Zurcher Orthodontics

Surgical Orthodontics: What You Need to Know

Orthodontic treatment has existed for centuries, with evidence of early forms dating back to ancient Egypt. However, the field of orthodontics has seen significant advances in recent years, particularly in surgical orthodontics.


Surgical orthodontics, or orthognathic surgery, is a specialized treatment that can combine orthodontics and oral surgery to correct severe cases of jaw misalignment and facial asymmetry. While traditional orthodontic methods can address many common bite issues, surgical orthodontics may be necessary for more complex cases.


If you are considering surgical orthodontic treatment, here is what you need to know.


What Conditions Can Surgical Orthodontics Address?

We might recommend surgical orthodontic treatment for patients with a significant discrepancy between their upper and lower jaws, known as a skeletal jaw discrepancy. This discrepancy can result in problems such as an overbite, underbite, crossbite, or open bite.


Additionally, surgical orthodontics can address facial asymmetry caused by jaw misalignment and improve airway function for patients with obstructive sleep apnea.


The Process of Surgical Orthodontics

The first step in surgical orthodontics is an evaluation. Our team can assess your case, determine the best treatment plan, and discuss potential risks and benefits.

Before the surgery, you might undergo orthodontic treatment to prepare your teeth for the surgical procedure. This may involve wearing braces, retainers, or other appliances to align your teeth and create a proper bite.


The oral surgeon will then perform the surgical procedure, which involves making incisions in the jawbones and repositioning them with specialized tools. Sometimes, bone grafts may be necessary to support the new jaw position.


After the surgery, you can continue with orthodontic treatment in Draper, Utah, to fine-tune your bite and ensure proper tooth alignment. Depending on your individual case, this phase can take anywhere from six months to a year or more.


Recovery and Results

Recovering from surgical orthodontics typically takes about two weeks, during which you may experience swelling, bruising, and discomfort. Your oral surgeon will provide instructions on caring for your mouth and managing any pain or discomfort.


It is important to note that while surgical orthodontics can significantly improve jaw alignment and facial symmetry, the results are not immediate. The bones can take several months to heal and fully adapt to their new position. Additionally, continued orthodontic treatment may be necessary to ensure long-term stability and maintain proper tooth alignment.


Is Surgical Orthodontics Right for You?

Deciding whether to undergo surgical orthodontic treatment is a personal decision you should make in consultation with your orthodontist and oral surgeon. They will consider factors such as the severity of your case, your age and overall health, and any potential risks involved.

It is also essential to have realistic expectations for the outcome of surgical orthodontics. While it can significantly improve jaw alignment and facial appearance, it may not eliminate all bite issues or result in a perfectly symmetrical face.


Potential Risks and Complications

As with any surgical procedure, surgical orthodontics has potential risks and complications. These may include infection, bleeding, nerve damage, or adverse reactions to anesthesia.

To minimize the risk of complications, it is crucial to carefully follow all pre-and post-operative instructions provided by your oral surgeon. Additionally, be sure to keep your orthodontist and oral surgeon informed of any changes in your health or medications you are taking.


Surgical Orthodontics in Draper and West Jordan

Surgical orthodontics is a specialized treatment that can significantly improve jaw alignment and facial appearance for patients with severe cases of skeletal jaw discrepancy. It can involve collaboration between an orthodontist and an oral surgeon.


While it may involve a more extended treatment process and potential risks, surgical orthodontics can have life-changing results for those who require it. If you are considering this type of treatment, consult Dr. Bill Zurcher to determine if it is the right option. Zurcher Orthodontics can help you achieve a healthy, functional bite and a confident smile with proper care and follow-up treatment. Please request an appointment now using our online scheduling system!

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