Orthognathic surgery is needed when jaws don’t meet correctly and/or teeth don’t seem to fit with jaws. Teeth are straightened with orthodontics and corrective jaw surgery repositions misaligned jaws. This not only improves facial appearance, but also ensures that teeth meet correctly and function properly.
People who can benefit from orthognathic surgery include those with an improper bite or jaws that are positioned incorrectly. Jaw growth is a gradual process and in some instances, the upper and lower jaws may grow at different rates. The result can be a host of problems that can affect chewing function, speech, long-term oral health and appearance.
Injury to the jaw and birth defects can also affect jaw alignment. Orthodontics alone can correct bite problems when only the teeth are involved. Orthognathic surgery may be required when the jaws need repositioning. If you have difficulty with the following areas, you should be evaluated:
- Difficulty chewing, biting, or swallowing
- Speech problems
- Open bite
- Protruding jaw
- Breathing problems
Any of these can exist at birth or may be acquired after birth as a result of hereditary or environmental influences or the result of trauma to the face. Before any treatment begins, a consultation will be necessary to perform a complete examination with x-rays. When you are fully informed about the aspects of your care, you and your dental team (dentist and orthodontist) will make the decision to proceed with treatment together. This surgery can move your teeth and jaws into a new position that results in a more attractive, functional, and healthy dental-facial relationship.