When the upper and lower jaws do not meet properly, patients may have difficulty chewing and develop discomfort associated with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Malocclusions, such as overbites and underbites also have a detrimental effect on the smile’s appearance.
These problems may originate as a result of growth and development, or the malocclusion may be congenital. Facial trauma may also affect the bite. Regardless of the cause, oral surgery can help to correct the problem, improve the jaw’s functioning and enhance the patient’s self-esteem.
Corrective jaw surgery, which is also called orthognathic surgery, can address a number of such defects in the jaw. In performing this type of procedure, the oral surgeon may remove excess bone in the maxilla or mandible or make other adjustments to the positioning of the jaws as needed.
Orthognathic surgery is often a component of an overarching orthodontic treatment plan, so your oral surgeon may collaborate with your orthodontist to determine the timing of the surgery and to develop the treatment goals. The orthodontist often works with the patient first to begin re-positioning the teeth, and the oral surgeon will get involved later to surgically adjust the jaw as needed.
Orthognathic surgery is particularly valuable in eliminating malocclusions in adult patients, whose jaws often cannot be manipulated through orthodontics alone, as growing jaws in children and teens can.
Some patients with simpler cases may be able to undergo orthognathic surgery in our office, while others with more complicated situations likely will need to have the procedure in a hospital or specialized surgical center.
Patients will have a smoother recovery if they know what to expect before and after the procedure, so be sure to work with your oral surgeon to make plans for self-care in advance of and following your scheduled surgery date.
While orthognathic surgery is a significant undertaking, patients gain many benefits from going through the process. They often find that their jaws are more efficient and effective for chewing, and patients who previously suffered from TMJ disorders may get relief from their symptoms. Orthognathic surgery often improves the smile’s appearance, as well.
Our oral surgeons have extensive experience in treating complex jaw problems requiring extensive interventions. Contact our office to schedule an initial evaluation and take advantage of our specialists’ expertise in orthognathic surgery.