Orthognathic Surgery

orthodontic surgery Stacy L. Poole, DMD

Sometimes orthodontics can correct problems and allow you to avoid corrective jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery). We use the latest advances in orthodontics, so we can determine if this option is going to be the correct choice for you. You can be sure that we will discuss all treatment options with you including any benefits and risks. We can use an array of devices such as panorex x-rays, cephalometric x-rays, models and impressions to get an accurate picture of your mouth, teeth, and jaw.

Surgery may be recommended in conjunction with orthodontic treatment if there are abnormalities of the facial bones, specifically the jaws and the teeth. Often, these abnormalities can cause problems with chewing, talking, sleeping and other routine activities. We can help you to correct these problems and also improve your facial profile.

Corrective Jaw (Orthognathic) Surgery

Orthognathic surgery refers to the surgical correction required to fix significant abnormalities of the upper jaw (maxilla), the lower jaw (mandible), or both.

Patients who have a very improper bite or whose jaws are misaligned can often benefit from this. A misaligned bite, or malocclusion (when the teeth do not come together properly) can have a significant impact on teeth due to the five powerful muscles that control the jaw. They generate a great deal of force when chewing, clenching, or grinding. If left untreated, malocclusions can cause much damage including:

Chronic pain in the jaws and muscles
Frequent headaches
Loose teeth and teeth wear
Heightened tooth sensitivity
Difficulty swallowing, biting or chewing

Surgery Process

Often, braces are worn before and after, in order to align the arches and straighten the teeth. A general anesthesia is required and pain medication will be prescribed as necessary. You may be asked to modify your diet to soft foods or liquids for a short period of time after the procedure.