Surgical orthodontics is the combination of orthodontic treatment with a surgical procedure known as orthognathic surgery. Corrective jaw, or orthognathic surgery, is performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons to correct a wide range of minor and major skeletal and dental irregularities, including the misalignment of jaws and teeth. Orthognatic surgery can improve chewing, speaking and breathing. While the patient’s appearance may be considerably enhanced as a result of their surgery, orthognathic surgery is performed to correct functional problems. The need for surgical orthodontics occurs when the jaws do not line up correctly and a proper bite cannot be achieved with orthodontic treatment alone. Orthognathic surgery will help complete the treatment, which is started and finished with braces. In order to undergo orthognathic surgery, growth of the jaws must be completed.
In the initial orthodontic evaluation, Dr. Tendler will assess the need for orthognathic surgery to complement her orthodontic treatment protocol. If you are a candidate for orthognathic surgery, you will be referred to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon shortly after so you have the opportunity to discuss the details of the surgery. We can then establish a “team” that will work together with Dr. Tendler throughout your treatment, from the initial treatment plan to the final results. We understand that the idea of corrective surgery might be slightly overwhelming, so we want to assure you that we are available to discuss any questions or concerns you may have. The results of corrective jaw surgery can have a dramatic and positive effect on many aspects of your life. So make the most of the new you!
Some conditions that may indicate the need for corrective jaw surgery include:
- difficulty chewing or biting food
- difficulty swallowing
- chronic jaw or jaw joint (TMJ) pain and headache
- excessive wear of the teeth
- open bite (space between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed)
- unbalanced facial appearance from the front or side
- facial injury or birth defects
- receding chin
- protruding jaw
- inability to make the lips meet without straining
- chronic mouth breathing and dry mouth
- sleep apnea (breathing problems when sleeping, including snoring)