Surgical Orthodontics

in Columbia, SC

Surgical orthodontics, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a type of orthodontic treatment used to correct severe cases 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, your orthodontist will work with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to ensure that you receive the best care possible.
Surgical Orthodontics

When might surgical orthodontics be needed?

Surgical orthodontics may be used to treat adults with improper bites or other aesthetic concerns. Typically, jaw growth stops by age 16 in females and 18 in males. In order to receive orthognathic surgery, the jaw must be done growing. The need for surgical orthodontics occurs when the jaws do not line up correctly, and a proper bite cannot be achieved with orthodontic treatment alone. 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?

Your orthodontist can tell you if orthognathic surgery is needed as part of your treatment. Depending on the severity of your case and the alignment of your jaw, 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. Orthognathic surgery can take several hours depending on each individual case. Once the surgery is complete, you will have about a two-week rest period. 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. After surgery, you will have to wear braces, and most braces are removed within six to 12 months following surgery. 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, and it has been performed for many years in practices and hospitals. 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 beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. Whether you need orthodontic treatment to correct a bad bite, malocclusion, or jaw abnormality, orthognathic surgery can help restore your confidence and leave you smiling with confidence for many years to come.

Invisalign Vs. Braces

Here’s a brief comparison between Invisalign and traditional braces:


Both Invisalign and braces are effective in correcting misaligned teeth. However, Invisalign may not be suitable for more complex cases that require extensive orthodontic treatment.


Braces can be easily noticeable, whereas Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible.


With traditional braces, brackets and wires may cause discomfort and irritation, while Invisalign aligners are smooth and comfortable.


In general, Invisalign treatment may cost slightly more compared to traditional braces. However, the cost may vary depending on your individual case and treatment plan.

Convenience and Maintenance

Invisalign aligners are removable, making it easy to maintain oral hygiene and enjoy your favorite foods without any restrictions. Braces require special care and may limit food choices.

Surgical Orthodontics

What Happens After Your Invisalign Treatment?

After you complete your Invisalign treatment, the next steps are essential to maintain the alignment of your teeth. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Removal of Aligners. Removing aligners from Invisalign after treatment is usually painless and can be completed in under 20 minutes.
  • Wearing Retainers. Once your aligners are removed, you’ll need to wear retainers. These can be fixed or removable. A fixed retainer is a thin, metal wire glued to the back of your teeth. This permanent solution takes away the risk of you losing your retainer. However, some patients might prefer a removable retainer that they can take off when eating or brushing. The retainers are crucial to prevent your teeth from returning to their original positions. You are usually asked to wear your retainers for at least 22 hours a day or as your orthodontist recommends.
  • Period of Adjustment. It usually takes around 12 months after your last Invisalign trays for the jawbone to fully deposit around the aligned teeth, making them stable.
  • Regular Check-Ups. Regular visits to your orthodontist are required to ensure that everything is going as planned and your teeth are maintaining their new positions.

Remember, every patient’s journey is different, and these steps may vary depending on individual needs and circumstances. Always follow your orthodontist’s advice for the best results.

Learn How Washington Orthodontics Can Help You Achieve a Healthy, Straight Smile With Invisalign

At Washington Orthodontics, we understand the importance of a confident smile. Our father-son team of experienced orthodontists is dedicated to providing quality Invisalign treatment in Columbia, SC. We aim to help patients achieve their dream smiles through quality Invisalign treatment.

Contact us today to schedule your consultation!

Surgical Orthodontics