Orthognathic Surgery (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.
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. Doriot or Dr. Bayoumy uses modern computer-aided techniques and three-dimensional models to show you exactly how your surgery will be approached. 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 proposed treatment.
If you are a candidate for corrective jaw surgery, Dr. Doriot or Dr. Bayoumy 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 one to four hours.
- Hospital stays of one to three days are normal.
- 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
function may take one year.
- Our goal is to ensure you are well taken care of during and after surgery.
- Weekly appointments are required for up to two months after surgery.
Orthognathic surgery refers to surgical moving or repositioning one or both jawbones to a new position.
The Purpose of Orthognathic/Jaw Surgery:
- Improve facial cosmetics
- Correct malocclusion (your bite is off)
- Open your airway – make your breathing better
- Correct sleep apnea
- Align your teeth for corrective dentistry
A very tolerable procedure
- Done as an outpatient in our surgical suite vs. a hospital environment
- We have in-office financing
- Medical insurance may cover a part of your procedure
- Dental insurance may cover part of third molar removal
- Done from inside your mouth – no outside incisions
- You can open and close your mouth when you wake up
- Done as an in-office or hospital outpatient procedure
- Diet is soft foods for 6 weeks
- Minimal post-op pain
- Significant facial swelling for about 10-14 days
- Typically, 7-8 days off work or school
Am I a candidate for Orthognathic Surgery?
PEOPLE ARE CANDIDATES FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:
- Dental Malocclusion:
- Your teeth cannot be aligned by braces alone – your bite is too far off.
- Lining up the jawbone – either the upper, lower or both – will line up your teeth in a healthy and stable way.
- Facial Cosmetics
- People with gummy smiles, too short or long of a chin, narrow smiles and faces are candidates.
- A short chin can be greatly enhanced by bringing the chin forward, but also bringing both the upper and lower jaws forward and rotating them to provide a very significant improvement in the projection of your chin and face.
- Also – many people do not show their teeth when they smile and this can be corrected as well.
- Poor Airway causing sleep and breathing issues
Orthognathic surgery is the only surgical procedure that can improve the airway significantly and not require patient compliance afterwards.
Jaw surgery brings the jawbones forward, and pharyngeal tissues of the airway – mechanically opening up the airways.
Most of our patients that undergo this surgery can eliminate their CPAP usage, report significant improved cognitive function and improved cardiovascular function. Research also reports decreased risks of developing many age-related diseases such as dementia, diabetes, and erectile dysfunction (ED)
People who 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 only when the teeth are involved. Orthognathic surgery may be required for the jaws when repositioning is necessary.