Orthognathic Surgery (Jaw Surgery)
Orthognathic surgery is often needed when jaws don’t meet correctly and/or teeth don’t seem to fit within theirjaws. Teeth are straightened with orthodontics and corrective jaw surgery repositionsthe misaligned jaws. This not only improves facial appearance, but also that teeth meet correctly and function properly.
Who Needs Orthognathic Surgery?
People who can benefit from orthognathic surgery include those with an improper bite or jaws that are not positioned correctly. Jaw growth is a gradual process and in some instances, the upper and lower jaws may grow at different rates. The result can be a host of problems that can affect chewing function, speech, long-term oral health and appearance. Injury to the jaw and birth defects can also affect jaw alignment. Orthodontics alone can correct bite problems when only the teeth are involved. Orthognathic surgery may be required for the jaws when repositioning is necessary.
Difficulty in the following areas should be evaluated:
- Difficulty in chewing, biting or swallowing
- Speech problems
- Chronic jaw or TMJ pain
- Open bite (upper teeth not contacting lower teeth correctly)
- Protruding jaw (upper or lower)
- Breathing problems
Any of these symptoms can exist at birth, be acquired after birth as a result of hereditary or environmental influences, or as a result of trauma to the face. Before any treatment begins, a consultation will be held to perform a complete examination with x-rays and usually dental casts of the upper and lower jaws). During the pre-treatment consultation process, feel free to ask any questions that you have regarding your treatment. When you are fully informed about the aspects of your care, you and your dental team can make the decision to proceed with treatment together.
Orthognathic Surgery Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of orthognathic surgery, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to orthognathic surgery are discussed.
Technology & Orthognathic Surgery
Drs. Swearingen and Breit use modern computer techniques and three-dimensional models to show you exactly how your surgery will be approached. Using comprehensive facial x-rays, we can attempt toshow you how your bite will be improved and even give you an idea of how you’ll look after surgery. This helps you understand the surgical process and the extent of the treatment prescribed. Our goal is to help you understand the benefits of orthognathic surgery.
If you are a candidate for corrective jaw surgery, Drs. Swearingen and Breit will work closely with your dentist and orthodontist during your treatment. The actual surgery can move your teeth and jaws into a new position that results in a more attractive, functional, and healthy dental-facial relationship.