Corrective jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, can be utilized to correct a number of facial and dental irregularities that lead to functional problems. At Northern Montana Oral Surgery we have extensive knowledge and experience in facial surgery including corrective jaw surgery, and we work with your dentist and orthodontist to ensure the best long term outcome.
The following are some of the conditions that may benefit from such surgery:
- Facial injury
- Congenital defects
- Chronic jaw and TMJ pain
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing food
- Excessive tooth wear
- Open bite
- Speech problems
- Receding or protruding lower jaw
- Chronic mouth breathing
- Sleep apnea
How we perform the surgery will ultimately depend on the reason why it is needed. There are several different ways to perform corrective jaw surgery, and the planning process is very detailed. It begins with your first consultation, where the doctor will evaluate your jaw, how it moves, and the places where you are experiencing trouble or pain. This will include assessments such as x-rays and models of your jaw and teeth. Typically if braces are needed as part of the correction, those will be placed before the surgery so your teeth will be aligned once the operation is complete. This entire process can take anywhere from several months to two years or more, depending on the individual.
In the past, jaw surgery required that the mouth be wired shut during the healing process. With modern techniques this is usually not the case, and small titanium plates and screws hold everything together while it heals. This dramatically reduces the impact the recovery period has on patients’ day to day activities, and most patients can go about many of their regular activities while their jaws heal.
If you have questions about jaw surgery or would like to schedule an appointment for a consultation, please call our office at (406) 727-4322.