|Click here to watch a detailed multimedia presentation on orthognathic surgery!
When a jaw is misaligned, corrective jaw surgery, otherwise known as orthognathic surgery, is needed. A misaligned jaw can affect your ability to properly chew, talk and even breathe. Jaw surgery is essential for proper functioning of the jaw, otherwise you could be at risk for a variety of health issues. An improperly aligned jaw can make it difficult to properly chew your food and even swallow. It can cause your teeth to wear down unevenly, affect the structure of your facial region, force you to suffer from chronic dry mouth and even cause difficulty in your sleep patterns. Frequently, patients with a misaligned jaw suffer from subsequent health issues, such as nutritional deficiencies, chronic headaches and sleep apnea.
How the Jaw Becomes MisalignedThere are a variety of reasons that jaws become misaligned including:
|The upper and lower jaw grow at different rates, making them become misaligned
|Spontaneous injury to the jaw area
Types of Bites That Need CorrectingWhen your jaws do not line up, your bite is misaligned. This causes problems with eating, talking and breathing. The various types of misalignment that can occur include:
Open bite: This occurs when the upper and lower jaw do not meet when you close your mouth. This can affect your ability to close your mouth properly and even smile, causing your self-esteem to dwindle.
Underbite: This occurs with a protruding lower jaw. It can cause the cheeks to have an elongated look and the chin to look larger than normal. Patients can suffer from difficulty chewing as well as facial issues that damage their self-esteem.
Receding lower jaw: This is characterized by a chin that looks sunken in or front teeth that seem to 'stick out.' The lower jaw is considerably shorter than the upper jaw, providing the lack of uniformity.
What to ExpectBefore you undergo jaw surgery, it is common to have orthodontic treatment to get your teeth into the proper placement. Once the teeth are in place, the jaw surgery can begin. It is typically performed under general anesthesia. The type of bite that you need corrected will determine the type of surgery that is conducted, whether you need additional bone, removal of bone or simply a reshaping of the existing bone. Depending on the severity of the adjustments, certain appliances may be used to keep the adjustments in place.
Recovery from jaw surgery is much easier today than in years past. Patients typically go home with elastic bands to keep the jaw in place, rather than wires. Swelling and pain are typical of this surgery, but should not last more than 36 hours. It might take around 6 weeks for your facial region to completely return to normal, but the excessive swelling should subside rather quickly. The total time for a full recovery varies on your overall health and even your age. A majority of patients are fully healed within 1 month of the surgery, while a few will not fully recover for a year.
Technology and Orthognathic SurgeryTechnology today has made it possible for us to use x-rays, cephalometric tracing, and photographs to illustrate how orthognathic surgery can benefit you. This illustrative view will give you a full understanding of what the procedure and treatment period will provide you with when it is complete. It is a great way for you to see the benefits in the long run.
Dr. Frishkey will work closely with you to determine if corrective jaw surgery is the right choice for you. If so, he will work with your entire team, which will include your general dentist and orthodontist in order to provide the most beneficial outcome. Your corrective jaw surgery may be a part of the process, which moves your jaw into place, while orthodontic or restorative dentistry procedures help to complete the look that you desire which you will be able to see through the use of technology before you make any decisions.
The Right ChoiceIf you suffer from any issues with your bite, corrective jaw surgery is a beneficial choice. Dr. Frishkey works closely with the various other experts on your team, including your orthodontist, to ensure positive results from your overall therapy. Moving your jaw into a healthy position can increase your overall health, your dental health and enhance your appearance. Call us today for a consultation to see how corrective jaw surgery can help you.