Corrective jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery) is performed by the team of doctors at Berks Oral Surgery to correct a wide range of skeletal and dental irregularities, including the misalignment of jaws and teeth, which, in turn, can improve chewing, speaking and breathing. Jaw surgery not only dramatically enhances facial balance and esthetics, but also ensures that teeth meet correctly and function properly. The results of corrective jaw surgery can have a dramatic and positive effect on many aspects of a patient’s life.
CANDIDATES FOR CORRECTIVE JAW SURGERY
Most patients that may benefit from corrective jaw surgery initially complain of an improper bite resulting from misaligned teeth and/or jaws. In some cases, the upper and lower jaws grow at different rates, leading to an asymmetric appearance and an uneven bite. Congenital and acquired deformities, such as birth defects and facial injuries, may also affect jaw alignment. If orthodontic treatment alone cannot correct for the misalignment, corrective jaw surgery is required to reposition the upper and/or lower jaws.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS THAT MAY INDICATED THE NEED FOR CORRECTIVE JAW SURGERY
- Difficulty chewing or biting food
- Excessive wear of the teeth
- Speech problems
- Open bite (space between upper and lower teeth when mouth is closed)
- Unbalanced facial appearance
- Receding chin
- Protruding jaw
- Inability to make lips contact without straining
- Sleep apnea or snoring
A COLLABORATIVE TEAM EFFORT
The doctors at Berks Oral Surgery work with your dentist and orthodontist to determine whether you are a candidate for corrective jaw surgery. Before any treatment begins, a consultation will be held to perform a complete examination with radiographs. When you are fully informed about the aspects of your care, you and your dental team will make the decision to proceed with treatment together.
THE SURGICAL PROCEDURE
Before your surgery, orthodontic braces move the teeth into a new position. As your pre-surgical orthodontic treatment nears completion, updated records, including x-rays, photographs and models of your teeth, are taken to help guide your surgery.
Depending on the procedure, corrective jaw surgery may be performed under general anesthesia in a hospital, an ambulatory surgical center or in a surgical suite at Berks Oral Surgery. Operating time varies depending upon the exact nature of the procedure performed, but usually takes from one to four hours to complete.
Your doctor at Berks Oral Surgery will reposition the jawbones into their correct anatomical position based upon the preoperative work-up. Surgical plates and screws are used to fixate the jaws into their new position. You may have rubber bands placed onto your orthodontic wires to help guide you into your new bite.
After surgery, you will be provided with instructions for a modified diet during the healing process. Pain is easily controlled with medication and patients are generally able to return to work or school from one to three weeks after surgery.