Corrective jaw, or orthognathic, surgery is performed by an oral maxillofacial surgeon (OMS) to correct a wide range of minor and major skeletal and dental irregularities, including the misalignment of jaws and teeth. Surgery can improve chewing, speaking and breathing. While the patient’s appearance may be dramatically enhanced as a result of their surgery, orthognathic surgery is performed to correct functional problems.
Conditions that may indicate the need for corrective jaw surgery:
- • Difficulty chewing, or biting food
- • Difficulty swallowing
- • Chronic jaw or jaw joint (TMJ) pain and headache
- • Excessive wear of the teeth
- • Open bite (space between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed)
- • Unbalanced facial appearance from the front, or side
- • Facial injury
- • Birth defects
- • Receding lower jaw and chin
- • Protruding jaw
- • Inability to make the lips meet without straining
- • Chronic mouth breathing
- • Sleep apnea (breathing problems when sleeping, including snoring)
Dr. Davis will work closely with your OMS to determine whether you are a candidate for corrective jaw, or orthognathic, surgery. The OMS determines which corrective jaw surgical procedure is appropriate and performs the actual surgery. It is important to understand that your treatment, which will probably include orthodontics before and after surgery, may take several years to complete. Your OMS and Dr. Davis understand that this is a long-term commitment for you and your family, and will try to realistically estimate the time required for your treatment.
Correction of an Open Bite:
Some of the bone in the upper tooth-bearing portion of the jaw is removed. The upper jaw in then secured in position with plate and screws.
Correction of 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.
Correction of 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.