Surgical orthodontics, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a type of orthodontic treatment used to correct severe orthodontic problems that include bad bites, jaw bone abnormalities, and malocclusion. Oral and maxillofacial surgery is one of the nine recognized dental specialties, and it focuses on treating complex craniofacial cases that involve the mouth, jaw, face, and skull.

If you need surgical orthodontics, Dr. Gibson will work with a highly skilled  oral and maxillofacial surgeon to ensure that you receive the very best care possible. Dr. Gibson has designed and facilitated orthognatic surgery treatment for many hundreds of patients over the last 25 years and he has extensive expertise with the management of these patients. The outcomes are transformational and amazing for these patients!

When might surgical orthodontics be needed?

Surgical orthodontics may be used to treat adults with improper bites, compromised airways (sleep apnea), or aesthetic concerns. Patients seek orthognathic surgery when their bite cannot be corrected with orthodontic treatment only, when they need the airway opened to correct sleep apnea, or when they would like facial aesthetic  improvement. Often it is a combination of all of these things. Orthognathic surgery will help properly align the jaw, and orthodontic braces will then be used to move the teeth into their proper position.

How do I know if I need orthognathic surgery?

Dr. Gibson can tell you if orthognathic surgery should be considered as part of your treatment design. Depending on the severity of your case, the alignment of your jaw, and your esthetic goals, you may or may not need surgery.

How does orthognathic surgery work?

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon will perform your orthognathic surgery, and the surgery will take place in a hospital. Things have changed tremendously in the last 15 years. Dr. Gibson uses the most current oro-facial digital imaging technologies with the oral surgeon and surgical computer technician to very accurately simulate the facial surgical design prior to surgery. This allows for 3D custom priniting of all surgical  components, a greatly reduced  time in the operating room, significantly more accurate surgeries, and a much shorter and more comfortable recovery for the patient. Once the surgery is complete, you will have about 10-14 day  recovery period before resuming light to moderate activities. Since orthognathic surgery is a major treatment, we recommend that you schedule some time away from work and school during the healing process. After your jaw has healed, your orthodontist will once again “fine-tune” your bite. Braces are typically worn before, during and after the surgery with the average patient completing orthodnotic treatment 9 months after surgery. In some cases, surgery can be performed with Invisalign instead of braces. After your braces are removed, you will wear a retainer to help maintain your new smile.

What are the risks associated with orthognathic surgery?

As with any major medical surgery, there may be certain risks of having orthognathic surgery. However, the process of orthognathic surgery is not new, has been performed for many years in practices and hospitals, and techniques  and technologies have decresed the risk associated with the surgery. If you're concerned about an upcoming treatment with orthognathic surgery, please contact our practice and let us know. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have, and provide you with any additional information. Your comfort is important to us.

What are the rewards of having orthognathic surgery?

For many patients, the most important reward of having orthognathic surgery is achieving a more balanced and esthetic facial structure with a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. Whether you need orthodontic treatment to correct a bad bite, jaw abnormality, of for esthetic facial enhancement, orthognathic surgery can help restore your confidence and leave you smiling for many years to come.