Issues with bone structure, TMJ disorders, orthodontic problems, sleep apnea, and other conditions can all relate to the alignment of your jaw. When nonsurgical treatments fail to correct bite problems, orthognathic surgery can truly change a patient’s life by improving their ability to eat, speak, and breathe comfortably. Some patients also find that corrective jaw surgery can dramatically enhance their overall appearance. Dr. Charles Stone and Dr. Brian Stone at Southern Surgical Arts perform corrective jaw surgery at our office in Tyler, TX.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are not just experts at dental surgery; they also undergo years of training to understand the facial structures and how to repair them. Our surgical team has years of experience performing oral and facial surgeries of all kinds, and reconstructive jaw surgeries are one of our specialties.
Who needs orthognathic surgery?
Orthognathic surgery may be used to treat a variety of conditions, but it typically involves solving issues with bite alignment. Having one or more of the following symptoms or conditions may indicate the need for jaw surgery:
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing food
- Breathing problems or sleep apnea
- Excessive wear on the teeth
- A severe receding or protruding chin
- Difficulty closing your mouth or teeth fully
- Chronic jaw pain or TMJ (jaw joint) pain
- Difficulty opening your mouth all the way
If you notice one or more of the following symptoms, you may want to get checked by a dental professional. Sometimes nonsurgical treatments, like the use of a night guard or braces, can correct bite problems, but in other cases, surgery may be the best option.
Patients who choose to undergo orthognathic surgery see a variety of benefits, such as improved jaw function, reduced pain, and sometimes even improved facial aesthetics.
Orthognathic Surgery Procedure
The entire treatment process usually spans several months and involves orthodontic treatment, surgery, a recovery period, and final orthodontic refinement. While this process is longer than many other oral surgery procedures, patients suffering from jaw problems typically find that the benefits after they have recovered are well worth the wait.
Below is a general outline of how most orthognathic surgery treatments go. The exact procedure you undergo will depend on your particular situation. Some patients may need to have their lower jaw repositioned, while others need alterations to their upper jaw and teeth. In either case, your oral surgeon will work with you and your orthodontist to produce the best results from treatment.
First, your orthodontist will prepare your teeth for their new alignment with braces. This preparation can take several months before you are ready for your surgical procedure. Once your orthodontist has properly positioned your teeth, your oral surgeon will be able to perform your jaw surgery.
You will come in for a consultation so that your surgeon can evaluate your situation and form a treatment plan well before your surgery date. If you have any questions about your procedure, you will have a chance to ask them during this appointment. You will also receive pre- and post-operative instructions to help you prepare for surgery.
At your surgical appointment, you will receive some form of IV anesthesia, which will allow you to remain unconscious throughout the procedure. After administering the anesthetic, your surgeon will separate the portion of the jaw that needs repositioning, then reattach it using tiny screws, wires, or plates. Oral surgeons use techniques that minimize scarring and produce the best cosmetic results. Once your procedure is over, you will rest until your anesthesia subsides.
There will be a recovery period of several weeks while the bone continues to heal. Patients typically experience the most post-surgical discomfort during the first week or so following surgery, then things get much easier. A soft food diet will be necessary as your jaw heals. Your oral surgeon will provide you with post-operative instructions and a prescription for any medications you need to prepare you for your recovery process.
Orthognathic Surgery in Tyler, TX
If you are in need of corrective jaw surgery, the surgeons at Southern Surgical Arts are here to help. Our staff understands how debilitating it can be to have chronic jaw pain, and they love seeing the results patients receive from treatment. Our oral surgeons have hospital privileges at multiple local hospitals, so your procedure will be safely performed using the most reliable and advanced tools at our disposal. If you are interested in receiving an evaluation for orthognathic treatment, or if you want more information about jaw surgery, contact our office for details. One of our staff members will be happy to assist you.