Surgical Orthodontics

What are Surgical Orthodontics?

At Magnuson Orthodontics, we go way beyond just straightening teeth. Our treatment planning includes evaluation of facial balance, skeletal harmony and periodontal health. Once we create a great smile, we want it to be stable and long-lasting. Sometimes, facial proportions and jaw growth are out of balance. This can impact one’s facial appearance and function. Jaw surgery in conjunction with orthodontics may be necessary to fully correct these severe skeletal discrepancies. Dr. Magnuson works with an oral surgeon to plan treatment in these cases. The results are pretty amazing and life changing.

What is involved in the Surgery itself?

Jaw surgery techniques have been improved to give predictable results with less patient discomfort. The technique of wiring the jaws together is rarely used today. The jaws are held in position with a technique called rigid fixation. This enables the patient to open and close immediately following surgery. The patient is placed under general anesthesia in an operating room environment. The post-operative recovery period varies. Most patients are treated on an out-patient basis or stay overnight in the hospital. The oral surgeon will give you detailed information regarding the surgical procedures. They will also discuss the general risks of surgery and anesthesia.

What is the recovery period?

It is best to plan to be away from work or school for two weeks. School age patients may wish to schedule the surgery during a long vacation period. Eating is altered for the first few weeks due to limited opening and swelling. Facial swelling is to be expected and will dissipate for the most part during the first month following surgery. The oral surgeon will discuss other potential symptoms that may occur during the recovery period.

Are my braces removed for the surgery?

Braces are generally in place for 8-16 months prior to the jaw surgery. The braces are used to prepare the tooth arches so that they fit together when the jaws are repositioned. The braces remain in place during the jaw surgery. The braces are again adjusted following the jaw surgery. Braces are usually in place for another 6-10 months following the surgery. During the final stages of orthodontic treatment, you will be expected to wear rubber bands that attach to your braces. This helps to control your healing and final bite relationship.

What should I expect after the braces come off?

Just like any other patient, you will be expected to wear retainers after your braces are removed. Teeth will shift if retainers are not worn consistently. It is very important that you follow through with retainer wear, due to the severity of your original bite problems. We will continue to see you for retainer check-ups for at least 18 mo. after your braces are removed.