Correcting the jaws that do not align properly is a common reason for the jaw surgery. Corrective jaw surgery is also called orthognathic and is a procedure that is often performed by maxillofacial and oral surgeons. The surgery is performed after growth has stopped, usually at the age of 14 to 15 for the women and the age of 17 to 21 for the male. Surgical procedures on jaws are performed for purposes of correcting functional problems.
Evaluating the need for surgery
The conditions that suggest the need for corrective jaw surgery include difficulty biting or chewing food; difficulty swallowing; excessive wear and tear of the teeth; TMJ pain or chronic jaw pain & headache. Other such cases include open bite;unbalanced appearance of the face from the side or front; receding chin; birth defects or facial injury; protruding jaw; sleep apnea; dry mouth & chronic mouth breathing; and straining to meet the lips.
The surgeon evaluates your condition to determine whether you qualify for the surgery. He or she determines the most appropriate procedure to perform. The treatments before and after the surgical procedures often takes many years to complete. The surgeon understands that the procedures require your long-term commitment. Therefore, they will try to estimate the time required for the treatment. When you have been informed fully about your case including the treatment option, the dental team will work with you to ensure the best results.
Once the surgeon is able to reposition the jaws during the cosmetic surgery the teeth will fit together properly. Depending with the procedures the surgery may be performed under anesthesia in hospital, in the maxillofacial surgery office or the ambulatory surgical center. The surgery can be performed from 1 to several hours.
The benefit of the jaw surgical procedures
· Helps to make chewing and biting easier. The procedures help to improve the function of chewing on a whole.
· Corrects facial imbalance, which helps to improve the appearance of the deficient chins, cross bites, overbites and under bites.
· Minimizes and eliminates excessive wear and tear and teeth breakdown over the years that they are in use
· Improves “gummy” smiles, a situation where the lips fail to close fully or pull upward showing large sections of the gums
· Restore balance/symmetry of the lower facial and middle features
· Reduces the risk of TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disease and other diseases of the jaw
· Improves “toothless” smiles, in a situation where the lips cover the teeth
· Provides relief for the sleep apnea
· Repairs and corrects abnormalities and post traumatic facial injury defects.