Surgical orthodontics, also known as orthognathic surgery, most often involves an orthodontist and an oral surgeon. This surgery is needed when jaw irregularities cannot be corrected with traditional orthodontic devices. With surgical orthodontics, we can improve the appearance of the face and the patient’s ability to chew, speak, and breathe properly.
Children rarely need orthognathic surgery because we can accomplish the same goals by influencing the growth of the jaw as it develops. Because an adult’s jaws are fully formed, often the only way to correct problems with the bite or facial aesthetics are through surgical orthodontics.
Treatment starts with braces or Invisalign, which move the teeth prior to surgery. Dr. Wong works with an oral surgeon to plan treatment, then surgery repositions the upper jaw, lower jaw, or both, sometimes removing or augmenting the bone in the process. After surgery, orthodontic treatment continues for up to another year to fine-tune the teeth and bite.
Frequently Asked Questions About Interdisciplinary Dental Teams and Surgical Orthodontics
Is it possible for me to meet with all of the dental specialists involved in my treatment at the same time?
It’s rare for us to be able to coordinate an in-person meeting with multiple specialists, but we can often coordinate a call or video conference if needed.
Does insurance cover surgical orthodontics?
When surgical orthodontic treatment is medically necessary, it’s usually covered by dental insurance, health insurance, or sometimes even both. If you’re undergoing surgical orthodontic treatment for aesthetic reasons only, it is not covered by insurance.
What is reverse orthodontics?
The first phase of treatment in surgical orthodontics is moving the teeth with braces. Your teeth are moved to where they should be located after your jaw surgery—in other words, they will look more misaligned in the first phase of treatment, but after your surgery, your teeth will be better aligned. Then, Dr. Wong will refine the positions of your teeth based on the new position of your jaw.
What can you do for impacted canine teeth?
When canine teeth are impacted, an oral surgeon or periodontist can perform a simple procedure to expose them. Then, Dr. Wong can affix brackets to the teeth and gently pull them into alignment.