Corrective Jaw Surgery
Orthognathic surgery is needed when the top and bottom jaws don’t meet correctly and/or teeth don’t adequately fit within the jaw. Teeth are straightened with orthodontics, and corrective jaw surgery repositions a misaligned jaw. This not only improves facial appearance, but also ensures that teeth meet correctly and function properly.
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.
Who needs orthognathic surgery?
People who can benefit from orthognathic surgery include those with an improper bite, or jaws that are positioned incorrectly. 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 may affect chewing function, speech, or 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
- Protruding jaw
- 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. 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.
Technology & Orthognathic Surgery
Dr. Rudman, Dr. Kazwell and Dr. Cho use modern computer-aided techniques and three-dimensional models to show you exactly how your surgery will be approached. Using comprehensive facial x-rays/CBCT and computer assisted virtual surgical planning, the surgical templates/guides are fabricated via 3-D printer under the guidance of the medical supply company engineers. After the surgical work up is complete, the doctors can provide you with projected skeletal re-positioned images. Thus using this technique the proposed surgical planning can be accurately transferred to the operating room. This process helps you understand the surgical process and the extent of the proposed treatment.
If you are a candidate for corrective jaw surgery, Drs. Rudman, Kazwell or Cho 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.
What to Expect
- Corrective jaw surgery is a significant intervention requiring many months of preparation.
- The surgery is performed in the hospital and can last between two to six hours.
- Hospital stay is usually one day.
- Braces are maintained during surgery and may need to be removed six to twelve months after surgery.
- The greatest impact of orthognathic surgery is the recovery phase.
- Patients typically may be off work/school from two weeks to one month after surgery.
- Return to normal chewing function may take 2 months and full physical function can take about 3 months.
- Our goal is to ensure you are well taken care of during and after surgery.
- Usual follow ups include 1 week, 1 month, then 3 months, however more frequent visits can be recommended based on the need.