Learn How Corrective Jaw Surgery Can Help You
Corrective jaw, or orthognathic, surgery is performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons in conjunction with your Denver orthodontist to correct a wide range of minor and major skeletal and dental irregularities, including the misalignment of jaws and teeth, which, in turn, can improve chewing, speaking, and breathing. While the patient’s appearance may be dramatically enhanced as a result of their surgery, orthognathic surgery is performed to correct functional problems.
Who Needs Corrective Jaw Surgery?
People who may benefit from corrective jaw surgery include those with an improper bite resulting from misaligned teeth and/or jaws. In some cases, the upper and lower jaws may grow at different rates. Injuries and birth defects may also affect jaw alignment. While orthodontics can usually correct bite or “occlusion” problems when only the teeth are misaligned, corrective jaw surgery may also be necessary to correct the misalignment of the jaws.
Evaluating Your Needs For Corrective Jaw Surgery
Your dentist, orthodontist, and oral and maxillofacial surgeon will work together to determine whether you are a candidate for corrective jaw surgery. The oral and maxillofacial surgeon determines which corrective jaw surgical procedure is appropriate and performs the actual surgery. It is important to understand that your treatment, which will probably include orthodontics before and after surgery, may take several years to complete. Your oral and maxillofacial surgeon and orthodontist understand that this is a long-term commitment for you and your family. They will try to realistically estimate the time required for your treatment.
Corrective jaw surgery may reposition all or part of the upper jaw, lower jaw, and chin. When you are fully informed about your case and your treatment options, you and your dental team will determine the course of treatment that is best for you.
What Is Involved In Corrective Jaw Surgery?
Before your surgery, orthodontic braces move the teeth into a new position. Because your teeth are being moved into a position that will fit together after surgery, you may at first think your bite is getting worse rather than better. When your oral and maxillofacial surgeon repositions your jaws during surgery, however, your teeth should fit together properly. As your pre-surgical orthodontic treatment nears completion, additional or updated records, including x-rays, pictures, and models of your teeth, may be taken to help guide your surgery.
Depending on the procedure, corrective jaw surgery may be performed under general anesthesia in a hospital, an ambulatory surgical center, or in the oral and maxillofacial surgery office. Surgery may take from one to several hours to complete.
Your oral and maxillofacial surgeon will reposition the jawbones in accordance with your specific needs. In some cases, the bone may be added, taken away, or reshaped. Surgical plates, screws, wires, and rubber bands may be used to hold your jaw in its new position. Incisions are usually made inside the mouth to reduce visible scarring; however, some cases do require small incisions outside of the mouth. When this is necessary, care is taken to minimize their appearance.
Enjoy The Benefits
Corrective jaw surgery moves your teeth and jaws into positions that are more balanced, functional, and healthy. Although the goal of this surgery is to improve your bite and function, some patients also experience enhancements to their appearance and speech. The results of corrective jaw surgery can have a dramatic and positive effect on many aspects of your life. Make the most of the new you!