Corrective Jaw Surgery and Braces
We do see patients from time to time with relatively severe bite issues and misaligned jawbones.
After consulting with Dr. Righellis, he may advise that traditional treatment with braces may not be enough to create the beautiful smile they’ve always dreamed of and may recommend resetting your jawbones concurrent with straightening your teeth.
What Causes Misaligned Jawbones?
The growth and development of your upper and lower jawbones can happen at varying rates.
If one is growing at a slower rate than the other, it can result in size or functional inconsistencies. Simply put, they don’t match as they should.
These abnormalities often cause trouble when chewing, sleeping, talking, breathing, and other activities.
Corrective jaw surgery addresses these skeletal irregularities.
When Should Jaw Surgery be Performed?
Oftentimes, jaw surgery is done in conjunction with orthodontic treatment.
Yet, there will always be exceptions based on the patient’s age and the growth of the bones. The best time for surgery is once the bones have completely grown.
This usually occurs between the ages of 14 to 16 in girls, and 17 to 21 in boys.
Reasons for Jaw Surgery
Jaw surgery can be an effective treatment to:
- Correct an open bite – This is the excess space between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is in a closed position.
- Make biting and chewing easier
- Correct a receding lower jaw or chin, or a protruding jaw
- Improve ease of swallowing
- Alleviate chronic mouth breathing
- Correct difficulty with jaw closure
- Reduce excessive wear and tear of the teeth – This could lead to tooth fractures or tooth loss.
- Repair facial injuries or birth defects
- Relieve pain caused by TMD
- Provide relief for obstructive sleep apnea
- Cross bites or protruding upper front teeth
What to Expect?
Using cutting-edge digital imaging technology, we are able to deliver the most accurate care possible.
Because computerized treatment planning is so precise, we can minimize surgical time and recovery while increasing the overall efficiency of your procedure.
Surgery usually can be performed inside your mouth, leaving no visible scarring. Your surgeon will make incisions in the jawbone, and then move the bones to the correct positions. Tiny screws, titanium plates, wires, or bands are used to secure the bones in place. These medical-grade materials provide:
- Reduced healing time
There are some cases where the surgeon will need to add extra bone to your jaw. Typically, bone grafting material will be purchased from a bone and tissue bank for this purpose. Occasionally, your own bone may be used. At other times, the surgeon may need to reshape your existing bone to create the best fit for your mouth, teeth, and face.
Risks Associated with Jaw Surgery
With any surgery, there is always some potential risk. Jaw surgery is generally a safe procedure when performed by an experienced surgeon.
If this procedure is being recommended, then your orthodontist and your surgeon have decided the benefits far outweigh the risks.
The most common risks associated with jaw surgery include blood loss, infection, and nerve injury.
Jaw Surgery Recovery
Your recovery from jaw surgery will create some temporary inconveniences for you including pain, swelling, difficulty chewing and swallowing, and time to adjust to your new appearance and profile.
It’s also important to understand that in most instances, jaw surgery is performed as an accompaniment to orthodontic treatment.
Surgery will correct the alignment of the jawbones but it will not cause your teeth to shift into proper alignment.
For this to happen, the Righellis team will have to apply braces and then follow the usual treatment time of 12 to 36 months before your braces will be removed.
Contact Us for More Information
To learn more about corrective jaw surgery, or to explore your treatment options, schedule a consultation at our Oakland, CA practice.
Call us at 510-482-0600 or contact us online.