Orthognathic Jaw Surgery
Oral Surgery Norwood, MA | Mansfield, MA
Orthognathic surgery is needed when jaws don’t meet correctly due to an abnormality in the position and/or size of the upper and lower jaws. These jaw abnormalities are known as dentofacial deformities because they involve problems with the teeth, jaws, and face. Crowded or misaligned teeth are straightened with orthodontic treatment (braces). Misaligned jaws are corrected with orthognathic surgery. Proper treatment of dentofacial deformities requires coordination of care by the orthodontist and oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Both specialists must work together to properly align the teeth and jaws in order to achieve a comfortable, stable, functional, and esthetically pleasing result. Correction of dentofacial deformities not only improves the facial appearance but also ensures that teeth and jaws meet appropriately and function properly.
Who Needs Corrective Jaw Surgery?
People who can benefit from orthognathic surgery include those with malocclusion (an improper bite) due to jaws that are positioned incorrectly. Jaw growth is a gradual process and in some instances, the growth of the maxilla (upper jaw) may not match the growth of the mandible (lower jaw) resulting in misalignment of the jaws. Jaw misalignment can adversely affect chewing, speech, comfort, and appearance. Jaw misalignment can be due to genetic inheritance, injury to the jaws during early childhood development, or birth defects.
The following problems may be associated with misaligned jaws:
- Difficulty in chewing, biting, or swallowing
- Speech problems
- Chronic TMJ or muscle pain
- Open bite
- Unaesthetic facial profile (protruding jaw, small lower jaw, excessive gum showing while smiling, etc.)
- Breathing difficulty (upper airway obstruction/snoring) due to a micrognathic(small) or retrognathic (posteriorly malpositioned) lower jaw
Before treatment can be initiated, consultations are required with the orthodontist and oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Complete examination including medical history, facial measurements, photographs, facial and dental radiographs, and impressions of teeth for model fabrication will be necessary to properly evaluate the case and plan the surgery. The close correspondence between the orthodontist and oral and maxillofacial surgeon is imperative to achieve an optimal result.
During the pre-treatment consultation process, feel free to ask any questions that you have regarding your treatment. When you are fully informed about all aspects of your care, you and your dental team will make the decision to proceed with treatment together. The coordinated orthodontic and surgical treatment will move your teeth and jaws into a new position that will create an attractive, functional, and healthy dental-facial relationship.