Corrective jaw, or orthognathic, surgery is performed by Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons to correct a wide range of skeletal and dental irregularities. While the patient's appearance may be dramatically enhanced as a result of their surgery, orthognathic surgery is performed to correct functional problems.
Who Needs Corrective Jaw Surgery?
People who may benefit from corrective jaw surgery include those with an improper bite resulting from misaligned teeth and/or jaws. In some cases, the upper and lower jaws may grow at different rates. Braces are placed prior to surgery to align the teeth and dental arches and will remain on for a short period of time after surgery to detail the final occlusion.
Evaluating Your Need for Corrective Jaw Surgery
Your dentist, orthodontist and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon will work together to determine whether you are a candidate for corrective jaw, or orthognathic surgery. The Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon determines which corrective jaw surgical procedure is appropriate and performs the actual surgery. Corrective jaw surgery may include surgery on one or both jaws. Below are some examples of the more common types of jaw surgery.
Correcting an Open Bite: Some of the bone in the upper tooth-bearing portion of the jaw is removed. The upper jaw is then secured in position with plates and screws.
Correcting a Protruding Lower Jaw: The bone in the rear portion of the jaw is separated from the front portion and modified so that the tooth-bearing portion of the lower jaw can be moved back for proper alignment.
Correcting a Receding Lower Jaw or "Weak Chin": The bone in the lower portion of the jaw is separated from its base and modified. The tooth-bearing portion of the lower jaw and a portion of the chin are repositioned forward.
Enjoy the Benefits
Corrective jaw surgery moves your teeth and jaws into positions that are more balanced, functional and healthy. Although the goal of this surgery is to improve your bite and function, most patients will experience enhancements to their appearance and speech. The results of corrective jaw surgery can have a dramatic and positive effect on many aspects of your life.