Orthognathic Surgery (Jaw Surgery)
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained, skilled and uniquely qualified to perform jaw surgery and treat facial trauma. Teeth injuries, by their very nature, impart a high degree of emotional, as well as physical trauma to patients.
The science and art of treating these injuries require special training involving a “hands-on” experience and an understanding of how the treatment provided will influence the patient’s long term function and appearance.
- Facial lacerations
- Intra-oral lacerations
- Avulsed (knocked out) teeth
- Fractured facial bones (cheek, nose or eye socket)
- Fractured jaws (upper and lower jaw)
Just as “orthodontics” refers to straightening the teeth, “orthognathic” refers to straightening the jaw.
Orthognathic surgery is needed when the upper and lower jaw does not meet correctly and/or teeth are overcrowded due to insufficient jawbone space. Corrective jaw surgery repositions a misaligned jaw. This not only improves facial appearance but also ensures that teeth meet correctly and function properly.
Who Needs 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. Jaw surgery may be required for the jaws when repositioning in necessary.
Possible reasons for orthognathic surgery include:
- Injury to the jaw
- Poor alignment of the jaw
- Upper and lower teeth not meeting properly when you bite
- Problems or discomfort biting or chewing
- Difficulties with pronunciation due to poor jaw alignment
- Imbalances in facial appearance
- An overly large or small upper or lower jaw
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 dental treatment. When you are fully informed about the aspects of your dental care, you and your dental team can make the decision to proceed with treatment together.
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Technology & Orthognathic Surgery
Our dental surgeons use modern computer techniques and three-dimensional models to show you exactly how they will approach your orthognathic surgery. Using comprehensive facial x-rays and computer video imaging, we can show 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.
“Our dental surgeons use modern computer techniques and three-dimensional models to show you exactly how they will approach your surgery.”
If you are a candidate for corrective jaw surgery, one of our dentists will work closely with you and an orthodontist during your treatment. The actual jaw surgery can move your teeth and jaws into a new position that results in a more attractive, functional, and healthy dental-facial relationship.