Corrective jaw surgery – also called orthognathic surgery – exists to repair certain functional problems; however, it also improves the facial profile and overall facial appearance of most patients. At Advanced Orthodontic Care, Dr. Robert Rudman may recommend orthognathic surgery in conjunction with braces, if you have certain jaw and teeth abnormalities and misalignment.
What is Orthognathic Surgery?
This procedure surgically corrects abnormalities of the jaws and teeth. Depending on the specific problems, these abnormalities may lead to difficulty with:
- Chewing and biting
A person with jaw misalignment may have an asymmetrical facial shape. They may have teeth that are unevenly worn down, and they may experience pain and soreness around the jaw joints.
There are other potential issues. If your jaw alignment is abnormal, you may find that you breathe with your mouth open often or always, and find you cannot breathe through your nose alone. Your lower jaw may look recessed or it may protrude too far beyond the upper jaw. You may find it difficult to bring your upper and lower lips together. Jaw abnormalities may also lead to sleep apnea, a disorder in which the airway collapses on itself during sleep, causing you to gasp for air and awaken multiple times throughout the night.
Although this type of approach may take a year or more to complete, it is well-worth it to most patients. Not only does it repair the issues listed above, but it also improves the appearance of your face. Both in profile and from straight-on, your facial appearance will likely be more pleasing to you after orthognathic surgery. When the jaws and teeth are properly aligned, it has a dramatic effect on the balance and proportions of the face. Your jaws and related bones are the supportive structure beneath the skin – when they are aligned, it shows from the inside out.
How to Find Out if You Need Corrective Jaw Surgery
The only way to know for sure is to arrange a consultation with Dr. Rudman in Denver. Most orthognathic surgical cases are referred to an experienced Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, who works collaboratively with Dr. Rudman to achieve your best bite and smile. In most situations, braces may be worn prior to jaw surgery, and then again after jaw surgery is complete.
Jaw surgery is most often recommended only for those patients whose jaws have stopped developing. Therefore, the youngest teens and children may get alternative recommendations for guiding jaw growth, such as early intervention orthodontics.
Most people are very happy with the results. Your lower face will look more balanced and you should have vastly improved teeth function. You'll also find your sleep and breathing improves, if those were problems for you prior to jaw surgery.
Learn More About Improving Your Bite
Dr. Robert Rudman is an experienced orthodontist who is passionate about achieving great results for his patients. He has been practicing in Colorado for decades. He established our practice in 1999. Give us a call in Cherry Creek to learn more, at 303-331-0222. When you visit Dr. Rudman for a consultation, he'll examine your teeth and mouth. We may take x-rays to get a detailed look at alignment. He'll determine whether braces alone can align your bite or teeth, or whether orthognathic surgery may be beneficial.