Have you been told that you need corrective jaw surgery? You are probably concerned and have a number of questions.
The technical term for corrective jaw surgery is orthognathic surgery. It’s used to solve severe bite alignment issues that can’t be solved with orthodontic treatment alone. We may recommend corrective jaw surgery in combination with orthodontic treatment for the most comprehensive results.
Why Do I Need Jaw Surgery?
In most situations, we’d prefer to correct problems in the most conservative and least invasive ways possible, but some issues do require a more intensive process to achieve the best results.
A misaligned bite can lead to a number of problems:
- Poor bite alignment can make chewing difficult and may lead to the avoidance of certain foods.
- When a bite doesn’t line up properly, teeth wear down unevenly, which can cause excessive wear on some teeth, leading to erosion and even breakage.
- A bad bite often affects facial symmetry. Correcting the bite will give you a more symmetrical appearance.
- Misaligned bites can lead to painful and problematic conditions like temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). When the bite is corrected, these problems can resolve.
Will There Be Scarring?
For the most part, jaw surgery is done entirely inside the mouth. This is great news because it means that you are unlikely to have any scarring (or show any other signs of surgery) on your face.
The jawbones will be cut and then repositioned. Often, the bones must be held in their new positions with screws or plates. In some cases, it may be necessary to add additional bone to build up an area that is currently deficient. This bone could come from your own body (common donor sites are the hips or ribs), or donor bone or synthetic bone may be recommended.
Where Will My Surgery Be Performed?
Jaw surgery of this nature is often performed in a hospital setting, and you may be required to stay overnight for one or two nights. You should anticipate full recovery taking about three to six weeks, depending on how extensive your surgery is and your own healing rate.
Will I Need Orthodontics, Too?
You may need to wear orthodontics for a year or more prior to jaw surgery. We’d rather correct as much as possible with conservative measures and only rely on surgery for issues that can’t be corrected with orthodontics. Once your surgery is complete and you have healed, orthodontics may be required to finish the process. Overall, you can expect the surgery and orthodontics process to take one to two years.
Do you have additional questions about jaw surgery? Are you wondering if surgery is the right solution for your misaligned bite?
Call our Fort Worth dental office today at (817) 737-6601 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ryan Knight.