Corrective Jaw Surgery
Orthognathic surgery is needed when the top and bottom jaws don’t meet correctly and/or the teeth don’t adequately fit within the jaw. Teeth are straightened with orthodontics, and corrective jaw surgery repositions a misaligned jaw. This improves facial appearance, and allows the teeth to meet correctly and function properly.
Orthognathic Surgery Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of orthognathic surgery, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to orthognathic surgery are discussed.
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 in some instances, the upper and lower jaws may grow at different rates. The result can be a host of problems that may affect chewing function, speech, or long-term oral health and appearance. Injury to the jaw and birth defects can also affect jaw alignment. Orthodontics alone can correct bite problems when only the teeth are involved. Orthognathic surgery is required when jaw repositioning is necessary.
Difficulty in the following areas should 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 of the face, discuss possible treatment and answer any questions you may have. Dr. Wenk will then discuss your case with your orthodontist. Once your treatment plan is finalized, you and your dental team can make the decision to proceed with treatment together.
Technology & Orthognathic Surgery
Once your teeth are aligned and prepared for surgery, Dr. Wenk uses VSP (Virtual Surgical Planning) to plan your surgery. Using clinical findings from your preoperative visit, usually one to two years after your first consultation, Dr. Wenk plans the exact moves that are going to be made to your jaw. During this virtual meeting hidden skeletal asymmetries and potential bony interferences can be addressed. Surgical splints are then manufactured to fit your teeth and impart the exact desired moves to your jaws during surgery. With corrective jaw surgery, Dr. Wenk and your orthodontist do everything they can to move your teeth and jaws into a more attractive and functional 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 three days are normal.
- Braces are maintained during surgery and may need to be removed six to twelve months after surgery.
- The greatest impact of orthognathic surgery is the recovery phase.
- Patients typically may 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.