January 6, 2021

Corrective Jaw Surgery: Everything You Need to Know

corrective jaw surgery

Are you living near Georgia and wondering if you or a family member might need oral surgery?

You might have consulted with an orthodontist and tried braces but are still unable to fix the problem. Have you considered corrective jaw surgery?

A recent U.S. study evaluated the records of patients who underwent corrective jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery. The results concluded that almost half of all patients required work on their upper jaw, with over 10,000 total surgeries per year. This type of oral surgery is not as rare as you might think and is only performed when it is considered necessary.

Do you have a temporomandibular disorder (TMJ), excessive wear to your teeth, or sleep/breathing difficulties? If so, you should consider corrective jaw surgery. Orthognathic surgery can improve facial symmetry, improve your bite, and remove TMJ pain.

We’re going to explain what it is, who needs it, the benefits, and what recovery looks like. Read on!

What Is Corrective Jaw Surgery?

Jaw surgery is used to correct conditions of the lower facial structure. If untreated, such conditions can cause problems such as those mentioned above. Oral surgery is performed to allow bones to obtain correct alignment.

Corrective jaw surgery is usually not performed on children since they are still growing. Cleft palate repair surgery is the exception. In severe cases, children and adolescents may need multiple operations for a cleft palate.

Patients will be eligible for jaw surgery at about age 14-16 for females and 17-21 for males. Depending on the details of each case, a patient may require surgery on the upper jaw (maxilla), lower jaw (mandible), or both.

Mandibular osteotomy (upper jaw surgery) involves moving the upper jaw and teeth forward to fit correctly over the lower jaw. Maxillary osteotomy (lower jaw surgery) involves moving the lower jaw and teeth forwards or backward.

Bimaxillary osteotomy refers to a double procedure that involves both the upper and lower jaw. This type of corrective jaw surgery is reserved for more complex cases. TMJ surgery might be a simple outpatient procedure or require a hospital visit.

Genioplasty is a type of cosmetic surgery that repositions or reshapes the chin for a better facial appearance. Oral-maxillofacial surgeons (OMS) also carry out this procedure if the chin needs to be repositioned or receive an implant.

Who Needs Corrective Jaw Surgery?

The main goal of this procedure is to correct bite issues. It is not uncommon to receive jaw surgery to correct overbite problems, and it is also used for underbite issues.

If you can’t put your lips together with ease, then upper or lower jaw corrective surgery may be necessary. A protruding or receding jaw and chin could also be the result of an underlying condition. Possible causes are tumor, disease, improper growth, or a congenital disability.

In some cases, it may be a trauma or injury that has caused damage to your face, requiring jaw surgery. No matter the cause, if you have jaw misalignment, orthognathic surgery can offer the permanent solution you require.

Jaw problems can affect your ability to chew food, get quality sleep, and even your ability to speak clearly. Issues with your jaw may also cause considerable pain and even headaches. These are some of the main reasons that a dentist might refer a patient to an oral surgeon for corrective jaw surgery.

Patients may recognize these complaints and contact an oral surgeon directly, seeking a solution. Some issues may be unique to your case, so always discuss problems regarding your jaw with an OMS.

Benefits of Corrective Jaw Surgery

An orthodontist is concerned with making significant functional improvements to the bite of a patient. Corrective jaw surgery before and after photographs will often reveal dramatic improvements to a patient’s lower face.

A lasting self-esteem boost might be a good motivator to carry a patient through the surgery they need. Some facial deformities might be significantly impacting function yet be cosmetically invisible. These patients might focus on getting rid of their pain as the main reason to undergo corrective jaw surgery.

If braces aren’t enough to improve your alignment issues, you need to give jaw surgery some careful thought. Reach out to an experienced oral surgeon specializing in corrective jaw surgery to help you decide if the procedure is right for you or your family member.

Corrective jaw surgery cost is dependent on many case-specific factors, but it’s important to note that jaw straightening isn’t a procedure that falls under dental insurance. Thankfully, most medical insurance plans authorize orthognathic surgery when it’s considered medically necessary.

Corrective Jaw Surgery Recovery

Jaw surgery is usually just one treatment as part of a bigger plan to correct bite issues. The surgery is mostly concerned with the correct alignment of the teeth, and braces are also a key component.

Often, braces will be used for a year or two, split up before and after the surgery. This is to move the teeth further into position for optimal alignment.

Since the procedure occurs inside the mouth, there is no facial scarring. Although the bite correction is immediate, it can take several weeks for swelling to subside so that you can appreciate the full results. It takes approximately six weeks for initial healing and twelve weeks for a full recovery.

Most patients are out of the hospital the same day and can return to work or school within about two weeks.

For the first few days post-surgery, a liquid diet is usually advised, since chewing is difficult. Fluids should contain enough nutrition to meet your dietary requirements. Meals can be puréed, and soups or baby food are good options too.

Supplement drinks, nutritional shakes, and yogurts may also help to spread your calories throughout the day as you heal.

Considering Corrective Jaw Surgery?

We’ve shown that corrective jaw surgery is a life-changing procedure. Orthognathic surgery is only selected when an oral surgeon and orthodontist decide that it is necessary. Don’t live in misery because you fear corrective jaw surgery risks.

If you’re seeking oral surgery services for yourself or your family, we can help you. We provide the region’s premier oral, facial, and implant surgery in Suwanee, GA. We offer patients experience, expertise, and personalized care, using advanced technology.

Contact us today to request a consultation.