Surgical orthodontics or orthognathic surgery, is used to correct severe cases that include jaw discrepancies (small or large jaw sizes) and bad bites (malocclusion) and badly positioned jaws. This specialized area of dentistry focuses on treating complex craniofacial cases that involve the mouth, jaw and face. If surgical orthodontics is indicated in your treatment process, Dr Keenan will work will an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to ensure that you receive the best possible care and treatment outcome.

When might surgical orthodontics be needed?

Surgical orthodontics may be needed if the jaws are not correctly aligned and a patient needs orthodontic treatment as an adult. Occasionally surgical orthodontics is required when a teenager has a severe jaw discrepancy. Usually jaw growth is completed at age 16 in females and age 18 in males. In some cases, a proper bite cannot be achieved with orthodontic treatment alone. Braces are needed to move the teeth into the proper position within the jaws and orthognathic surgery is then required to properly align the jaws in relation to each other.

How do I know if I need orthognathic surgery?

At the initial consultation with Keenan Orthodontics, x-rays of the teeth and jaws are taken along with photos of the teeth and face. Dr Keenan will then be able to indicate if orthognathic surgery is needed as part of your treatment. He will then work closely with the oral and maxillofacial surgeon to achieve the best possible outcome for your treatment.

How does orthognathic surgery work?

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon will perform your orthognathic surgery in a hospital. The length of the surgery will depend on the severity of your case and will typically take several hours. Recovery time will be approximately several weeks, during which time it is recommended to take a break from work, or school. After your jaw has sufficiently healed your orthodontist will once again ‘fine-tune’ your bite. You will have your braces in place before surgery, (while aligning teeth before surgery), during surgery for guidance of your jaws to the proper position by the surgeon at the time of surgery and after surgery while the orthodontist is fine-tuning your bite and smile before the braces are finally removed. After the braces are removed you will need to wear retainers to help maintain your new smile.

I’ve been a patient at Keenan orthodontics for three and a half years. I started my journey with a class III open bite. Peter and his staff were nothing but helpful and professional throughout my journey. I had double jaw surgery and Peter and staff were so understanding and patient with my recovery. I am absolutely thrilled with my final results. I would go through it all again if I had to just for the amazing end result I have. Thank you all so much!!! 

– Karla S.

Are there any risks associated with orthognathic surgery?

Orthognathic surgery is just like any medical surgery, so there are some risks involved. There will be swelling and discomfort just after the surgery and the risk of infection so therefore the use of pain medication, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics will be necessary. There is also the risk of altered sensation to touch in the area of the surgery where an area can be temporarily tingling or numb. In some cases this can be permanent. However the process of orthognathic surgery is not new and has been performed for many years. If you are concerned about any aspect of your upcoming 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.

What are the rewards of having orthognathic surgery?

For many patients, the most important reward of having orthognathic surgery is achieving a beautiful, healthy and functional smile that lasts a lifetime. Whether you need orthognathic surgery to correct a bad bite (malocclusion) or jaw abnormality, orthognathic surgery can help restore your confidence and leave you smiling with confidence for many years to come.

Keenan Orthodontics provides the highest quality orthodontic treatment. From stylish coloured braces to Invisalign, no matter what your orthodontic issue is, our team is here to help. We strive to provide caring and affordable orthodontics in a friendly environment, for all our patients, at our Galway and Castlebar offices.

We are committed to ensuring that every patient has an exceptional experience on their way to their dream smile.

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