Corrective Jaw Surgery
Corrective jaw surgery may be necessary when patients have jaw relationship discrepancies with respect to the cranial and facial skeleton. Such relations are usually due to inappropriate sizes of the upper and/or lower jaws. Most commonly such problems are noticed during adolescence in the facial growth phase. On rare occasion, this may be caused by a traumatic event, but most often there is some degree of genetic predisposition. Some patients have been told they have an under or over bite which is an informal description of these jaw size discrepancies.
Patients may commonly complain that they do not like their front or facial profile and will frequently point out the size discrepancy or asymmetry in either jaw. Function may be compromised as those patients will invariably present with some degree of malocclusion (inappropriate bite). They will have difficulty while speaking, biting and chewing food.
If the jaw size and relationship discrepancy is minor, the problem may be fixed with orthodontic intervention alone. However, in order to fix more severe deformities a surgical approach is indicated.
Corrective jaw surgery can be attempted only after careful treatment planning and facial bone with soft tissue analysis is performed. Your Oral Surgeon will discuss and treatment plan the case with patients orthodontist. Typically, the patient has to be put through the initial phase of orthodontia in order to properly align the teeth. Once the pre-surgical phase of orthodontia is complete, the patient undergoes the jaw repositioning procedure under general anesthesia in a hospital-based setting. After 1-2 months of healing the patient resumes final phase of orthodontic care.
The average length of orthodontic treatment is anywhere from 18 to 36 months.