A misaligned bite, also known as malocclusion, affects over a quarter of the American population. The degree of misalignment of the jaw, however, differs from person to person. In most cases, the patients don't need orthognathic surgery along with their orthodontics.
In severe cases where the patients have had an abnormal jaw growth that causes an underbite or major overbite, orthodontics alone may not be enough. Then, the dentist recommends orthognathic surgery because orthodontics will help straighten the teeth but cannot correct jaw development issues. The surgery helps lengthen, shorten, move up, or move down either or both jaws. Repositioning of the jaws lets the jaw and teeth meet correctly and restore teeth functionality and facial aesthetics.
People with severely improper bites or jaw alignments would require orthognathic surgery. The development of jaws is a gradual process. If either the upper jaw or lower jaw does not develop completely or an injury is suffered during developmental years, the jaws and teeth may not be properly aligned. The misalignment could affect chewing function, long-term oral health, speech, and appearance.
If only the teeth are misaligned, orthodontics would be able to fix the problem. Misalignment of the jaws, however, may need orthognathic surgery. Neglecting jaw surgery is not advisable, either. Compensating the mismatched jaws by moving just the teeth could lead to periodontal issues, jaw joint pain, relapse of the orthodontic treatment, and a negative impact on the facial appearance.
Orthognathic surgery would have to be considered in case any of the following conditions exist:
These symptoms may exist from birth or be developed at a later point in time. They may be caused by hereditary or environmental influences too.
Orthognathic surgery is a complex surgery that involves movement of the teeth and jaws. The treatment has a significant impact on the teeth and facial appearance, which is why it must be carefully planned. For a jaw surgery, a team that includes an oral surgeon, orthodontist, and general dentist would study the case and take a call as a team. Additional dental specialists such as endodontists and periodontists may also participate in the decision-making process, depending on the case.
The consultation for the surgery is provided after a complete examination is conducted using X-rays and models. The specialists will explain the approach adopted by them to achieve the desired results using scans and models. Once the surgery is complete, tiny titanium screws or plates are implanted in the jaw to keep them in place during the healing process. Patients would be free to move about normally after the surgery.
If you notice a misalignment in your jaws or teeth, call us at (916) 575-9990 or email us at [email protected] to schedule your consultation today. We will be happy to guide you towards taking the necessary steps in getting started with your treatment.