Corrective Jaw Surgery: What You Need to Know

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Corrective Jaw Surgery: What You Need to Know

May 20, 2024

Corrective jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a procedure designed to correct misalignments of the jaw ...

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Dione Benson

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Dione Benson

Corrective Jaw Surgery: What You Need to Know

Posted by Dione Benson May 20, 2024

This is a thumbnail image of blog Corrective Jaw Surgery: What You Need to Know

Corrective jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a procedure designed to correct misalignments of the jaw and bite. It's typically recommended for individuals with underbites, overbites, or crossbites that cannot be fully addressed with orthodontic treatment alone. The surgery aims to improve function and aesthetics, enhancing chewing, speaking, and breathing abilities while enhancing facial symmetry. Before the procedure, thorough evaluation and planning are conducted by a multidisciplinary team comprising orthodontists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, and other specialists. Recovery may vary but generally involves a period of swelling and a restricted diet, followed by a gradual return to normal activities. Despite the potential for temporary discomfort, many patients find that the long-term benefits of corrective jaw surgery greatly outweigh the temporary challenges. 

Different Types of Corrective Jaw Surgery Procedures 

Maxillary Osteotomy 

This procedure involves surgically repositioning the upper jaw (maxilla) to correct issues such as a receded or protruding upper jaw, open bite, or excessive gummy smile. It can also address asymmetry or widen the dental arch. 

Mandibular Osteotomy

Mandibular osteotomy involves repositioning the lower jaw (mandible) to correct issues such as an overbite, underbite, or crossbite. Depending on the specific misalignment, surgeons can move the lower jaw forward, backward, or sideways. 

Genioplasty

Genioplasty focuses solely on reshaping the chin. It can be performed alone or with upper or lower jaw surgery to achieve better facial balance and harmony. Genioplasty can address a receded or protruding chin and asymmetry. 

Bimaxillary Osteotomy

This comprehensive procedure involves repositioning both the upper and lower jaws simultaneously to correct severe misalignments and achieve optimal functional and aesthetic outcomes. It is often recommended for patients with significant skeletal discrepancies. 

Segmental Osteotomy 

In cases where specific areas of the jaw require correction, segmental osteotomy may be performed. This procedure involves cutting and repositioning smaller segments of the jawbone to address localized issues such as asymmetry or irregularities. 

Orthognathic Surgery for Obstructive Sleep Apnea 

Corrective jaw surgery is sometimes recommended to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) by enlarging the airway and improving breathing during sleep. Procedures may involve advancing the upper and lower jaw to alleviate airway obstruction. 

The Procedure of Corrective Jaw Surgery 

The process begins with an initial consultation with our oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Denver, CO. During this consultation, the surgeon evaluates the patient's dental and medical history, conducts a physical examination, and assesses the nature and severity of the jaw misalignment. Advanced imaging techniques, such as X-rays, CT scans, and 3D imaging, may be used to obtain detailed images of the jaw anatomy. 

Based on the evaluation, a comprehensive treatment plan is developed to address the patient's jaw discrepancies and treatment goals. This plan may involve a combination of surgical and orthodontic treatments to achieve optimal results. Orthodontic treatment is often initiated before surgery to align the teeth and optimize the dental arches, creating an ideal foundation for surgical correction. 

Before the surgery, patients undergo a series of pre-operative preparations. This may include medical clearance, which involves routine blood tests, electrocardiogram (ECG), and other diagnostic tests to ensure that the patient is in good health and medically fit for surgery. Patients are also provided with specific pre-operative instructions, which may include guidelines for fasting before surgery and restrictions on medications or supplements. 

The procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia in a hospital setting on the day of surgery. Once the patient is asleep, the surgeon at Benson Orthodontics makes precise incisions inside the mouth to access the jawbones. Sometimes, external incisions may be made, depending on the surgical approach. 

The surgeon carefully repositions the upper and lower jaw into the desired alignment using specialized surgical instruments. This may involve cutting and reshaping the jawbones for optimal functional and aesthetic outcomes. The pre-operative treatment plan guides the surgical movements, tailored to the patient's unique jaw anatomy and treatment goals. 

Once the jaws are repositioned, the incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures and any necessary adjustments are made to ensure proper alignment and stability. Patients are closely monitored in the recovery area before being discharged home or to a hospital room for overnight observation. Pain management medications are prescribed to alleviate discomfort during the recovery period. 

Following surgery, patients undergo a period of recovery, during which they may experience swelling, discomfort, and bruising. A soft or liquid diet is typically recommended for some time to allow for adequate healing. Follow-up appointments with the surgical team are scheduled to monitor progress, remove sutures, and ensure proper healing. Orthodontic treatment may continue after surgery to fine-tune the alignment of the teeth and optimize the bite. Contact us today! 

The Benefits of Corrective Jaw Surgery 

  • Corrective jaw surgery in Denver, CO, can enhance chewing, speaking, and breathing abilities by properly aligning the jaws and teeth, leading to improved oral function and comfort. 
  • For individuals experiencing jaw misalignments, corrective surgery can alleviate chronic pain, discomfort, and jaw joint issues (TMJ disorders) by correcting the underlying structural problems. 
  • Proper jaw and tooth alignment facilitates better oral hygiene practices, reducing the risk of dental decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues associated with misaligned teeth. 
  • In some cases, corrective jaw surgery can effectively treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) by enlarging the airway and improving breathing during sleep, leading to better sleep quality and overall health. 
  • Beyond aesthetic considerations, corrective jaw surgery can enhance facial harmony and symmetry by correcting jaw discrepancies, resulting in a more balanced and attractive facial appearance. 
  • Addressing jaw misalignments can significantly improve self-esteem and confidence, allowing individuals to smile, speak, and interact with others more comfortably and confidently. 
  • Corrective jaw surgery provides long-lasting results, with stable bite relationships and facial aesthetics that can be maintained over time with proper post-operative care and follow-up. 

Corrective jaw surgery represents a comprehensive solution for individuals with significant jaw misalignments, offering functional improvements and transformative changes in facial aesthetics and self-confidence. Visit Benson Orthodontics at 3200 East Cherry Creek South Drive, Suite #420, Denver, CO 80209, or call (303) 722-1202 to learn more about corrective jaw surgery and how it can improve your quality of life. 

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