Surgical Orthodontics (Orthognathic Surgery)
When orthodontics alone is not enough to align the upper and lower teeth into proper relationship a combination treatment of orthodontics and jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery) is performed. This is a team effort between Dr. Anderson and one of a number of very qualified oral surgeons. This method of treatment almost always involves placing braces on the teeth for 12-18 months prior to the surgery. Orthognathic surgery places the jaws in better position to improve your ability to chew, speak, and breath. Jaw surgery can also improve your facial appearance by placing the jaws in a better relationship with each other and with the rest of your face.
Candidates for surgical orthodontics are patients whose specific orthodontic needs are beyond the scope of orthodontics alone. Usually these patients suffer from extremely bad occlusion (very poorly fitting teeth) due to poor jaw development, injury, or trauma. Surgical orthodontics is usually performed on patients who are done growing which is typically after 16 years of age for girls and after 18 years of age for boys.
After it has been determined by Dr. Anderson that a patient is a good candidate for orthognathic surgery, a surgical consultation is done with a qualified oral and maxillofacial surgeon. The surgical office explains the risks and benefits of surgery and prior-authorizes the surgical procedure with your medical insurance company. Once your insurance company has authorized the procedure, Dr. Anderson places braces on the teeth to move the teeth into the proper position. Braces are usually worn for 12-18 months prior to the surgery. The surgery is done under general anesthesia by the oral surgeon in a hospital setting. Usually there is a one night stay in the hospital. After the jaws have been surgically moved, the teeth now fit together properly. The braces are in place during the time of surgery and usually for 12-14 months after the surgery so Dr. Anderson can perfect the bite.