the human jaw Dr Mark Reichman OFMS

Understanding Corrective Jaw Surgery

Corrective jaw surgery can radically enhance someone’s life. But who exactly seeks out this treatment? What are the symptoms of a dysfunctional jaw?

Do you have a hard time biting, chewing, and swallowing food?
Maybe you have a hard time closing your mouth completely even when you’re completely at rest, leading to a receding or protruding jaw. Not only can this lead to an asymetric physical appearance, but it points to strain occurring on your entire mouth. Inability to meet your lips together without straining and breathing through your mouth can lead to excessive wear of the teeth, that connected to problems such us chronic joint pain, headache, and sleep apnea. This is way many people seek out corrective jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery

Surgery improves a wide array of issues, such as chewing, speaking and breathing. Sometimes the patient’s appearance may be dramatically altered as a result of their surgery. However, orthognathic surgery is performed to correct functional problems, and it is not a cosmetic procedure.

There are three  common dentofacial deformities that can be corrected through surgery.

  • Open Bite: For an open bite, some of the tooth-bearing portion in the upper segment of the jaw is removed. The jaw is then secured back into position with plates and screws.
  • Protruding Lower Jaw: The bone in the rear of the jaw is separated from the front. It is then modified so the tooth-bearing section can be moved back into proper alignment.
  • Receding Lower Jaw: The lower portion of the jaw is modified to be repositioned forward.

Each patient will work with their oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS) to determine their skeletal and dental irregularities. How their teeth and jaw is aligned will dictate the appropriate procedure.

The treatment will most likely include orthodontics before and after surgery. This can take several years to complete and is usually a long-term commitment for you and your family. Your OMS and orthodontist understand this decision and do their best to realistically estimate the time and cost required for your treatment. Jaw surgery can completely enhance your life. Get in touch with your Oral Surgeon today to learn more about your condition and make a plan for your procedure.

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