Corrective Jaw Surgery (Orthognathic Surgery) FAQ's
What is corrective jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery)?
Orthognathic surgery corrects a wide range of issues in your jaw and with your teeth. It can adjust misaligned jaws or teeth and greatly improve your appearance.
Common reasons you may require jaw surgery include:
- Temporomandibular joint pain
- Trauma to the jaw
- An incorrect bite that leads to an imperfect smile
- Excessive tooth wear due to clenching or teeth grinding
- Difficulty chewing or opening and closing the mouth
- Sleep apnea
- Protruding jaw
- Excessive wear of teeth
- Difficulty swallowing
- Receding lower jaw and chin
For people who have a birth defect or a facial injury, jaw surgery may be necessary. If you’re in need of an oral surgeon, get the best available by consulting the team at WisNova Institute of Dental Specialists. Jaw surgery can be done on the upper or lower jaw, the chin, or in a combination of locations.
What results should I expect from corrective jaw surgery?
Corrective jaw surgery isn’t always an instant fix to your dental and skeletal problems. Orthodontics may be part of the procedure, and achieving the desired bite and look may take months or years.
What should I expect during corrective jaw surgery?
Jaw surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia and you may have to spend a night or two in the hospital following the procedure.
Usually, jaw surgery is performed inside your mouth, leaving no facial scars. In some procedures, however, a small incision may be necessary outside of your mouth.
During surgery, the surgeon makes cuts in the jawbones and moves them into the correct position. You may need tiny bone plates, screws, wires, or rubber bands placed to secure your jawbones into their new position. Over time, any added screws or plates become integrated as part of your bone structure.
During some surgeries, the doctors add extra bone to the jaw. This extra bone comes from your hip, rib, or leg and is secured with plates and screws. If you have irregularities to the jaw bone, your surgeon may reshape it to create a better bite and look.
If you have jaw abnormalities that may improve with surgery, trust the experts at WisNova Institute of Dental Specialists. Call for a consultation or book online.
How may corrective jaw surgery benefit you?
IMPROVED CHEWING: When the teeth and jaws do not meet well, it can be a struggle to bite into and chew foods effectively. Some patients feel self-conscious eating in front of others. Aligning the jaws and teeth allows efficient, effective chewing and frequently allows patients to eat foods they could not eat previously.
CLEARER SPEECH: Many abnormal jaw relationships result in problems with speech, such as lisping. Correcting the jaws through orthognathic surgery often addresses these problems without the need for speech therapy.
BETTER BREATHING: Some jaw relationships predispose patients to developing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In fact, certain jaw movements are actually used to treat OSA. Even if you do not have sleep apnea, creating appropriate jaw relationships can optimize your breathing, eliminate or improve snoring, and remove a risk factor for developing OSA.
RELIEF FROM PAIN: When your jaws are properly aligned, the jaw joints are loaded appropriately. While not universal, many patients with pain in the jaw joints or the muscles that move the jaw experience improvement after correction of their jaw positions.
INCREASED CONFIDENCE: Patients often report that they feel more self-assured in social and professional situations after jaw surgery.
OPTIMAL LONG-TERM DENTAL HEALTH: Some patients have multiple treatment options available, including orthodontics alone or orthodontics with surgery. When the teeth are moved to “camouflage” a jaw discrepancy, they must often be tilted or moved in ways that compromise their long-term bone support and health. “Camouflage” can also make it more challenging to correct the jaw discrepancy to an ideal position in the future.
DURABLE RESULTS: When a bite problem is due to the position of the jaws, jaw surgery allows the orthodontist to put the teeth in the most stable position within your existing bone. A combined treatment with both surgery and orthodontics improves the stability of long-term results in such cases.
What should I expect on my first visit?
Your surgeon at WisNova will discuss your goals, obtain images and take impressions (in some cases these can be sent by your orthodontist), review your history and complete a thorough physical exam. This information will allow our highly specialized surgeons to provide tailored recommendations for your care. Our team is committed to working seamlessly with your orthodontist so together we can achieve an extraordinary outcome.
WisNova uses cutting edge virtual surgical technology to plan your surgery three dimensionally, ensuring results are precise. Their experience, unparalleled in the region, allows them to execute the surgical plan with utmost accuracy and to guide you through the recovery process.
Frequently the surgical portion of your treatment is covered in part under your medical insurance. Our office will help obtain a predetermination from your insurance based on the expected treatment plan so you can plan appropriately for any uncovered costs.
Out of Network? No problem! Our team will work with you to apply for an out of network exception from your medical insurance. CareCredit is an option for many patients, and our staff can provide more information.
What to expect from recovery?
Most patients spend one night overnight in the hospital. Some procedures are done on an outpatient basis, and others require an additional night in the hospital.
It is very rare to wire the jaws together with modern techniques. Almost all patients will be able to open and close their mouths right after surgery.
Your surgeon will help you understand recovery more completely at your consultation.
How do I schedule an appointment?
Call our office today! If you are currently under the care of your orthodontist, our team can contact their office for records or the orthodontist can refer you directly to our surgeons.