Rockwall Oral Surgery

Orthognathic Surgery: Correcting Jaw Misalignments for Better Health

Jaw misalignments can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, affecting everything from chewing and speaking to overall facial aesthetics. Orthognathic surgery, or corrective jaw surgery, is a transformative procedure that addresses these issues, offering patients both functional and cosmetic benefits. Here, we delve into what orthognathic surgery involves, its benefits, and how it can improve your health and well-being.

What Is Orthognathic Surgery?

Orthognathic surgery is a surgical procedure designed to correct misalignments of the jaw and teeth. It is often recommended when orthodontic treatment alone (like braces) cannot resolve the misalignment. This surgery can reposition the upper jaw (maxilla), lower jaw (mandible), or both to achieve a more harmonious and functional bite.

Common Reasons for Orthognathic Surgery

  1. Malocclusion (Bad Bite): Severe cases of overbite, underbite, crossbite, or open bite that cannot be corrected with braces alone.
  2. Jaw Misalignment: Discrepancies in jaw size or position that affect the bite and facial symmetry.
  3. Sleep Apnea: Jaw positioning that contributes to obstructive sleep apnea can be improved through surgery.
  4. TMJ Disorders: Chronic jaw pain or dysfunction due to temporomandibular joint disorders can sometimes be alleviated with corrective surgery.
  5. Facial Injuries: Trauma that has caused misalignment of the jaws.
  6. Congenital Conditions: Birth defects or developmental issues affecting jaw growth and alignment.

The Orthognathic Surgery Process

  1. Consultation and Planning: The journey begins with a comprehensive evaluation by an oral surgeon and orthodontist. Imaging techniques such as X-rays, 3D scans, and models of your teeth are used to plan the surgery meticulously.
  2. Pre-Surgical Orthodontics: In many cases, patients need to wear braces for 12-18 months before surgery to align the teeth in preparation for the procedure.
  3. Surgery: The surgical procedure is performed under general anesthesia and can take several hours. The surgeon makes precise cuts in the jawbones to move them into the correct position, securing them with plates, screws, or wires.
  4. Recovery: Initial recovery takes about 1-2 weeks, but complete healing and final results may take several months. Patients typically need to follow a modified diet and may need additional orthodontic treatment to fine-tune the bite.

Benefits of Orthognathic Surgery

  1. Improved Functionality: Correcting jaw alignment improves biting, chewing, and speaking abilities, enhancing overall oral function.
  2. Relief from Pain: Many patients experience relief from chronic jaw pain, headaches, and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders.
  3. Better Sleep: For patients with sleep apnea, adjusting the jaw can significantly improve airway function and sleep quality.
  4. Enhanced Appearance: Orthognathic surgery can improve facial symmetry and aesthetics, boosting self-confidence and overall appearance.
  5. Long-Term Oral Health: Proper jaw alignment reduces wear and tear on teeth, preventing future dental problems and promoting long-term oral health.

Is Orthognathic Surgery Right for You?

Determining whether you are a candidate for orthognathic surgery involves a thorough evaluation by your oral surgeon. Ideal candidates are those who have significant jaw misalignments that affect their daily life and cannot be corrected with orthodontics alone. It’s important to have realistic expectations and understand the commitment involved in the pre- and post-surgical process.

Orthognathic surgery offers a life-changing solution for those struggling with jaw misalignments. By correcting the jaw’s position, patients can achieve improved functionality, pain relief, better sleep, enhanced aesthetics, and long-term oral health. If you’re dealing with jaw misalignment issues, consult with Dr. Pollock to explore how orthognathic surgery can transform your life.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our office today. Let us help you achieve better health and a beautiful smile through the latest advancements in orthognathic surgery.