The prospect of corrective jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, can make some patients nervous.
Fortunately, jaw surgery is much less of an ordeal than most patients expect, thanks to anesthesia and post-operative pain management. And since surgical treatment can be life-changing for many, the procedure is certainly worthwhile.
What can orthognathic surgery do for you?
No. 1: Restoring Jaw Function
A misaligned jaw, or malocclusion, can make it difficult to bite and chew foods. For some patients, speaking and breathing are affected too.
Braces can straighten the teeth, but in many cases, orthodontic treatment alone isn’t enough to restore jaw function. Corrective jaw surgery, performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, addresses dental and skeletal irregularities to make is easier to eat, speak and breathe.
No. 2: Improving Facial Appearance
Patients with jaw and tooth misalignment often have an unbalanced facial appearance. An underbite, overbite or open bite can detract from the beauty of anyone’s smile. Congenital deformities and facial trauma can also create an asymmetrical look.
Repositioning the jaw through orthognathic surgery is often the answer to correcting aesthetic issues. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon can correct the malocclusion to dramatically improve the facial appearance.
No. 3: Relieving Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
When the jaw isn’t in alignment, it doesn’t move properly. As a result, the muscles and tendons surrounding the jaws are put under extra stress. Over time, the added strain can lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
Jaw surgery is not usually recommended as a first course of action for TJM disorder. However, for patients who have exhausted their options for conservative treatment, orthognathic surgery can be highly effective at relieving pain and other TMJ symptoms.
Should You Consider Corrective Jaw Surgery?
If your jaw misalignment has created functional problems, an off-balance facial appearance, or if you suffer from TMJ disorder, orthognathic surgery could be the right solution for you.
However, to know for sure, you’ll need to consult with an experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon. If your teeth need to be repositioned with braces, you may be advised to consult with an orthodontist too. The two professionals can collaborate closely to develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Keep in mind that major orthognathic surgery may require a long-term commitment. If you need orthodontics before and after the procedure, the entire treatment plan may take months or even years to complete.
However, patients say the life-changing results are worth going through jaw surgery.
Are you ready to learn whether orthognathic treatment is right for you? Schedule a consultation with the experienced professionals at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah. Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons can recommend the least invasive path to resolving your jaw misalignment issues. Contact one of our three convenient Salt Lake City area offices to discuss treatment through corrective jaw surgery today.