There are a number of reasons that we may recommend corrective jaw surgery at our Monroe, LA, practice. If you have a severely misaligned bite, surgery can redistribute force on your jaw joints, helping to treat severe TMJ Disorder. Surgery can also reduce dental erosion and structural damage to your nearby teeth. In some cases, orthognathic surgery can even improve your appearance and the proportions of your face. At Oral Surgical Associates, Dr. Eric Geist, Dr. Richard. D. Willis, and Dr. Matthew W. Fowlkes use a variety of techniques to perform corrective jaw surgery. They also utilize state-of-the-art technology, and they are dedicated to patient education. Therefore, your treatment will be highly personalized, and it should involve minimal discomfort.
Are You a Candidate for Corrective Jaw Surgery?
If you struggle with any of the following concerns due to a misaligned jaw, orthognathic surgery may be right for you:
- Serious jaw pain or TMJ Disorder that does not respond to more conservative treatment options
- Difficulty chewing or opening your mouth all the way
- Dental erosion or cracked teeth
- A dramatically sloping chin, a protruding lower jaw, or other aesthetic issues
- Sleep apnea that is unresponsive to a night guard or to CPAP therapy
- An inability to close your mouth all the way
- A severe open bite
Dr. Geist, Dr. Willis, or Dr. Fowlkes will conduct a complete exam to determine your candidacy for corrective jaw surgery. For the most accurate assessment possible, he will use our advanced technology, such as 3-D cone beam CT scans. In this way, he can obtain incredibly sharp pictures of your whole craniofacial structure.
Although jaw surgery involves an extensive healing time, the effects can be truly remarkable. Therefore, most patients find the time investment to be well worth it.
What Happens during Jaw Surgery?
The surgical process can vary significantly, depending on your unique needs and goals for treatment. Our doctors may perform surgery on your upper jaw, lower jaw, or both at the same time. Typically, your surgeon will make all incisions inside your mouth, so you should not be left with any visible scarring. In many cases, he will remove a certain amount of bone tissue through the incisions. If needed, he can slide your mandible forward so that you have healthy and correctly aligned joints. Then will use metal pins to secure your jaw and dental arches in their new positions. In other cases, he will perform a bone graft. After removing bone from another part of your body, such as your rib or thigh, he will use the tissue to enhance your jaw structure. With our use of advanced dental technology, your surgeon may utilize bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) instead. These synthetic proteins are designed to mimic the proteins that your body produces naturally. They can stimulate the growth of new bone tissue, eliminating the need for tissue removal from another area.
Corrective jaw surgery does require a commitment to your recovery. The total length of the healing process will depend on the type of surgery you undergo and whether your doctor operates on both jaws at the same time. In most cases, you will need to have your jaw wired shut so that it can heal properly. During this time, you will need to eat a liquid diet. After the wires are removed, you will still need to be careful about the foods that you eat for several weeks. Your doctor will prescribe anti-inflammatories and other medications to reduce your discomfort. He will also provide guidelines to ensure a successful recovery with negligible risks and long-term effects.
The Benefits of Jaw Surgery
Although jaw surgery involves an extensive healing time, the effects can be truly remarkable. Therefore, most patients find the time investment to be well worth it. Afterwards, you will have a balanced bite that will not put undue pressure on your jaw joints or teeth. As a result, you are less likely to suffer from TMJ Disorder and related side effects, such as chronic headaches. You may also find it easier to bite and chew. Your speech and breathing could improve, as well. In some cases, by realigning your jaw, your surgeon can help to open up your airways while you sleep, providing an effective treatment for snoring and sleep apnea. Finally, orthognathic surgery can enhance your appearance by correcting the balance and proportions of your face.
Schedule a Consultation Today
To learn more about corrective jaw surgery and our advanced techniques, contact Oral Surgical Associates today.