What is Jaw Surgery?
Jaw surgery, known as orthognathic surgery, is a procedure that involves correcting the alignment of the jaw. In some patients, their upper or lower jaw does not meet properly. This can cause issues with the way they are able to bite, eat and chew. An improperly aligned jaw can even cause aesthetic problems for the patient. Jaw surgery aims to correct this alignment so that the upper and lower teeth meet correctly.
Why would Jaw Surgery be needed?
Jaw growth varies from one patient to another. In some cases, the upper and lower jaw even grow at different rates. Because of this, some patients have either an overbite or underbite that can affect their appearance and their ability to chew, eat and speak normally. Corrective jaw surgery is helpful when it comes to eliminating these problems and improving the shape of the face. The surgery can even be helpful when it comes to eliminating or preventing TMJ-related pain and discomfort.
Who is a candidate for Jaw Surgery?
Jaw surgery involves weeks to months of careful preparation. X-rays, examination and consultations are needed to ensure that jaw surgery will be necessary and how to properly prepare for the procedure itself. Patients who have under and overbites that cannot be corrected with orthodontics will benefit the most from orthognathic surgery. Patients who have had an accident, facial trauma or whose jaw positioning is caused by a birth defect will also benefit from surgery.
What happens during Jaw Surgery?
The first step is to have a thorough consultation. This consult will include advanced 3D imaging so that we can properly create a treatment plan just for you. We will show you what to expect during surgery and what you can expect afterwards once orthognathic surgery is complete. The procedure itself will typically take place in a hospital setting. We work to carefully realign the jaw into proper position and will use braces and retainers to keep the jaw in place while it heals. These retainers and braces may need to be removed at a later time once the healing process is finished. Regular checkup visits are essential during the recovery process so that we can be sure the jaw is healing correctly.
If you're interested in learning more about jaw surgery and how it is performed, call our office today to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members.