Corrective Jaw Surgery
Orthognathic surgery is needed when the top and bottom jaws don’t meet correctly and/or teeth don’t adequately fit within the jaw. Teeth are straightened with orthodontics, and the jaws are properly positioned surgically. This not only improves facial appearance, but also ensures that teeth meet correctly and function properly. Sometimes you can achieve results with just doing jaw surgery in the top or the bottom jaw and other times surgery has to be done in both jaws to get the best result.
Who needs orthognathic surgery?
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 the upper and lower jaws may grow at different rates. The result can be a variety of complex problems that may affect chewing function, speech, or long-term oral health and appearance. Injury to the jaw and congenital birth defects can also affect jaw position. Orthodontics alone can correct bite problems when only the teeth are involved. When jaw growth abnormalities is the underlying cause, this can be treated with growth modification at a young age (Head gear, Bollard plates) or with orthognathic (jaw) surgery once the patient is done growing.
The following will be evaluated
- Difficulty in chewing, biting, or swallowing
- Speech problems
- Chronic jaw or TMJ pain
- Open bite
- Protruding jaw
- Breathing problems
Any of these symptoms can exist at birth, be acquired after birth as a result of hereditary or environmental influences, or as a result of trauma to the face. Before any treatment begins, a consultation will be held to perform a complete examination with x-rays. During the pre-treatment consultation process, feel free to ask any questions that you have regarding your treatment. When you are fully informed about the aspects of your care, you and your dental team can make the decision to proceed with treatment together.
Technology & Orthognathic Surgery
Dr. Pashkowsky uses modern computer-aided techniques and three-dimensional models to show you exactly how your surgery will be approached. Using comprehensive facial x-rays and computer video imaging, we can show you how your bite will be improved and even give you an idea of how you’ll look after surgery. This helps you understand the surgical process and the extent of the proposed treatment.
If you are a candidate for corrective jaw surgery, Dr. Pashkowsky will work closely with your dentist and orthodontist during your treatment. The actual surgery can move your teeth and jaws into a new position that results in a more attractive, functional, and healthy dental-facial relationship.
What to Expect
- Corrective jaw surgery is a significant intervention requiring many months of preparation.
- The surgery is performed in the hospital and can last between one to four hours.
- Hospital stays of one to two days are normal.
- Braces are maintained during surgery and typically for six to twelve months after surgery.
- Patients will need to be off work/school from two weeks to one month after surgery.
- Return to normal chewing function may take 2 months and full
function may take one year.
- Our goal is to ensure you are well taken care of during and after surgery.
- Weekly appointments are required for up to two months after surgery.