When our teeth do not align properly with each other, we may seek orthodontic attention from a professional orthodontist. The dentist would carefully analyze our condition and suggest a suitable treatment option, either in the form of braces or Invisalign. But, in certain situations, the improper bite can only be corrected with the help of orthognathic surgery, or in simple words, a jaw surgery.
What is orthognathic surgery?
Orthognathic surgery is an oral surgery performed to change the alignment of the upper and lower jaws. It is used to treat malocclusion issues such as overbite, open bite, underbite, and crossbite and bring about a change in the bite, facial symmetry and treat issues related to sleep apnea (as it opens up the airway and reduces the obstruction for smooth airflow to the lungs).
Who would be a good candidate for jaw surgery?
- Patients who have misaligned jaws and need a cosmetic and functional makeover.
- Patients who have speech problems.
- Patients who have difficulty in biting, chewing or swallowing food.
- Patients who experience persistent pain due to a TMJ disorder.
- Patients with open bite, crossbite, overbite, and underbite.
- Patients who have a frontward protruding lower jaw.
- Patients who experience troubled breathing due to sleep apnea.
- Patients who have undergone an injury to the jaw.
What to expect during the treatment?
During your initial visit to our office, Dr. Gary Lau would extensively study your condition and determine whether or not you would require an orthognathic surgery. Several tests such as radiographs, 3D scans, x-rays will be performed and panoramic photographs of the mouth will be taken to accumulate the data. The surgery may involve aligning only the upper jaw or lower jaw, or in certain cases, both the jawbones. Meanwhile, if you have any queries or concerns about the surgery, we would be happy to answer them for you.
Usually, we would recommend you get your teeth aligned into position before undergoing jaw surgery. For this, we would suggest a suitable treatment method either in the form of braces or Invisalign. During this period, we would regularly monitor the movement of your teeth. After the teeth are aligned properly, data will be collected again and you will be prepared for the surgery. Local anesthesia will be administered prior to the surgery to avoid pain and discomfort. Once the surgery is over, Dr. Lau will suggest you about the post-surgical care and how to facilitate proper and effective healing. Also, you will be put on a customized diet for a certain time period to avoid infection to the operated area.
Schedule an appointment with us by calling (650) 620-9535 to know more about jaw surgery and how best to get your condition treated.