Even with regular care to maintain a bright smile, there may still be underlying problems such as the misalignment of the jaw that prevents the shape of the smile. Indeed, this problem called for an expert like an oral surgeon and a dentist to go for dental jaw surgery. Certainly, Dental Jaw Surgeries will help the facial expression be corrected to improve the facial appearance, significantly alleviate the smile and shine its brightest. Generally speaking, jaw surgery is applicable when growth usually stops for females around ages 14 to 16 and for males ages 17 to 21. During this period, there may be a misalignment due to genetic issues, lifestyle factors, or acute injury, and jaw surgery can correct these irregularities of the jaw bones and realign the jaws and the teeth to improve the way they work. Some caught this problem early during childhood since jaws are not fully developed yet, and jaw discrepancies might be fixable with this orthodontic treatment.
Who Can Undergo The Dental Jaw Surgery Procedure?
As mentioned, children are one of those best candidates for this procedure as recommended by orthodontists since their jaws are not fully developed yet at this stage. Also, it is highly suggested to those who have jaw misalignments that cause discomfort, health problems, and aesthetic issues.
What Are The Advantages of Dental Jaw Surgery?
Jaw Surgeries can make biting and chewing more manageable and improve chewing overall. The jaw alignment does not only affect eating; it can also affect our speech, and doing this procedure improves speech capabilities. Aside from fixing problems with swallowing or speech, it can also correct facial imbalance (asymmetry) since its results allow many to find newfound confidence after their jaw surgery. Another thing also is it minimizes excessive wear and breakdown of the teeth, thus helping the ability of the lips to close fully. The list goes on with the benefits it offers, such as correcting bite fit or jaw closure issues when the molars touch but the front teeth don’t touch (open bite), relieving pain caused by (TMJ) or temporomandibular joint disorder, and other jaw problems, repair facial injury or congenital disabilities and lastly, provide relief for obstructive sleep apnea.
5 Types Of Jaw Surgery
1. Maxillary Osteotomy
It is a surgery that corrects a severely receded upper jaw such as overbite, crossbite, and open bite. The surgeons cut, break, and move the upper jaw into the correct position during the procedure. Then, a small plastic wafer to the teeth is attached to help align the upper jaw. And fix the jaw in place with titanium screws and metal plates.
Maxillary osteotomy may be called if the following conditions arise.
- In case the upper jaw protrudes or recedes significantly, this is highly advised.
- If someone has an open bite and molar, don’t touch when the mouth is tried to be closed,
- There are those crossbites when some of the bottom teeth sit outside of your upper teeth when the mouth is closed. Go for this procedure.
- Also, other people with midfacial hypoplasia are areas where growth in the middle portion of your face is reduced.
2. Mandibular Osteotomy (Lower Jaw)
Mandibular osteotomy is a lower jaw surgery that corrects a severely receded lower jaw, most commonly used to fix an underbite. An oral surgeon will move the lower jawbone forward or backward during the procedure, depending on the patient’s bite alignment. In this procedure, the oral surgeon will:
- make an incision into the gums on each side of the lower jaw, just behind the molars,
- also, cut the bone of the lower jaw, which allows the surgeon to move it into a new position carefully,
- move the lower jawbone into a new position, either forwards or backward,
- as well as place plates or screws to hold the adjusted jawbone to its new position,
- and close the incisions in your gums with stitches.
3. Genioplasty (Chin Surgery)
Genioplasty is surgery on the chin that corrects severely receded lower jaws. It can help restore a receding chin and restructure, which may sometimes be performed with a mandibular osteotomy for a receded lower jaw. One reason that causes severe pain in the jaw and muscles that control jaw movement is Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD).
In this procedure, the oral surgeon will:
- make a surgical cut into the gums around the lower lip,
- also cut part of the chin bone, which allows them to move it,
- carefully move the chin bone into its new position,
- place small plates or screws to help hold the adjusted bone in its new position,
- close the incision with stitches.
Perhaps the most common operation to correct temporomandibular joint dysfunction is an open-joint arthroplasty (keyhole surgery). In fact, an arthroscope, a miniature camera, is being inserted into a small surgical cut in front of the ear, and then scar tissue surrounding the joint is removed to relieve pain. Lastly, a thin tube called a cannula is inserted into the joint during arthroscopy. The surgeon then uses a narrow scope (arthroscope) and small tools to operate on the joint.
Arthrocentesis is a minimally invasive procedure involving tiny needles to inject the TMJ. An oral surgeon repositions the jaw during the procedure, realigns the cartilage disc, and administers a steroid drug into the joint. Thus, the goal is to return the cartilage disc to its correct position and remove any debris inside the joint.
What To Expect, Its Recovery and Aftercare?
General anesthesia is being applied during the procedure to ensure that it would be painless throughout the operation. When a patient wakes up, the upper lip, gums, and jaw will be numb for a few hours, so it is also advisable not to drive a car for 48 hours post-op. Some patients will experience numbness for months following surgery since the oral surgeon will have to cut the nerves during the procedure, which requires time to re-grow. Overall, the procedure may take 6 to 8 weeks for the bones to heal fully.
Most importantly, jaw surgery’s recovery timeline is as follows:
- The patient may feel discomfort and soreness for the first two to three weeks after surgery, which is entirely normal.
- The swelling should diminish after about three weeks on which swelling doesn’t disappear for several months in some cases,
- Take time to have plenty of sleep, drink a lot of water, and follow the surgeon’s aftercare instructions.
- The maxillofacial surgeon may prescribe simple painkillers and antibiotics after you leave the hospital.
The Bottom Line of Dental Jaw Surgeries
Ultimately, corrective jaw surgery will position the jaws and teeth into a more functional and healthy bite. The overall improvement to the jaw will increase enjoyment in life. If you are suffering from jaw misalignment, jaw or orthognathic surgery is advised. Utah Facial Surgical Arts offers jaw surgery that can help you straighten teeth with orthodontics and corrective jaw surgery repositions jaws that are misaligned. Corrective surgery and orthodontics improve facial growth, development, and appearance and help teeth meet and function properly.