The Oklahoma Oral Surgery and Implant Center welcome new patients for their corrective jaw procedures. Also known as Orthognathic Surgery, Jaw Surgery involves shifting the jaw and teeth into a different position for better alignment. If the teeth need to be moved, this involves the use of orthodontic appliances. Then, the misaligned jaw is repositioned into the ideal place through a surgical procedure. These methods are an excellent way of improving facial appearance and making it easier to bite and chew.
What Problems Can Corrective Jaw Surgery Treat?
Corrective jaw surgery can help with a number of misalignment issues. Most often, it’s used to treat patients with an improper bite or jaw that doesn’t sit level. In particular, it’s a good tool for patients suffering from the following problems:
- Open Bite, which is when the upper and lower teeth don’t touch when the jaws are closed. This is treated through a mix of braces and surgery to reposition the upper jaw.
- Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Pain, which happens because of misalignment issues surrounding this joint and the connected muscles. Orthognathic surgery can repair damage to the joint and improve jaw function.
- Protruding Jaw, which is when either the upper or lower jaw extends out too far. This issue is more commonly known as overbite or underbite, respectively, and is treated through a mix of orthodontic treatment.
- Problems Swallowing, Biting, or Chewing because the teeth don’t align properly. Our surgeons can fix the arrangement of teeth to make eating much easier.
- Problems Breathing, which could come in the form of sleep apnea. To correct this, our surgeons will reposition the jaw to help open the patient’s airways.
- Problems Speaking because of Twisted, Overlapping, or Crooked teeth. This might come in the form of a lisp, whistle, or other mispronunciations and can often be corrected through braces or surgery.
What Are the Different Types of Corrective Surgery?
There are several kinds of corrective jaw surgery. Patients may require one or more of the following procedures depending on how bad their condition is.
Maxillary Osteotomy (Upper Jaw Surgery)
A Maxillary Osteotomy can be performed on the upper jaw to help with an open bite or protruding jaw. This procedure involves shifting the bone on the upper jaw so that it aligns better with the lower teeth. Our surgeons may also shave away excess bone to eliminate the tell-tale gap in an open bite.
Mandibular Osteotomy (Lower Jaw Surgery)
A Mandibular Osteotomy can be performed on the lower jaw to help with a protruding or receding lower jaw. Our surgeons will surgically move the jaw forward or backward, so it aligns perfectly with the upper row of teeth.
Genioplasty (Chin Surgery)
In some cases, patients who suffer from a receding chin because the jawbone is not prominent enough in this area. Sometimes, this is also because the lower jaw has receded too much. Whatever the case, a Genioplasty allows our surgeons to restructure the chin and provide a more noticeable profile.
What Happens in Corrective Jaw Surgery?
Corrective jaw surgeries all vary depending on the exact needs and requirements of our patients. For example, some patients might require braces or other orthodontic appliances first before having surgery. For others, the first step might be surgery, followed by other corrective measures.
Our surgeons will thoroughly examine every patient at their initial consultation to determine the right treatment plan. To better understand each patient’s issues, they will use X-rays, 3D imaging, and other state-of-the-art diagnostic tools to get a closer look at the mouth’s internal and external structures. After thoroughly reviewing all this data, they can curate a personalized course of action to improve the patient’s functionality and aesthetic appearance.
If braces are required, our surgeons can apply these to the teeth to start the process. Braces are sets of metal brackets glued to the teeth with a strong adhesive. A wire is run through these brackets, which can be tightened as needed. Over time, this gradually pulls the teeth into alignment, creating a straighter smile for functional improvement.
Once the teeth are closer to the ideal arrangement, our patients will be scheduled for their corrective jaw surgery. To prevent any pain or discomfort, patients will be put to sleep under general anesthesia, so they don’t feel a thing during the procedure.
After the patient falls asleep, our surgeons will begin by surgically separating the jaw. These are a few different ways to do this, but two of the most common are segmentalism and the single-piece method.
- Segmentalism involves cutting the jaw into several pieces to help move it into the correct position.
- The single-piece method involves keeping the jaw basically intact while shifting it into the correct alignment.
Whatever method our surgeons decide on, they will start by pulling the cheeks back and making small incisions inside the mouth. This keeps unsightly scars from forming on the face, so patients won’t have to feel ashamed or discouraged after their surgery.
If the problem is in the upper jaw, our surgeons will have to make cuts along the upper lip near the base of the nose. He does this so he can lift gum tissue and slice into the bone here, gently maneuvering it into place. After the jaw has been aligned, they will then insert screws or plates to keep it in place while it heals.
Patients suffering from lower jaw issues will have cuts made around their wisdom teeth. Again, our surgeons will lift gum tissue to access the lower jawbone. They can then slide it into the correct position and secure it in place to give it time to heal.
In either upper or lower jaw surgeries, sometimes patients may require Bone Grafting to promote healing and provide more density in the area. If necessary, this bone is collected from other parts of the body, such as the ribs, legs, or hips. It can then be reshaped and secured into place with plates and screws to make the jawbone more stable.
What Happens After Corrective Jaw Surgery?
After their corrective jaw surgery is complete, our patients can expect slight tenderness and bruising along the jaw and in the mouth. This pain can often be controlled with over-the-counter pain medications. Contrary to popular belief, patients usually won’t have their jaw wired shut. Instead, they will just have sutures of which they need to be aware. These are typically removed within a couple of weeks after the gum tissue has grown back together.
For a few days, patients may also experience a lack of feeling in the lower jaw. This happens because swelling from the surgery puts pressure on the nerve that runs through the jaw. As swelling goes down, patients should find their sensations return to normal.
Our surgeons will provide a complete set of aftercare instructions to each patient, but generally, patients should expect a soft or liquid foods diet for the first few weeks. They will also have to avoid strenuous activity and smoking.
Every patient heals at a different rate. However, most patients experience complete healing of the jaw about six weeks after the surgery. However, it can sometimes take up to 12 weeks. It all depends on the extent of the procedure and how well the patient follows the aftercare instructions.
Patients will have to schedule several follow-up appointments with our surgeons to ensure everything is healing as it should. At these appointments, our surgeons may also check on the patient’s braces to make sure everything is tightened appropriately.
After the recovery period is complete and the braces are removed, most patients will need to continue wearing retainers to keep the teeth aligned in the correct position. Otherwise, they may start to drift back into misalignment.
What Are the Benefits of Corrective Jaw Surgery?
Patients who are reticent to have such a procedure need only look at the benefits of corrective jaw surgery, which can include:
- Improved functionality of the teeth, which makes it easier to eat and chew.
- A decrease in speech impediments, which can make a person more confident when speaking.
- Better sleeping and breathing, including the ability to breathe with the mouth, closed as well as fewer sleep apnea symptoms.
- A more balanced appearance in the face, which can improve how a person looks while boosting their self-esteem.
- A decrease in TMJ pain, which can take the form of headaches, face pain, and pain while chewing.
Choose OKDIOS for Corrective Jaw Surgery
Patients requiring jaw surgery should look to our surgeons for assistance. He offers years of experience providing knowledgeable care to patients. From the very first consultation to the last follow-up post-surgery appointment, our surgeons will provide only the most steadfast professionalism and poise.
Get the straight and beautiful mouth you’ve always desired by calling (405) 329-3500 now to schedule your appointment with Oklahoma Oral Surgery and Dental Implants.