Severe orthodontic problems may require more radical treatment options to correct them. Susan Baloul, DMD, MS, DScD, a dual-trained specialist in orthodontics and periodontics, recommends orthognatic surgery to people living in and around Boston, Norwood, Brookline and Framingham, MA. Orthognatic surgery is used to correct more severe orthodontic issues prior to receiving more traditional orthodontic treatments.

What is Orthognatic Surgery?

Orthognatic surgery, also orthodontic surgery, deals with correcting more severe jaw problems including malocclusion, bite pattern issues or impediments with facial bones. This surgery improves patient appearance and any issues related to how they speak and breathe. It is done on its own or as part of a complete orthodontic treatment.

Why Do I Need Orthognatic Surgery?

If you have jaw pain from popping or chewing, or suffer unexplained chronic headaches, orthognatic surgery may be the answer to correct these issues. While braces correct a myriad of issues along with straightening teeth, severe issues related to the jaws may require a more intensive treatment such as orthognatic surgery. Dr. Baloul can help determine if you need surgery prior to braces.

How Does Orthognatic Surgery Work?

Orthognatic surgery is performed by an oral surgeon specializing in maxillofacial surgery. Dr. Baloul partners with area oral surgeons qualified to perform surgery on her patients. Many patients have orthognatic surgery prior to wearing braces, while others may begin orthodontic treatment first.

The surgery is based on each patient’s issues, and the extent of those issues will determine the length of the surgery. It may be as simple as realigning the jaw or as complex as cutting bones to better fit with complementing bones.

How is the Recovery from Orthognatic Surgery?

Following orthognatic surgery, patients are usually required to rest for a couple of weeks to allow the treated area to heal. After that, they may return to school or work, but the jaw usually take up to six weeks to fully heal. Dr. Baloul monitors the healing progress following the surgery to ensure there are no further issues. If patients have braces, adjustments continue to be made until the treatment is complete.

Am I a Good Candidate for Orthognatic Surgery?

The most important factor is that patients must have finished growing before they are eligible for orthognatic surgery. Most male patients must be at least 18 years old, while female patients are 16 or older. If a younger patient requires orthognatic surgery, alternative treatments are recommended until they are old enough for surgery.

How Much Does Orthognatic Surgery Cost?

The cost of orthognatic surgery varies with each patient depending on the objective of the surgery and how extensive the issue is. We work with the oral surgeon to discuss the costs as well as payment and financing options. Because orthognatic surgery may be considered medically necessary, many health or dental insurance plans provide coverage to offset some of the cost. We can help you determine whether your health and dental plans provide any coverage for you.

Susan Baloul, DMD, MS, DScD, is a dual-trained specialist in orthodontics and periodontics at Elegant Orthodontics. Dr. Baloul works with oral surgeons who perform orthognatic surgery on people living in Boston, Brookline, Norwood, Framingham, MA and the surrounding communities to correct jaw problems and ensure the success of orthodontics. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.