Corrective Jaw Surgery

What is Jaw Surgery?

Corrective jaw surgery, which is often called orthognathic surgery, is a procedure that aims to correct the alignment of the jaw. During the development of the facial skeleton, some patients have an asymmetrical growth in one or both jaws. This leads to jaws that don’t meet correctly or malocclusion, which is improper alignment of teeth within the jaws (underbite vs overbite). Long-term effects can create problems with chewing, speech, stress to our TMJ, affects sleep quality, and overall quality of life.

Surgery of the jaw is meant to correct these problems, bringing both the jaw and teeth into a more natural position. Jaw surgery can help in preventing problems like grinding, clenching and orthodontic complications.

Why Do I Need Jaw Surgery?

Evaluation for corrective jaw surgery is recommended to patients who have the following concerns:

  • Difficulty in chewing, biting or swallowing
  • Speech problems
  • Chronic jaw or TMJ pain
  • Open bite
  • Protruding jaw
  • Breathing problems

Any of these symptoms may exist at birth, be acquired after birth, as a result of hereditary or environmental influences, or as a result of trauma to the face.

If you have an underbite or overbite, this is a sign that the jaw is out of its correct alignment. The surgery helps to bring the jaw back into its correct position so that your teeth sit properly on top of each other.

patient with severe jaw pain before getting corrective jaw surgery from an oral surgeon

Who is a candidate for Jaw Surgery?

To determine if you might need jaw surgery, we will conduct an examination and take special dental x-rays. This will give us a clear view of how your jaw is aligned and the best way to go about correcting it. The surgery can be done on both pediatric as well as adult patients. It is never too late in life to consider orthognathic surgery to correct these problems.

The majority of cases involve collaboration with an orthodontist to help naturally align the teeth in proper position within the bone. Once the teeth are aligned, the surgeon will cut and move the bones into the correct anatomical position. This collaborative team effort will help to achieve your surgical goals.

What happens during Jaw Surgery?

Jaw surgery is done under general anesthesia. You will be completely asleep during the procedure to improve your level of comfort. We will realign the jaw into the correct position and then use retainers or braces to keep it in place. You will need to come back into the office regularly throughout the recovery process so that we can make sure the area is healing properly. You may need to have the braces or retainers removed after the jaw has been given time to heal in its new position. Jaw surgery is ideal for patients who have issues with bruxism, TMJ dysfunction, and even sleep apnea.

If you would like to learn more about jaw surgery and how it is performed, call our dental office today to speak with one of our trained and highly professional team members.