When to Consider Corrective Jaw Surgery (orthognathic)

Structural abnormalities of the jaw can cause significant cosmetic issues and often painful oral health conditions that may be solved with traditional orthodontics. However, sometimes braces and other conservative treatments aren’t enough to correct jaw misalignment.

In that case, you may require corrective jaw (orthognathic) surgery to address functional and cosmetic issues such as a receding chin, substantial crossbite, severe overbite, or discomfort associated with TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction.

The Harvard-trained surgeons at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates of Nevada, with offices in Summerlin and East Las Vegas, enjoy significant national acclaim for their exceptional surgical skills and medical expertise. Learn more about corrective jaw surgery from these highly qualified specialists.   

The basics of the corrective jaw (orthognathic) surgery

Corrective jaw (orthognathic) surgery is used to reshape, resize, and realign your jaw in ways that restore its normal function and appearance. This may include:

Depending on the nature of the anomaly, jaw surgery may be recommended for the upper jaw (maxilla), lower jaw (mandible), or both. Structural abnormalities affecting the lower jaw may also call for chin surgery (genioplasty).

What happens during corrective jaw surgery?

Your surgeon discusses the surgery, expected outcome, recovery guidelines, and other specific details related to your case before scheduling the procedure.

In general, however, the nature of the surgery is guided by characteristics of the targeted condition and may include:

Upper jaw (maxillary osteotomy)

During upper jaw surgery, your surgeon repositions the upper jaw to fit properly with the lower jaw and teeth. Maxillary osteotomy may be recommended to address issues linked to a receding or protruding upper jaw, such as crossbite or abnormal growth patterns in the upper to middle face.

Lower jaw (mandibular osteotomy)

Used to correct a severely protruding or receding lower jaw, mandibular osteotomy may be advised to correct bite abnormalities that aren’t amenable to traditional orthodontic treatments. Genioplasty (chin surgery) is often combined with a mandibular osteotomy to restore a normal cosmetic appearance to the chin region.

TMJ disorders

TMJ disorders that don’t respond to conservative therapy may require a minimally invasive surgical procedure such as arthroscopy to resolve headaches, chewing dysfunction, unrelenting jaw pain, and other issues related to the temporomandibular joint.

How long does it take to recover from jaw surgery?

Recovery time required after jaw surgery varies and depends upon the procedure performed. An arthroscopy to address TMJ disorder, for instance, is typically an outpatient procedure that involves a couple of days of home rest following the surgery.

On the other hand, an osteotomy usually requires a temporary hospital stay of one to two days. Most patients are placed on work and activity restrictions for a couple of weeks following osteotomy. It can, however, take six to 12 weeks for bones within your jaw to heal completely. Thus, your surgeon may ask you to refrain from contact sports, etc., for several weeks to avoid accidental trauma.

For more information about corrective jaw surgery or any other service we offer, schedule an evaluation at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates of Nevada today.

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