Orthognathic, or Corrective jaw surgery, may be needed when the upper and lower jaws do not meet correctly, thus creating a less than ideal bite. This misalignment of the jaws can create potential problems that are both functional and esthetic. In general, such a case requires presurgical orthodontics to straighten the teeth on each arch and corrective jaw surgery to reposition the misaligned jaws. This not only improves facial appearance, but also ensures that teeth meet correctly and function properly.
Who Needs Orthognathic Surgery?
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 can affect chewing function, speech, long-term oral health and appearance. Injury to the jaw and birth defects can also affect jaw alignment. While orthodontics alone can correct bite problems if only the teeth are involved, orthognathic surgery may be required if the jaws also need repositioning.
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
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 all aspects of your care, you and your dental team will make the decision to proceed with treatment together.
If you are a candidate for Corrective Jaw Surgery, Drs. Lang, Samouhi and Kim 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.