Orthognathic Surgery, known as Corrective Jaw Surgery corrects minor and major dental and skeletal abnormalities. Corrective jaw surgery includes the correction of misaligned jaws and teeth, which will improve speaking, chewing, and breathing. The primary goal is to correct your functional problems, with potentially the added benefit of dramatically enhancing your appearance.
Sometimes, the upper and lower jaws grow at different rates. Also, birth defects and injuries can also cause jaw misalignment. Orthodontics correct bite problems when your teeth are not aligned. Corrective jaw surgery is necessary to correct jaw misalignment.
Dr. Schmitz will work with your Dentist and Orthodontist to determine whether you need corrective jaw surgery. We will determine which procedure will correct your problem and your treatment will likely include orthodontics before and after corrective jaw surgery, which can take several years to finish. Dr. Schmitz, along with your Orthodontist and Dentist will determine the course of treatment that best suits your needs.
Prior to surgery, you will need to wear braces that will move your teeth into a new position. Since your bite is being prepared so that your teeth fit together after surgery, it may feel like your teeth don’t fit together properly and your mouth is getting worse. However, when Dr. Schmitz positions your jaw, your teeth should fit well together.
Closer to surgery, we will take additional x-rays and models of your teeth to ensure that your teeth will be properly aligned during surgery.
This procedure can be performed under general anesthesia and can take anywhere from one to several hours to finish. Dr. Schmitz will reposition your jaw to suit your specific needs. Bone may be added, reshaped, or taken away. You also may require screws, surgical plates, rubber bands and wires to secure your jaws in their new locations. Usually, incisions are made inside your mouth to reduce noticeable scarring. Some cases require some small incisions on the outside of the mouth. We will minimize the appearance if these incisions are necessary.
Dr. Schmitz will instruct you to modify your diet, which may include liquids and solids and with a schedule for changing over to a normal diet. You should also avoid using tobacco products and engaging in strenuous physical activity.
Pain after your corrective jaw surgery can be easily managed with medication and you will be able to return to school or work between one and three weeks after surgery. Initial healing takes about six weeks; however, total healing of the jaw bears nine to 12 months.
Corrective jaw surgery, will position your teeth in a more functional, balanced and healthy manner. Some patients experience drastic enhancements to their appearance and speech.