Orthognathic Surgery (Jaw Surgery)
Orthognathic surgery is needed when jaws don’t meet correctly and/or teeth don’t seem to fit with jaws. Teeth are straightened with orthodontics and corrective jaw surgery repositions a misaligned jaw. This not only improves the facial appearance but also ensures that teeth meet correctly and function properly.
Who Is Eligible for Jaw 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 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.
Symptoms that May Indicate Needing Jaw Surgery
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.
A Modern and Comprehensive Approach to Jaw Surgery
Dr. Wallen uses modern computer techniques and three-dimensional models to prepare for jaw surgery. Comprehensive facial x-rays and computer imaging facilitates the surgical process. Our goal is to help you understand the benefits of orthognathic surgery.
If you are a candidate for corrective jaw surgery, the surgeon will work closely with your orthodontist during treatment. The actual surgery can move your teeth and jaws into a new position that results in a more attractive, functional, and healthy dentofacial relationship.