Jaw surgery, technically called orthognathic surgery, straightens and repositions the jaws so that they meet correctly. While orthodontic treatment alone can be effective if a bite problem is due to the teeth only, jaw surgery may be required if the issue is caused by misaligned jaws, which is a skeletal issue. Jaw growth happens gradually and sometimes the upper and lower jaw grow at different rates, which can lead to:
- Difficulties with chewing, biting or swallowing
- Speech problems
- Chronic jaw or TMJ pain
- An open bite
- A protruding jaw
- Breathing problems including sleep apnea
While these symptoms can be present at birth and be hereditary, they can also develop over time or be acquired due to facial trauma or environmental influences. In most cases, corrective jaw surgery is a team effort and we collaborate with your orthodontist. Braces will be used to straighten the teeth and orthognathic surgery will align the jaws to correct skeletal and facial irregularities. While the major goal of the procedure is to fix functional problems, it will also enhance your appearance and give you a beautiful, confident facial profile and smile.
Benefits of Jaw Surgery
Improves Facial Appearance
Orthognathic surgery corrects dental and skeletal irregularities to enhance your facial appearance and smile.
Aligning the jaws creates a strong and stable bite with dramatic results that can’t be achieved with orthodontic treatment alone.
Jaw surgery can improve chewing, speaking and breathing as well as alleviate chronic headaches and jaw and TMJ pain.
We always start with a pre-treatment consultation. Dr. Fuqua, Smith or Zouhary will perform a complete examination. We utilize modern computer techniques and three-dimensional models to walk you through exactly how we’ll approach your surgery. Using comprehensive facial x-rays and digital imaging, we can illustrate how your bite will be improved. We always encourage you to ask any questions you have and we strive to help you understand the benefits of orthognathic surgery, as well as the extent of the procedure, so you and your dental team can make an informed decision to proceed.
If you are a candidate for corrective jaw surgery, Drs. Fuqua, Smith and Zouhary will work closely with your orthodontist during treatment. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and the specific techniques will vary depending on the issue we’re correcting. We perform CT-guided surgery for optimal accuracy as we move your teeth and jaws into a new position, which results in a more attractive, functional and healthy dental-facial relationship.