Orthognathic surgery, or corrective jaw surgery, can be performed to correct a wide range of dental and skeletal problems, including misaligned jaws and/or teeth. Orthognathic surgery can improve the patient’s appearance and their ability to speak, chew or breathe normally.

What are Some of the Problems That Might Be Corrected by Orthognathic Surgery?

Conditions that might be helped by corrective jaw surgery include the following:

• Injury to the jaw or face

• Birth defects, including cleft palate

• Trouble breathing, speaking, swallowing or chewing

• Chronic pain in the jaw or jaw joint

• Excessive wear of the teeth

• A protruding jaw or a receding jaw

• Sleep apnea

• Inability to make the lips meet without straining

• An unbalanced look to the face

• Open bite, in which there is space between the teeth when the mouth is closed

• Chronic mouth breathing

When Should Someone Get Orthognathic Surgery?

Some of the listed problems, such as crooked teeth, can be fixed by an orthodontist, while others cannot. In fact, some people first learn that they need orthognathic surgery when they go to an orthodontist to get braces. In such cases, the orthodontist will find the patient has a skeletal problem as well as a dental problem. In many cases, the patient will still need to get braces. Six weeks after the surgery, the orthodontist will examine the braces and make any needed adjustments.

What is the Surgery and Recovery Like?

Contrary to myth, the patient does not get their jaw broken during the procedure. The surgeon may, however, separate the patient’s jaw. The jaw can then be repositioned and secured in place. Some patients have compared the feeling after jaw surgery to that of having wisdom teeth extracted. Our doctor can prescribe medication to help with any discomfort. Most people can resume their daily activities within one to three weeks. Full recovery can take three months, for it takes that long for the jaw bones to grow back together. Most patients will start feeling normal about six weeks after the procedure. The surgeon will schedule follow-up appointments to ensure that everything is going smoothly.

Is It Time for You to Consider Orthognathic Surgery?

If you have any of the above conditions, make an appointment at Blackburn & Elrod Orthodontics to have an evaluation. We have offices in Blue Springs and Independence. Our team of orthodontic professionals will be happy to address any questions or concerns you may have about

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