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Surgical orthodontics, or orthognathic surgery, corrects severe orthodontic issues involving the jaw and bite that cannot be resolved with braces alone. This treatment is often necessary for adults whose jaws have stopped growing, typically after age 16 for females and 18 for males. The surgery, performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in a hospital setting, aligns the jaw properly, allowing the teeth to be moved into their correct positions with braces post-surgery.

Before considering surgery, your orthodontist will determine if it’s needed based on the alignment and severity of your jaw issues. The procedure itself can last several hours and includes a recovery period of about two weeks, during which time rest is crucial. Risks exist, as with any major surgery, but orthognathic surgery is a well-established practice with significant benefits.

Post-surgery, braces are typically worn for 6 to 12 months, followed by retainers to maintain the new alignment. The ultimate reward is a functional, aesthetically pleasing smile that enhances both dental health and self-esteem.