What Is Jaw Corrective Surgery?
Jaw corrective surgery, or orthognathic surgery, is a surgical procedure that involves the movement of the upper or lower jaw – or both! The surgery aims to lengthen, shorten, or reposition the location of the bone to create a more attractive appearance and improve the bite.
While it’s typical to first turn to orthodontics for bite correction, a patient with a misaligned jawbone may never reach a satisfactory result. This is because the problem lies in the bone structure rather than the alignment of the teeth.
Jaw corrective surgery focuses on the entire facial anatomy, and our team constructs a plan that smooths the facial appearance while creating a resting bite that feels comfortable and properly distributes bite force.
Who Needs Jaw Corrective Surgery?
Patients of any age may suffer from jaw misalignment and require surgery to correct it. However, we only suggest this procedure be performed on adults; if the jaw condition is severely troubling to a child or teenager, orthodontic appliances may be helpful to manage issues until surgery can be performed (this is depending on the position of the jaw and the magnitude of any troubling symptoms).
We do not perform this surgery on younger patients because the jaw and facial structure is still developing well into the late teen years. Performing surgery prematurely may hinder the natural growth process of the jawbone and cause further concerns in the future. Additionally, many jaw problems do not even become apparent until the last years of growth; as the bone development does not always coincide with the other, this can result in one jaw being more or less pronounced than the other at the end of its growth.
Patients experiencing any of the following difficulties or conditions may need jaw corrective surgery:
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- TMJ pain
- Breathing problems
- Sleep apnea
- Facial misalignment (lack of symmetry)
- Open bite
While many of these problems may occur over time as the jaw develops, some patients are born with anatomy that necessitates jaw surgery. Traumatic injuries, such as crashes or facial fractures, sometimes require jaw surgery as well.
Bringing Out The Best In Your Surgical Experience
At Clark Oral & Facial Surgery, we recognize that no one is particularly excited about the idea of having surgery. That’s why we work hard to bring the best experience to every patient that needs a procedure at our practice! We recognize that you may be nervous, unsettled, or even a bit scared going into this, and it’s incredibly important that you feel relaxed and comforted.
Our team makes YOU the priority by answering all of your questions, soothing your fears and worries, and taking time to make you feel confident before we begin. Even after surgery, we are here to guide you through the recovery process – that way, you can enjoy all the wonders of a healthy smile and jaw once treatment is complete! Call our office today to learn more!