What is Jaw Surgery?
Orthognathic surgery (Jaw Surgery) is a surgical correction of the skeletal anomalies or malformations involving the mandible (lower jaw) or the maxilla (upper jaw). These malformations may be present at birth or they become evident as the patient grows and develops. These jaw malformations will manifest themselves by your teeth not properly occluding against each other.
Surgical Orthodontic treatment is comprised of two phases:
1- Your orthodontist in consultation with your surgeon will apply braces and straighten your teeth. During this phase your occlusion may actually worsen as your teeth are being positioned to perfectly fit against the opposite dentition following surgery.
2- Once your teeth have straightened then corrective jaw surgery repositions misaligned jaws and assures correct occlusion of teeth. This procedure not only improves facial appearance, but also ensures that teeth meet correctly and function properly.
Who Needs Orthognathic Surgery?
People who can benefit from orthognathic surgery include those with an improper bite or jaws that are positioned incorrectly. Jaw growth is a gradual process and in some instances, the upper and lower jaws may grow at different rates. The result can be a host of problems that can affect chewing function, speech, long-term oral health and appearance. Injury to the jaw and birth defects can also affect jaw alignment. Orthodontics alone can correct bite problems when only the teeth are involved. However, teeth can only be moved a certain amount. Orthognathic surgery may be required for correction of larger discrepancies. If you are a candidate for Corrective Jaw Surgery, our surgeons will work closely with your physician, dentist and orthodontist during your treatment. The actual surgery will move your teeth and jaws into a new position that results in a more attractive, functional and healthy dental-facial relationship.
Orthognathic Surgery Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of orthognathic surgery, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to orthognathic surgery are discussed.
Difficulty in the following areas should be evaluated:
- Difficulty in chewing, biting or swallowing
- Speech problems
- Chronic jaw or TMJ pain
- Open bite
- Protruding jaw
- Breathing problems
Any of these symptoms can exist at birth, be acquired after birth as a result of hereditary or environmental influences or as a result of trauma to the face. Before any treatment begins, a consultation will be held to perform a complete examination with radiographs. During the pre-treatment consultation process, feel free to ask any questions that you have regarding your treatment. When you are fully informed about the aspects of your care, you and your dental team will make the decision to proceed with treatment together.