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Corrective Jaw Surgery for Skeletal and Dental Irregularities
Corrective jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a procedure specifically performed to correct a range of dental or skeletal irregularities. Corrective jaw surgery should be performed by a trusted oral and maxillofacial surgeon for the best results. You may need this kind of surgery if you have a misaligned jaw, problems chewing and speaking, or general functional issues or discomfort related to jaw placement or jaw joint problems.
Symptoms of Jaw Irregularities
If you experience any of the following symptoms or conditions, you may have jaw irregularities that require corrective jaw surgery. Corrective jaw surgery can lead to a happier life free of daily nuisances related to the irregular shape or function of your jaw.
Common Jaw Irregularity Conditions
- Difficulty chewing, biting, swallowing, or speaking
- Jaw joint discomfort and other symptoms related to TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorders)
- Persistent headaches and earaches
- Open, under-, or overbites
- Malformed facial structure that hinders an otherwise attractive appearance
- Congenital jaw disorders
- Facial or dental injury
- Receding or protruding jaw or chin
- Sleep apnea
- Breathing problems
If you are considered a candidate for corrective jaw surgery, a specific type of jaw surgery will be chosen and performed to correct your individual condition. Depending on the state of your dental or skeletal irregularity, it could take a few months to a few years to complete healing.
A Few Common Types of Corrective Jaw Surgery
Open Bite: Open bites are incredibly common in patients and are generally simple to fix with corrective jaw surgery. In this case, a small bit of bone will be removed from the upper tooth-bearing portion of your jaw. The jaw will then be secured in a new placement following the removal of excess bone. Different types of bite problems will be handled in a similar fashion specific to the location of the bite issue.
Protruding Lower Jaw: During this corrective jaw surgery, your jaws will be separated from one another, and the lower rear portion of the jaw will be modified so it sits in a better alignment.
Receding Lower Jaw: The lower portion of the jaw is separated from the base and modified to produce a more natural appearance. The portion of the lower jaw will be repositioned into a more forward position.
What to Expect Following Corrective Jaw Surgery
Depending on the severity of your corrective jaw surgery, you could be sedated for the entirety of the procedure. If sedation is not necessary, plenty of anesthetics will be provided so you do not experience discomfort during the process. Most corrective jaw surgeries can be performed within your mouth, so you will retain no evidence of the surgery in facial scar form. After your jawbones are displaced and moved into a correct position, screws and plates will act as reinforcement to keep your jaw in its new position. Generally, an orthognathic surgery process including healing can last from one to two years.
If you feel like you have some of the skeletal or dental irregularities explained above, you may want to learn more about your corrective jaw surgery options. A successful surgery can lead to a healthier lifestyle, clearer speaking, and better jaw functionality overall.