Smile David Ross Orthodontics in Hanover, PA and Lutherville-Timonium, MD

The Benefits Of Corrective Jaw Surgery

Did you know that around 20% of the population has some degree of significant facial growth deformity? This may seem shocking to you at first. However, a significant facial deformity isn’t necessarily as immediately noticeable as some might think. What orthodontists consider significant, for example, may have more to do with the functionality of your bite than it has to do with the way you look. An underbite or overbite, for example, may count as a significant facial deformity, but you may not immediately notice it at all. In fact, you may live for years without realizing that you have a facial deformity, especially if that deformity is concentrated in your jaw.

However, that doesn’t mean that you can ignore a jaw deformity. If you ignore an issue with your jaw, you could very well end up with serious pain in the future. For that matter, you may discover that jaw issues can lead to problems with chewing or breathing down the road. So, what are you going to do to correct problems with your jaw? In some cases, traditional metal braces or clear braces can be enough to align the teeth and correct problems with the jaw, at least enough to avoid orthodontic surgery. In other cases, it’s impossible to avoid surgery. Corrective jay surgery needs to be carefully considered, as it’s not always the easiest type of surgery to undergo. However, it can also range widely in terms of its intensity. Lots of people find that they feel far better after corrective jaw surgery than they did before it was performed. For that matter, many people like the way they look after a corrective jay surgery, though the difference in appearance is usually fairly minimal. Nonetheless, before having corrective jay surgery you’ll surely have a lot of questions. Let’s try to get some of them answered for you below.

What Does Orthognathic Surgery Involve?

Most people have a lot of questions about what corrective jaw surgery involves, especially because it seems so drastic compared to, for example, braces. In fact, exactly what will occur during your surgery will depend on what you need and what your orthodontist advises. However, it typically does involve moving the bones of the jaw. They’re typically lengthened or shortened, and they get moved up or done or in or out. The goal is essentially to create a bite that is more even. Usually, an orthodontist will be involved in the overall plan. This may involve realigning the jaws alone, but it does sometimes further involve breaking the jaws.

How Do I Know If I Need Corrective Jaw Surgery?

Again, it can be difficult to tell whether or not you need corrective jaw surgery. It’s not always going to be visually obvious. However, if you experience jaw soreness or the grinding of teeth you may be experiencing signs of jaw issues that require corrective surgery. Jaw surgery may also be advised to correct problems like sleep apnea and general difficulty with breathing. Snoring, difficulty chewing, and even a misaligned nose could also be a sign that jaw surgery may need to be in your future. It really does depend on what your orthodontist begins to notice. But if you catch yourself on to any of these signs, you should ask questions. Corrective jaw surgery isn’t always going to be heavily advised by an orthodontist, which is why it’s sometimes elected by patients independently.

What Should I Expect From The Recovery?

As with any surgery, you should plan for your recovery time to last about six weeks depending on the procedure. However, it’s not as bad as you may think when it comes to corrective jaw surgery. Most patients don’t even need to spend the night in the hospital following surgery. Orthodontists will prescribe medications for your pain and swelling, and you should expect to be on a liquid diet for the first week following surgery. There will be numbness for some weeks, and you’ll need to be careful with activities, and strict about following your medication regimen. Ultimately, however, the surgery will be worth it!