Orthognathic Jaw Surgery
Orthognathic jaw surgery becomes necessary when a person’s jaws don’t meet properly or when their teeth don’t seem aligned with the jaws. Teeth can be straightened with orthodontics, but corrective surgery is performed to reposition jaws that are misaligned. The goals of orthognathic jaw surgery are to ensure proper jaw function and improve facial appearance.
Who should undergo orthognathic surgery?
Candidates for orthognathic surgery include persons with improper jaw position or an improper bite. These problems can be congenital or acquired by environmental influences, such as facial trauma. Common indications for orthognathic surgery include the following:
- Micrognathia – When the lower jaw (mandible) doesn’t project far enough or the maxilla projects too far, causing an overbite.
- Prognathia – When the mandible projects too far and maxilla not far enough, causing an underbite.
Jaw growth occurs gradually and in some cases, the upper and lower jaws grow at different rates, resulting in a variety of problems that may affect chewing, speech, long-term oral health, and appearance. If you’ve experienced any of the following issues, you may want to schedule a consultation and be evaluated for orthognathic surgery:
- Difficulty chewing, biting, or swallowing
- Speech problems
- Breathing problems
- Protruding jaw
- Chronic jaw pain
During a consultation, we can discuss the surgery to give you an idea of how your appearance and jaw function may be improved. We also perform a complete examination with x-rays. In most cases, we work and consult with your orthodontist during your treatment.