The benefits of orthognathic jaw surgery can’t be overstated. If you are living with irregularities of the jaw bone, realigning the teeth and jaws can help you chew and speak with ease.

The procedure can also improve the appearance of your face by restoring symmetry to your facial features. In many cases, the surgery eliminates pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorder and other serious conditions.

If you are preparing to undergo orthognathic jaw surgery, this article will overview the procedure.

What Is Orthognathic Jaw Surgery?

Orthognathic surgery, also known as jaw surgery, corrects irregularities of the jawbones. Orthognathic surgery improves the way the jaws and teeth align.

Jaw surgery is often used in cases where orthodontic treatment alone cannot correct a jaw-related problem. In some cases, an orthodontist uses braces before or after surgery. In those cases, an orthodontist may coordinate treatment with a surgeon.

Maxillofacial Surgeon

A maxillofacial surgeon performs corrective jaw surgery. The surgeons specialize in surgeries for the face, jaw, neck, and head. After attending dental school, maxillofacial surgeons go on to attend a surgery residency.

Graduates must then pass an exam by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Specialists may require further training.

At Jenkins, Morrow, and Gayheart, we have delivered exceptional care for more than a decade. We focus on making surgery as comfortable as possible. 

What Does Jaw Surgery Treat?

Maxillofacial surgery can address a wide range of jaw-related problems. One of the more common problems is a misaligned jaw. Corrective surgery can treat the symptoms of TMJ disorder.

Our surgeons can also safely and gently remove wisdom teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause serious oral health problems. Removing the third molars can help patients gain candidacy for orthodontic treatment. 

You may need jaw surgery following trauma or an injury. Common injuries include knocked-out teeth, fractured jawbones, or fractured jaws.

Placing dental implants has become a popular solution to tooth loss. The durable implants replace lost tooth roots. Implants are the only tooth restoration procedure that promotes jawbone regeneration.

Who Is a Candidate for Jaw Surgery?

Generally speaking, anyone who has a fully grown jawbone and suffers from pain and discomfort in the jaw may benefit from orthognathic jaw treatments. Jawbones typically stop growing between ages 14-21, depending partly on gender. 

Candidates should be in good health and free from any conditions or medications that could complicate surgery. If you suffer from jaw pain, one of our surgeons will complete a comprehensive examination to determine if you are a candidate for orthognathic jaw surgery. Your surgeon or a member of our team will discuss orthognathic surgery costs at that time.

Procedure Overview

Before your procedure, advanced imaging will be used to map and plan your surgery. Your comfort is a top priority for our team. We offer a range of anesthesia and prescription medications to minimize any discomfort or pain.

If you have concerns about surgery, we welcome the chance to listen to your concerns. Many of our patients experience dental phobia. We know how to address any anxiety that you may experience.

Before any incisions are made, your jaw will be fully numbed using local anesthesia. You may be sedated to further ensure that you are relaxed throughout your surgery.

For wisdom tooth extraction, your doctor will make a small incision in the gums to access the wisdom tooth. The surgeon often has to break the wisdom tooth into small pieces for safe removal. Your surgeon will then suture the incisions and use gauze to control bleeding. 

Dental implant placement requires the doctor to make an incision in the gums. Once the site is reached, the surgeon makes a small hole that then guides the implant. Your doctor will then suture the gums.

The exact surgical procedure will vary depending on your treatment goals. For a comprehensive before-and-after FAQ, read our surgical instruction FAQ before surgery. 

What to Expect During Recovery

Most surgical procedures are outpatient. This means that our team will release you or your loved one to return home shortly after surgery.

Orthognathic surgery recovery varies depending on the patient’s age and the type of surgical procedure performed by our doctor. In general, patients should plan to take a few days off to fully rest and recover.

Side Effects

Common side effects following surgery include swelling, light bleeding, and tenderness near the surgical site. Discomfort during recovery is to be expected. Most discomfort can be handled using over-the-counter medications that our doctors will advise you on. 

Recovery Guidelines

You will be given a set of recovery guidelines that are to be followed closely. Common advice for recovery include tips to:

  • Avoid using a straw for several days
  • Refrain from heavy lifting
  • Avoid activities that could result in impacts to the face
  • Rest in bed for most of the day following surgery
  • Take medications as prescribed
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco use

If you need to contact our office at any time during your recovery, you can reach our office 24 hours a day at (859) 264-1898. Everyone heals on unique timelines. We encourage our patients to not rush into returning to work or typical routines without first consulting their surgeon.

Restore Jaw Mobility Using Orthognathic Surgery

Orthognathic jaw surgery can restore your ability to bite with ease and confidence. Many patients enjoy cosmetic benefits following surgery. 

If you are looking for an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, you want to work with the best. Our team of dedicated surgeons has more than a decade of experience providing effective and comfortable care. To schedule your surgery consultation, please contact our office online today.