WHAT IS CORRECTIVE JAW SURGERY?
Corrective jaw surgery or orthognathic surgery is performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to correct a wide range of minor and major skeletal and dental irregularities, including the misalignment of jaws and teeth.
CONDITIONS MAY INDICATE THE NEED FOR CORRECTIVE JAW SURGERY:
- Difficulty chewing or biting food
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chronic jaw or jaw joint (TMJ) pain and headaches
- 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
PROCEDURE FOR JAW SURGERY
You will receive anesthesia through an IV. The specialist will separate and reposition the jaw in proper alignment. In most cases, all incisions are made inside the mouth, eliminating any external scars. Tiny screws or metal plates may be used to hold bone in the proper position, and your jaw may be wired shut during the initial healing process. In some cases, extra bone may be added, or bone may be reshaped or removed for a better fit. In many cases, a procedure is also performed on the chin at the same time to balance the new bite.
AFTER THE SURGERY
You’ll likely spend a night or two in the hospital before being discharged home with instructions and medications from your doctor. Swelling after surgery is normal, and lips may be chafed, stretched, and swollen. Swelling and pain will typically peak a few days after surgery, and then resolve within a few weeks.
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