Orthognathic surgery is indicated when a patient’s jaws do not fit together properly, affecting the functionality of the bite as well as the smile’s appearance. This procedure is often performed in conjunction with orthodontic treatment in cases when the orthodontic appliances cannot sufficiently reposition the jaws to correct the bite.
As such, the orthodontist and orthognathic surgeon would generally collaborate in developing the treatment plan for patients in need of jaw surgery in addition to braces. They will work together to determine the timing of the treatment phases.
An oral surgeon with extensive knowledge of the facial structures generally performs orthognathic surgery. In performing this surgery, an orthognathic surgeon can help patients achieve a number of treatment goals, including enhanced aesthetics, a more efficient chewing mechanism, and the elimination of pain related to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
Many patients opt for orthognathic surgery primarily for cosmetic reasons. That is, they are dissatisfied with the appearance of their smiles or even the facial aesthetics that result from misaligned jaws. Patients who are motivated by a desire to improve aesthetics often find that they get dramatic results from orthognathic surgery.
Misaligned jaws affect more than just the appearance, though. In fact, a malocclusion can result in TMJ and the significant discomfort caused by that condition. Accordingly, orthognathic surgery may be recommended to patients with TMJ disorders who get no relief from more conservative treatments.
For malocclusions that cannot be corrected by conventional orthodontic treatment, orthognathic surgery may be needed.
As with any surgical procedure, patients must be healthy enough to tolerate the surgery. Discuss any health problems with your oral surgeon in advance to be sure that they will not interfere with the surgery or the healing process.
If an orthodontist or oral surgeon does recommend orthognathic surgery in your case, you should also be prepared for the post-operative healing period. Discuss what to expect with your oral surgeon so that you can make any necessary temporary adjustments to your diet and other lifestyle issues.
For malocclusions that cannot be corrected by conventional orthodontic treatment, orthognathic surgery may be needed. Discuss your options with both an orthodontist and an oral surgeon to decide whether orthognathic surgery will help you achieve your desired outcomes.
If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact Dr. Larry Wolford's office using our online contact form or call 214-828-9115.