Orthodontic Care Paired with Surgery
Dr. Kenneth Grabowski Orthodontics utilizes surgical orthodontics on an as needed basis to achieve the perfect smile.
What is surgical orthodontics?
Just as orthodontics repositions teeth, surgical orthodontics (also known as orthognathic surgery) corrects jaw irregularities to improve the patient’s ability to chew, speak, and breathe and for improved facial appearances.
In other words, surgical orthodontics straighten your jaw. Moving the jaws also moves the teeth, so braces are always performed in conjunction with jaw correction. This helps make sure teeth are in their proper positions after surgery.
Who needs surgical orthodontics?
Dr. Grabowski will consider surgical orthodontic treatment for non-growing adult patients with improper bites and those with facial aesthetic concerns.
Jaw growth is usually completed by late teens to early 20s. All growth must be completed before most jaw surgery can be performed. However, the pre-surgical tooth movements can begin 1-2 years prior to these ages.
How does it work?
During your orthodontic treatment, which usually lasts 6-18 months, you wear braces and will visit your orthodontist for scheduled adjustments to your braces.
As your teeth move with the braces, you may think that your bite is getting worse rather than better. However, when your jaws are placed into proper alignment during orthognathic surgery, the teeth will then fit into their proper positions.
Surgery is performed in the hospital with an oral surgeon and can take several hours depending on the amount and type of surgery needed.
In lower jaw surgery, the jawbone behind the teeth is separated and the tooth-bearing portion is moved forward or backward as needed. In upper jaw surgery, the jaw can be repositioned forward or backward, or the jaw can be raised or lowered.
Certain movements may require the jaws to be separated, with bone added/removed to achieve the proper alignment and stability. Other facial bones that contribute to alignment may also be repositioned or augmented.
What is Recovery Like?
When you have completed surgery, you should be able to return to school or work within 1-2 weeks. After the necessary healing time (about 4–8 weeks), Dr. Grabowski will “fine-tune” your bite.
In most cases, braces are removed within 6-12 months following surgery. After your braces are removed, you will wear a retainer to maintain your beautiful new smile.