Have you been told you have a complicated orthodontic case or that you may require jaw surgery? Corrective Jaw Surgery and Orthodontic Treatment are performed together in cases where orthodontic treatment alone would not provide the most optimal result.
Complicated cases most suited to combined treatment with jaw surgery and braces include: significant differences between the sizes of the upper and lower jaws, adults with obstructive sleep apnea due to narrow airway spaces, certain facial syndromes affecting the jaw bones.
If you’re exploring ways to improve your jaw alignment and overall oral health, you’re in the right place. We’ll break down these procedures in simple terms, so you can make informed decisions about your dental care.
What is Corrective Jaw Surgery?
Corrective jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a procedure that addresses issues with the jaw and facial structure. It’s not just about aesthetics; it can significantly enhance your ability to bite, chew, and speak. This surgery is often recommended for those with:
- Misaligned Jaw: If your upper and lower jaws don’t fit together correctly, it can lead to issues like difficulty chewing, speaking, or breathing.
- Facial Imbalance: Some people may have facial features that appear asymmetrical or disproportionate due to jaw misalignment.
- TMJ Disorders: Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues, such as pain and difficulty moving the jaw, can be addressed through corrective jaw surgery.
The Process of Jaw Surgery and Braces:
- Orthodontic Consultation: Your journey begins with a consultation with our experienced orthodontist. They will assess your condition, discuss your goals, and explain the recommended treatment plan.
- Orthodontic Records: To provide you with the best options for your specific case, we will take diagnostic records including a digital impression of your teeth, photographs and orthodontic x-rays.
- Surgical Consultation: We will refer you to an experienced oral-maxillofacial surgeon that we work closely with. The surgeon will discuss the appropriateness of your case for surgery as well as risks and benefits of surgery.
- Orthodontic Preparation: Before surgery, orthodontic treatment is necessary to align your teeth. This phase helps create a solid foundation for the surgical correction. This phase usually lasts a minimum of 12-18 months.
- Surgery: The actual surgery involves repositioning the jawbones to achieve better alignment. The procedure is performed in a hospital and may require a short hospital stay.
- Recovery: Post-surgery, a period of recovery is essential. This may involve a soft diet, limited physical activity, and follow-up appointments to monitor progress.
- Post-Surgical Orthodontics: Once the surgery is completed, orthodontic treatment continues to provide the best possible outcome. This phase usually lasts 6-12 months.
Orthodontic treatment plays a crucial role in the corrective jaw surgery or orthognathic surgery process. It focuses on aligning your teeth properly to ensure the best possible results. Here’s a brief overview:
- Braces: Traditional braces are used to move your teeth into their optimal positions.
- Regular Adjustments: Throughout your orthodontic treatment, you’ll have periodic appointments to adjust your braces or aligners, ensuring steady progress.
- Retention Phase: After achieving the desired alignment, a retention phase follows. This involves using retainers to maintain the new position of your teeth.
Benefits of Corrective Jaw Surgery and Braces:
- Improved Bite Function: Corrective jaw surgery enhances your ability to bite, chew, and speak comfortably.
- Better Facial Balance: Achieve a more balanced and aesthetically pleasing facial appearance.
- Relief from jaw-joint Issues: If you’re experiencing TMJ-related problems, corrective jaw surgery can in some cases provide relief, but this is not guaranteed. In some cases, TMJ issues will remain the same or potentially worsen following corrective jaw surgery.
Corrective jaw surgery or orthognathic surgery combined with braces can be transformative for both your oral health and overall well-being. If you’re considering these procedures, our team is here to guide you through every step. Schedule a free consultation for braces to explore how we can help you achieve a healthier, more confident smile. Your journey to improved jaw function and facial harmony starts here! There is lots of further information on the this process on the AAO website.