It is estimated that there are around 234 million major surgeries each year, meaning medical procedures requiring anesthesia. Among these, a significant number are related to corrective jaw surgery, or orthognathic surgery. These surgeries are performed to remedy misaligned jaws and teeth, often to prepare for orthodontic intervention and treatment. The goal of jaw surgery is to reposition irregularities and restore a proper bite. This can improve basic function of the jaw and can dramatically improve the appearance of the face in many instances.
Corrective Jaw Surgery
The goal of corrective jaw surgery is to restore teeth to a position that enables eating, drinking, speaking, and smiling- which for many, can be a life-changing procedure. The ripple-effects of successful jaw surgery is improved speech articulation, better breathing, and increased confidence.
Candidates for Jaw Surgery
How do you know if you need jaw surgery? Typically, you will be referred for jaw surgery by your orthodontic provider or dentist, depending on your distinct situation. Some of the following could make you a candidate for corrective jaw surgery:
- Problems with eating, chewing, biting, or swallowing food
- Difficulty speaking
- Chronic pain
- Excessive grinding or wearing of the teeth
- Jaw protrusion
- Mouth breathing
- Gaps between upper and lower jaw
- Sleep issues, like apnea
- Facial appearance issues related to alignment
Talk to your orthodontist to determine if jaw surgery is a viable approach to take. Treatment to restore the position of your teeth and jaw can be lengthy, involving both surgery and orthodontic interventions. Generally, jaw surgery is not recommended for patients under 16 years of age.
Before your surgery, you will meet with the surgeon to review plans and instructions. Follow these to ensure your surgery has the best chance of success possible. There will be food and drink restrictions on the day of your surgery, as expected, and your initial consultation provides the perfect platform to ask any questions and quell any fears related to the procedure.
Remember the many perks of corrective jaw surgery:
- Easier to eat and drink
- Less pain and jaw issues
- Reduces wear and tear on teeth
- Can improve mouth breathing
- Improved sleep
In some cases, the goal of surgery is to restore balance and alignment to the patient’s facial features, too.
Are you a candidate for jaw surgery? The orthodontic team at Reese Orthodontics can assess your orthodontic needs; occasionally jaw surgery may be able to best resolve bite issues for orthodontic treatment and optimal outcomes. Want to improve your smile? Call to schedule your consultation today.