What is Corrective Jaw Surgery and When is it Recommended ?
Several types of issues with the bite or the alignment of the teeth can be corrected using modern methods of dental and orthodontic treatment. In some cases, however, skeletal and dental irregularities aren’t able to be addressed completely even with the most up-to-date non-surgical techniques. That’s the reason corrective jaw surgery (also called orthognathic surgery) is often recommended.
Orthognathic surgery treats and corrects abnormalities of the facial bones, specifically the jaws and the teeth. Often, these abnormalities cause difficulty associated with chewing, talking, sleeping and other routine activities. Orthognathic surgery corrects problems involving routine activities such as chewing, talking, sleeping and other routine activities. With orthodontic treatment, corrective jaw surgery will improve the overall appearance of the facial profile.
While it may seem like a complicated and difficult treatment, jaw surgery isn’t always such a serious undertaking. It’s often performed as a routine in-office procedure such as when extracting impacted wisdom teeth or placing dental implants in the jaw. Jaw surgery can also be used to fix serious malocclusions involving the relationship between the teeth and jaws, including the correction of underbites and congenital abnormalities (birth defects) related to jaw development. It can even help alleviate sleep apnea, which is a potentially life-threatening condition
After a thorough examination, it can be determined if you’re a candidate for orthognathic surgery. In general, if orthodontic treatment can solve the problem, that’s where you will start. Although orthodontics can successfully align the teeth, however, it’s sometimes the jaws themselves that need to be brought into an improved position.
Conditions that can be successfully treated with corrective orthognathic surgery include the following:
- Facial traumaCongenital defects such as a cleft palate
- Malocclusions (bite problems) resulting from underbites or severe overbites
- Inability to make the lips meet without straining
- Chronic mouth breathing and dry mouth
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea, when more conservative methods fail
- Difficulty swallowing, chewing, or biting food
- Open bite, protruding jaw or receding chin
- Chronic jaw or jaw joint (TMJ) pain and headache
- Unbalanced facial appearance from the front or side
The surgery itself may occur in a hospital or an office setting under anesthesia while a soft or liquid diet may be recommended for a period of time following the procedure. Following surgery, your healing and condition will be closely monitored through each phase of your treatment plan moving forward. When it’s complete, you can enjoy the benefits of improved functionality and an enhanced appearance.