Corrective jaw surgery is completed by Maxillofacial and Oral Surgeons in order to correct a wide variety of major and minor dental and skeletal irregularities. For example, surgery may be performed to correct misalignment of the teeth and jaws, offering improvement to breathing, speaking and chewing. Orthognathic surgery is utilized to correct numerous functional problems; however, it may drastically enhance the patientís physical appearance in the process.
The following issues may be indicative of corrective jaw surgery: Difficulty swallowing, biting food or chewing; excessive wear of the teeth; chronic TMJ headache and pain or jaw joint; and space between the lower and upper teeth when the mouth is closed, known as "open bite."
Other conditions such as a receding chin; birth defects or facial injury; a protruding jaw; an unbalanced facial appearance from the side, or front; sleep apnea or breathing problems such as snoring when sleeping; dry mouth and chronic mouth breathing; and the inability to make the lips meet without having to strain, can all potentially be addressed with corrective jaw surgery.
Who Needs Corrective Jaw Surgery?
Individuals who may benefit from having corrective jaw surgery include those who suffer from an improper bite resulting from misaligned jaws or teeth. Sometimes, the lower and upper jaws may grow at different rates. Jaw alignment may also be affected due to birth defects and injuries. Most often, orthodontics can correct any occlusion or bite issues when the teeth are not aligned properly. When the jaws are misaligned however, corrective jaw surgery may be required.
Evaluating Your Need for Corrective Jaw Surgery
Your Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon will work together with your orthodontist and your dentist to determine whether or not corrective jaw surgery or Orthognathic surgery will be beneficial in your particular circumstances. Many times, the treatment process may involve orthodontics prior and post- surgery. It is important to comprehend the entire treatment as it may take several years to complete. The Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon will decide which corrective surgical jaw procedure is appropriate and will be the one to perform the actual surgery. Your Surgeon and orthodontist know that this is a long term commitment for both you and your family and as such, will try to give you a realistic time line of how long the process may last.
The corrective jaw surgery procedure may reposition all or part of your chin, lower jaw and upper jaw. When you are fully educated about your mouth and your specific treatment options, you will be able to work with your dental team to determine which course of treatment is your best option.
Corrective jaw surgery repositions your jaws and your teeth into positions that are more functional, balanced and healthier. Some patients experience benefits as far as their speech and appearance goes, even though the goal of this surgery is to improve your overall function and bite and is not strictly for aesthetic purposes. Undergoing corrective jaw surgery can have many positive and dramatic effects on various aspects of your life.