are still on, and the surgery will take place in a hospital.

After your jaw has healed, Dr. Van Westen will once again “fine-tune” your bite.

Usually, orthodontic treatment continues after the surgery for another 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 of having orthognathic surgery. However, the process of orthognathic surgery is not new, and it has been performed for many years. If you're concerned about an upcoming treatment with orthognathic surgery, your oral surgeon will give you the benefits and risks associated with the surgery itself.

We are happy to answer any questions that you may have, and provide you with any additional information.

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, occlusion ("bite"), and facial harmony that lasts a lifetime. Orthognathic surgery can help restore your confidence and leave you smiling for many years to come.