Improve Bite, Oral Function, and Facial Harmony
If the jaws do not develop properly, they can negatively affect the way you bite, chew, speak, and even breathe. Orthognathic surgery, also known as corrective jaw surgery, is an oral surgery procedure that repositions the upper and lower jaws. This improves facial harmony and restores your ability to eat and speak normally.
Dr. Robert Wood, Dr. Nicholas Coles, Dr. Negin Saghafi, and Dr. Jerome Holbrook at Arizona Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons are jaw surgery experts and perform this complex surgery for patients of all ages. Orthognathic surgery is often considered when orthodontic work alone cannot fix bite misalignment. Contact our practice today if you or your child are in need of orthognathic surgery in Tucson, Oro Valley, and Sahuarita, AZ.
Do I Need Orthognathic Surgery?
Usually, braces and other methods of aligning the bite will be tried before resorting to surgery. In cases of severe misalignment, facial injury, or growth problems, surgery may be the only way to correct the issue. Your orthodontist and oral surgeon will thoroughly evaluate your condition before presenting your treatment options. Orthognathic surgery may be right for you if you are having difficulty in any of the following areas:
- Difficulty biting and swallowing food
- Chronic pain around to jaw or a TMJ disorder
- Open bite (the teeth don’t come together when the mouth is closed)
- Protruding or receding jawline
- Breathing problems or sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that affects a person’s breathing during sleep. Frequent pauses in breathing can last a few seconds or even minutes in serious sleep apnea cases. This disruption in breathing can lead to low blood oxygen, mental fog during the day, heart problems, and other serious issues.
When nonsurgical treatments can’t provide relief, orthognathic surgery may be considered as the next step in your sleep apnea treatment plan. Repositioning the jaw to create more space for airflow can be successful in treating sleep apnea. This procedure is more involved and is usually only considered in serious cases.
If you are interested in having an evaluation or learning more about jaw surgery, feel free to contact one of our offices in Tucson, Oro Valley, and Sahuarita, AZ, for more information.
Orthognathic Surgery Procedure
Orthognathic surgery will be a joint effort between you, your orthodontist, and your oral surgeon. The process of having orthognathic surgery almost always involves having braces before surgery and for a short period after. This allows your orthodontist to prepare your teeth for their new alignment and make any fine adjustments after the jaw is repositioned.
Oral Surgery Consultation
Once your teeth are ready, you will have a consultation with your oral surgeon. Your surgeon will take 3D images during the evaluation to help us precisely plan your procedure. These detailed images are used to create models of your jaw and surgical guides for your procedure. The consultation appointment is also a good time to ask questions and discuss your procedure with your surgeon. Your surgeon will give you a full overview of your pre- and post-operative instructions to help prepare you for treatment. Next, you will choose a date to return for your orthognathic procedure.
Your surgical visit may take place in one of our operating suites, but if your procedure is more extensive, it will probably take place in a hospital. These details will all be determined and communicated with you well before your procedure day. Once you arrive and prepare for surgery, the surgeon or anesthesiologist will administer your anesthesia. General or IV anesthesia is the standard for most jaw surgeries.
Next, your surgeon will separate and reposition the portion of the jaw that needs movement and correctly reposition it. Tiny biocompatible plates and screws will secure the bone in place. Some patients worry that they will need to have their jaws wired shut during the healing period, but advances in orthognathic procedures have virtually eliminated the need to do this.
Once the surgery is complete, you will rest and recover until you are ready to be driven home by your designated driver. You may spend a night in the hospital or care facility before returning home.
While the bone heals into its new position, your jaw will need rest. The first week or two is usually the most difficult, and most patients can start to resume their normal schedules around the second or third week. A soft diet will be necessary for some time, and you may have to return for periodic checkups to ensure that your jaw is healing properly.
Full healing can take several months or more to complete, but patients are very pleased with their results after the recovery period. Once your teeth are ready, your orthodontist will make any final adjustments to your bite before removing your braces.
Jaw Surgery in Tucson, Oro Valley, and Sahuarita, AZ
If you or your child needs jaw surgery, Dr. Robert Wood, Dr. Nicholas Coles, Dr. Negin Saghafi, and Dr. Jerome Holbrook have the skills necessary to evaluate and treat their condition. Jaw surgery can drastically improve your ability to eat, speak, and breathe. Contact Arizona Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons for a consultation and we will explore your treatment options to see if orthognathic surgery is right for you.
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We’ve been caring for patients in southern Arizona for over 50 years. As board-certified experts, our surgeons bring years of training and expertise to you and your loved ones with the highest standards. Learn more about our office or contact Arizona Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons today to see how we can improve your oral health.