Corrective Jaw Surgery
Do you have difficulty biting, chewing or swallowing your food? Do you suffer from persistent headaches or jaw pain? Is your jaw protruding or does your chin recede? Has your spouse ever complained about your snoring at night or worried that you have sleep apnea?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may benefit from corrective jaw surgery. Also known as orthognathic surgery, jaw surgery is performed when the top and bottom jaws aren’t aligned correctly, or when the teeth don’t fit properly within the jaw bone. Usually, people who need corrective jaw surgery may also have an open bite, an unbalanced facial appearance, excessive wear of the teeth, and chronic mouth breathing.
When Jaw Surgery in Charlotte Is Necessary
For many patients, orthodontic treatment is all that is needed to correct improper bites when only the teeth are involved. However, when there are discrepancies in the size, shape or position of both jaws, orthodontics alone cannot re-align the bite. In these cases, surgery is necessary to correct a host of problems that can affect your chewing, speech, oral health and appearance.
Jaw surgery serves both functional and aesthetic purposes. Correction of these abnormalities results in the improvement in oral function, such as chewing and speaking, and even enhances facial aesthetics. With facial deformities improved, self-esteem and confidence are significantly boosted.
Preparing for Surgery
It is not uncommon for corrective jaw surgery to require several months of preparation. If you are a candidate for surgery, your orthodontist and oral and maxillofacial surgeon will work closely to map out your treatment plan. The surgeon will also determine the type and extent of your procedure, which could range from surgery to correct a receding lower jaw or upper jaw surgery for an underbite.
The majority of patients will need to wear orthodontic braces before undergoing corrective jaw surgery to move teeth into an optimal position for when the jaws are surgically aligned. This process may take as little as a few months for mild bite issues, or up to a year, depending on the complexity of the malocclusion.
Surgery is performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon at a hospital or surgical center. During the surgery, the jaw position is adjusted and repositioned to an ideal bite relationship.
What to Expect After Surgery
Immediately following surgery, patients are given detailed instructions for post-op care. This includes the following:
- Instructions for brushing and flossing during the recovery period
- A liquid diet plan due to swelling and soreness
- Pain medication may be prescribed to control discomfort
- Encouragement to rest as much as possible and avoid any strenuous activities in the initial few days following surgery
- Apply ice as needed to reduce swelling
The changes in your facial appearance may initially seem dramatic and surprising. During the healing process, your muscle tone and function will begin to improve and your face will start to look and feel normal again. It is a very exciting time when patients can view their jaw surgery before and after to see the improved transformation of their facial appearance.
Recovery for Jaw Surgery
While recovery for jaw surgery will look different for everyone, patients should allow up to three weeks before expecting to return to normal activities, like work or school. Over the course of the first three months following surgery, patients will notice a major improvement in the way their face looks and feels. Solid foods can be slowly introduced back into a person's diet, and jaw mobility will continue to improve. The orthodontic portion of the surgical process is usually continued once a patient is completely healed. This will finalize the dental alignment and overall appearance of the patient’s jaw.
Schedule Your Free First Visit Today
Take the first step toward a healthier, more beautiful you. To learn more about corrective jaw surgery in Charlotte, contact Burrow Orthodontics today using the form below for your free initial visit!
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