Huntington Beach Orthognathic Surgery

What is Corrective Jaw Surgery?

Jaw surgery or Orthognathic surgery is a procedure that realigns your top and bottom jaw. The procedure involves lengthening, shortening, and/or moving your upper and lower jawbones. If you have a misaligned jaw, this procedure corrects and can improve the function and physical appearance of your jaw.

If your top and bottom teeth don’t align you might have trouble chewing, speaking, or breathing. To correct these problems, and others, your jaw can be reconstructed. If braces and other common corrective jaw treatments are unsuccessful, jaw surgery might be the solution.

Do You Need Jaw Surgery?

Misalignment of your jaw can come from a birth defect, an accident, or injury. It can also occur, as your upper and lower jawbones grow at different rates. And, it can have detrimental effects on your chewing and oral function, long-term oral health, and physical appearance.
You might experience an over or under-bite if your top and bottom teeth don’t align. Talk to your oral surgeon for a consultation on corrective jaw surgery if you experience one or more of the following symptoms:

Difficulty Chewing, Biting or Swallowing

Jawbone misalignment can make it difficult to chew, bite, or swallow. Discomfort and pain can come from a problem in the jawbone, tissue, or facial muscles. Jaw surgery can serve to correct the underlying cause of these difficulties.

Speech Problems

Misaligned jawbones and teeth often result in speech problems. There is less room for the tongue to move, causing trouble with pronunciation. Poor bite patterns and altered speech can be corrected by orthognathic jaw surgery.

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Chronic Jaw or TMJ Pain

Pain occurs when your bone, joint, and muscle systems are hindered from operating together in harmony. Jaw misalignment often causes strain on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) that connects your jawbone to your skull. Jaw surgery can correct TMJ and other temporomandibular disorders (TMD).

Open Bite

An open bite is when your top and bottom teeth remain separated when your mouth is completely closed. The result is a visible opening or gap between your teeth, either in the front or back of your mouth. Jaw realignment surgery can correct an open bite and other types of malocclusions.

Protruding Jaw

Prognathism, also known as protruding jaw or extended chin is most often when your lower jaw protrudes out past your top jaw. It most often results in an underbite but can also cause an overbite. Whether protruding jaw is the cause of a birth defect or medical condition, orthognathic jaw surgery can help.

Breathing Problems

When the facial structure is misaligned, it can result in breathing issues, snoring, wheezing, and other problems. If breathing problems are a result of misalignment in your facial structure, jaw correction can help improve your quality of life.
Any of these symptoms can exist at birth; be acquired after birth as a result of hereditary or environmental influences; or as a result of trauma to the face. Before any treatment begins, a consultation will be held to perform a complete examination with x-rays.
During the pre-treatment consultation process, feel free to ask any questions that you have about your treatment. When you feel fully informed about the aspects of your care, you and your dental team can decide to proceed with treatment together.

A dental patient getting a panoramic x-ray of her jaw

What to Expect

  • Corrective jaw surgery is a significant intervention requiring many months of preparation.
  • The surgery is performed in the hospital and can last between one to four hours.
  • Hospital stays of one to three days are normal.
  • Braces are maintained during surgery and may need to be removed six to twelve months after surgery.
  • The greatest impact of orthognathic surgery is the recovery phase.
  • Patients typically may be off work/school from two weeks to one month after surgery.
  • Return to normal chewing function may take 2 months and full
    function may take one year.
  • Our goal is to ensure you are well taken care of during and after surgery.
  • Weekly appointments are required for up to two months after surgery.