For patients who have abnormalities of the jaw in addition to misaligned teeth, orthodontic treatment may not be sufficient to achieve the desired smile goals and jaw surgery may be recommended.
This type of procedure is called orthognathic surgery, and it involves a surgical repositioning of the jaws as one component of the orthodontic treatment plan. When surgery is warranted, the oral surgeon will collaborate with the orthodontist to work toward successful outcomes.
Any number of jaw abnormalities may be addressed by orthognathic surgery. Patterns of jaw growth that lead to over-development or under-development of either the maxilla or mandible can be reversed through surgery.
Such problems can be genetic or congenital, present from birth or early childhood, or arise from irregular patterns of development or severe injury to the jaw. Children, teens and adults may be candidates for orthognathic surgery.
Orthognathic surgery can help correct many problems, such as unattractive facial imbalances, open bites and difficulties with breathing, eating and speech. In this way, this procedure can improve facial aesthetics and jaw function. Upper and lower jaws that do not fit together properly also can cause discomfort, and this symptom also may be alleviated by jaw surgery.
This type of surgery can be extensive and may need to be performed in a hospital setting or specialty surgical center. It often involves general anesthesia, so patients should be sure to ask about any risks they may face and any steps they must take to prepare for the anesthesia.
At your initial consultation, your oral surgeon will gather information needed to plan for the procedure. This first appointment also gives the patient the opportunity to ask any questions or bring up any concerns about the surgery. Your oral surgeon will communicate with the orthodontist to coordinate the timing of the surgery.
Orthognathic surgery has significant benefits for patients who need this intervention. If your orthodontist recommends surgery as a companion to braces, discuss your options with our oral surgeon, Dr. Larry M. Wolford.
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.