In many cases, malocclusion and misalignment are due to abnormal positioning of the teeth. Sometimes, however, these issues are the result of skeletal problems, which can lead to difficulty when chewing, eating, and speaking. Orthognathic surgery – or corrective jaw surgery – can be performed in conjunction with orthodontic treatment to improve the appearance, function, and health of your smile. Dr. Carl Roy works alongside a skilled oral surgery specialist (OMS) to deliver optimal results to our patients.
When is Jaw Surgery Necessary?
There are several reasons why jaw surgery may be required. This procedure may be indicated if you experience:
- Chronic headaches
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain
- Difficulty biting, chewing, or swallowing
- Severe tooth erosion
- Facial asymmetry
- Trauma or injury to the maxillofacial structures
- A receding chin
- A protruding jaw
- Sleep disorders, such as mouth breathing, snoring, or sleep apnea
What Happens if I Need Jaw Surgery?
During your initial consultation, Dr. Roy will assess your jaw joints and your maxillofacial bones. If he determines that jaw surgery could improve your bite, he will refer you to a trusted oral surgeon. This specialist will perform his or her own assessment, and determine which type of jaw surgery will be most beneficial for you.
For proper comprehensive care, your orthodontist, oral surgeon, and general dentist will all work together to develop a customized treatment plan. Generally, the process will begin with orthodontic treatment, which will last for approximately 12 to 18 months. When the teeth are in an ideal position, the oral surgeon will perform the jaw surgery at a hospital or an ambulatory surgical center. This is often followed up with a final round of orthodontic treatment. Of course, this process can vary, depending on the unique needs of the patient.
Orthodontic treatment with jaw surgery is a commitment. However, by correcting your bite and investing in your smile, you can enjoy optimal oral health for many years to come.
The Surgical Process
Jaw surgery is typically performed under sedation. The details of your sedation will be discussed by your oral surgeon beforehand. To perform the surgery, the jawbone will be reshaped and moved into a more favorable position. To secure the jawbone in its new location, surgical materials, such as screws, plates, and wires, will be used. If you are deficient in bone density, a bone grafting procedure can be performed during the surgery. This bone may be harvested from another section of your jaw, or it may be purchased from a bone and tissue bank. Because today’s surgeons used advanced techniques, recovery time is minimized.
Advanced Technology for Accurate Care
Today’s technology allows your dental team to virtually plan your surgery before the first incision is ever made. Through digital diagnostic imaging, we can obtain an accurate view of your oral maxillofacial structures. Your oral surgeon will be able to plan every step of your surgery in advance, demonstrating the functional benefits of the corrective jaw procedure. In some cases, you will even be able to see what you will look like when your treatment is complete.
Learn More about Corrective Jaw Surgery
If you experience chronic jaw pain, difficulty chewing, sleep apnea, or other symptoms, jaw surgery could help correct these issues. To determine if you will require jaw surgery in conjunction with your orthodontic treatment, schedule a consultation with Dr. Roy. Contact our Virginia Beach or Chesapeake office location today.