Orthognathic surgery or corrective jaw surgery is performed to fix a wide range of dental and skeletal defects. This surgery can help improve chewing, biting, speaking, swallowing, and breathing problems. At Oral and Facial Surgery Center, orthognathic surgery is done to correct functional problems; however, it also results in improved personal appearances.
Indications of Orthognathic Surgery
Below are some of the conditions that show a need for corrective jaw surgery, as stated by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS):
Jaw surgery may be a viable treatment option if you have jaw issues that cannot be fixed by simple orthodontia. In many cases, you may also have to wear braces before or during the surgery until your jaw acquires complete alignment. Dr. Ardoin and Dr. Kennedy can help determine the best treatment plan for you.
Orthognathic surgery is only recommended once the growth of the jaw stops, usually around the age of 17 to 21 years for males, and 14 to 16 years for females.
Types of Jaw Surgery
Orthognathic surgery may be performed on the upper jaw (maxilla), lower jaw (mandible), the chin, or a combination of all of these.
Maxillary Osteotomy or Upper Jaw Surgery
The upper jaw surgery involves the maxilla. In this type of surgery, we will typically make cuts in the upper jaw so that the entire maxilla, including your upper teeth and palate, move as one unit. This is done to move the upper jaw up, down, backward, or sideways so that we can secure it with screws and plates in the correct position. Some surgeries also involve shaving away excess bone structure, like fixing an open bite.
This surgery is performed to correct a protruding or receding upper jaw, crossbite, open bite, and too much or too little teeth showing. It is also used to fix midfacial hypoplasia, a condition in which the upper jaw, eye socket, and cheekbones do not grow as much as the other parts of the face.
Mandibular Osteotomy or Lower Jaw Surgery
This surgery involves dividing the mandible or the lower jaw by making cuts behind the molar and down the length of the jawbone so that your front jaw can move as a whole unit. This enables us to move the jaw into the correct position and then secure it with plates and screws so that it heals properly.
This type of surgery can correct a receding or protruding upper jaw.
Genioplasty or Chin Surgery
A genioplasty can help correct a deficient or small chin. This condition is often accompanied by a receded lower jaw. At Oral and Facial Surgery Center, we can alter the chin and restructure the lower jaw in a single surgery. This is done by cutting a portion of the chin bone at the front, moving it forward, and positioning it in place with screws and plates.
Aftercare for Orthognathic Surgery
After your jaw surgery, we will provide you with a list of instructions, which will include what things to eat, how to ensure proper oral hygiene and dietary habits, and what pain-control medications to take.
Usually, patients who have undergone jaw surgery can return to their daily lives in two or three weeks. Complete healing typically takes about six to 12 weeks.
Once your jaw is healed, we will align your teeth with orthodontics. After the braces are removed, you will have to use retainers for some time to hold the teeth in place. The entire treatment may take a few years to complete.
If your jaw needs correction, call us at 337-443-2533 for our Lafayette location or 337-381-3663 for our Opelousas location to schedule an appointment with us. We will discuss your treatment options with you and devise a comprehensive treatment plan for you.