Orthognathic surgery is the type of surgery performed when the jaws don’t grow properly, or grow asymmetrically, causing the teeth to meet together incorrectly—or not at all. The resultant “maloccllusions” range from overbites and underbites to open bites where teeth don’t come together at all.
The normal sequence of treatment to correct these conditions involves the teeth being straightened with orthodontics, then corrective jaw surgery to reposition the misaligned jaw(s), followed by a few more months of finishing orthodontics. This not only ensures that teeth meet correctly and function properly, but often improves the facial appearance and balance as well.
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 can affect chewing function, speech, long-term oral health and appearance of the patient.
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, however, when orthodontics do not bring the teeth together properly.
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 conditions can exist at birth, or be acquired after birth as a result of hereditary or environmental influences. They can also result from 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 treatment. When you are fully informed about all aspects of your care, you and your surgical team can make the decision to proceed with treatment together.
Technology & Orthognathic Surgery
uses modern computer techniques and three-dimensional models to show you exactly how your surgery will be approached. Using comprehensive facial x-rays and precise analyses of these x-rays, along with measurements of your face and jaws, 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 treatment prescribed. Our goal is to help you understand the benefits of orthognathic surgery.
If you are a candidate for corrective jaw surgery, Dr. Nail 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.