Jaw balance is perhaps the most overlooked aspect of our oral health. If you suffer from jaw-related problems you may qualify for orthognathic surgery. This term refers to a combination of orthodontic and surgical jaw correction that is necessary to coordinate tooth movement and jaw balance when correction cannot be made by directing growth or orthodontic treatment alone. The Orthodontist and the Oral Surgeon coordinate their treatment plans to get the best possible result for their patient. Usually, but not always, orthodontic treatment is begun to prepare the tooth alignment in the individual arches. Then the surgeon can move the jaws into position.
Reasons for Orthognathic Surgery
There are many patients who can benefit from orthognathic surgery, especially those with TMD(often referred to as TMJ) or a malocclusion (misaligned bite). We may recommend jaw surgery to:
Corrective jaw surgery is usually the last line of defense after other treatments have been exhausted. During your consultation appointment, Dr. Greeley will perform a series of diagnostic tests to determine if orthognathic surgery is right for you. This is an excellent opportunity for you to ask questions and voice any concerns.
Preparation for Orthognathic Surgery
When your treatment plan includes the need for jaw surgery, it is often necessary to have orthodontic treatment to prepare for the surgery. Crowding, spacing and misaligned teeth need to be corrected before the surgery. This may take about 12-18 months prior to the surgery.
Data collection including x-rays, scans, photographs and stone study models help the orthodontist and the surgeon to plan the correction precisely and efficiently.
You should expect that orthodontic treatment will continue after the surgery to fine tune your function and secure bone healing for approximately 6 months following the surgery.
Types of Orthognathic Surgery
In most cases, the surgery is performed inside your oral cavity to avoid facial scars around your chin, jaw, and mouth. The type of orthognathic surgery you receive depends on your symptoms. Types of corrective jaw surgery include:
After Orthognathic Surgery
After your orthognathic surgery, you should see improved function of your teeth, a balanced appearance, and several other health benefits that improve chewing, swallowing, sleeping, and breathing. Be sure to follow our post-operative instructions to avoid potential complications.
The healing period for orthognathic surgery typically takes about 6 to 12 weeks. We usually recommend avoiding tobacco use, difficult foods, and strenuous activity. Talk with Dr. Greeley to learn more about life after corrective jaw surgery.
Schedule Your Surgical Consultation
Find out if you may need orthognathic surgery. Call 484-346-7846 to schedule your surgical consultation today.