Corrective jaw surgery, or orthognathic surgery, involves realigning the teeth and repositioning or reshaping the jawbone to improve facial imbalances and alleviate functional problems.
If you have a jaw or bite problem, orthognathic surgery could be beneficial. But, because procedures typically require a long-term commitment, the decision on whether to move forward with treatment can be difficult.
Talking to an experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon is the best way to understand the ins and outs of orthognathic surgery and how it can help you.
Conditions That May Call for Corrective Jaw Surgery
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons recommend orthognathic procedures for many reasons. Patients with the following issues should consider scheduling a professional consultation to discuss the potential for treatment:
- Trouble chewing, biting or swallowing food
- Chronic pain in the jaw joint or in the face, neck and head
- Misalignment of the jaw, chin and nose
- Unbalanced frontal facial appearance
- Excessive tooth wear
- Open bite, underbite or overbite
- Chronic snoring and breathing problems
- Facial injury or congenital birth defect
Evaluating the Need for Corrective Jaw Surgery
If any of the conditions listed above apply to you, the chances are good that orthognathic surgery could be in your best interest. However, to know for sure — and to find out exactly what your treatment plan will involve — you’ll need to consult with a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
To determine if you’re a candidate for orthognathic treatment, your surgeon will consider your medical and dental history, your diagnostic imaging test results and your personal preferences. Your surgical team will also work closely with your orthodontist in developing a safe, effective course of action to restoring your mouth function while improving your facial appearance.
Moving Forward with Corrective Jaw Surgery
Orthognathic treatment requires a long-term commitment. Corrective jaw procedures often involve orthodontics both before and after surgery. This type of major work can take several years to complete. The treatment can interfere with your life, so you’ll need to plan the timing carefully.
In addition, due to the complexities of corrective jaw procedures, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion. Ask your oral and maxillofacial surgeon for a referral or get the name of a qualified local professional from your general dentist, primary care physician or the state medical board.
Do you think you could benefit from orthognathic surgery? If you live in the greater Salt Lake City area and need expert advice, schedule a consultation at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah.
Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield, our board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons, have over 10 years of experience successfully performing routine and complex orthognathic procedures. And with three convenient northern Utah offices — in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan and Tooele — visiting us couldn’t be easier. To discuss corrective jaw surgery with the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah team, contact us today.