When is Orthognathic Surgery Recommended?

Sometimes, orthognathic or corrective jaw surgery is recommended to achieve proper alignment of the teeth or jaws. The jaws can fall short of proper alignment for a number of reasons. It is not uncommon for the upper or lower jaws to develop at different rates, affecting the relationship between the top and bottom teeth. Accidental injuries and congenital defects can also result in improperly positioned jaws and teeth.

When the alignment of the teeth is incorrect, or when the bite is “off”, traditional braces are generally used to achieve proper occlusion. In cases where traditional braces are not effective, or when the condition is determined to be skeletal in nature, orthognathic surgeries are performed by top oral surgeons to improve the function of the teeth and jaws. Some common examples of skeletal defects include:

  • Small or weak chin
  • Prominent or protruding chin
  • Open bite (Top and bottom teeth do not come together when the mouth is completely closed.)
  • Chronic TMJ or dysfunction of the jaw joint
  • Sleep apnea or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
  • Difficult biting or chewing
  • Congenital (birth) defects

Orthognathic, or corrective jaw surgery, involves the repositioning of the entire upper or lower jaw, a portion of the jaw, and/or the chin. Your oral surgeon will work together with your dentist and orthodontist to ensure that the teeth are properly positioned at the conclusion of the procedure. In some cases, the treatment will be coordinated to include orthodontic treatment before or after your surgery.

With patience and careful planning, the final outcome of the procedure will be a more balanced and functional bite. This can result in less strain on the jaw joint and less wear on the teeth. Many patients also enjoy an improved facial profile, improved speech, and more efficient chewing following corrective jaw surgery.

If you are interested in learning more about the recommendations for orthognathic, or corrective jaw surgery, schedule an appointment for a consultation with our experienced oral surgery team serving the DFW area today.