The jaw is a complex joint with a number of components that all must work together to move the jaw in the various ways that are necessary for chewing, speaking and other functions of the jaw.
Furthermore, the structure of the jaw plays an important role in the smile’s aesthetics and when the upper and lower jaws develop at different rates, the patient’s appearance can suffer.
If a patient develops certain problems involving the function or aesthetics of the jaw like those described above, a corrective jaw surgery procedure may be recommended. Jaw surgery may also be appropriate following trauma to the jaw.
Patients who need jaw surgery will be referred to an oral surgeon for the procedure. The oral surgeon may also collaborate with an orthodontist when the goal of treatment is to realign the jaws.
The desired treatment outcomes will influence the oral surgeon’s treatment plan. For example, the procedure to correct an underbite will differ significantly from a surgery designed to repair a disc causing a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
In cases when jaw surgery is part of an overarching orthodontic treatment plan, the oral surgeon and the orthodontist will work together to determine the timing of the procedure and the specific goals of the oral surgery component.
Jaw surgery, particularly procedures that are more complex and time-intensive, may need to be completed in a hospital or specialty surgical center. Patients may be able to undergo some procedures in an outpatient setting, though. Your oral surgeon can give you more information on the surgical logistics at one of your early appointments.
Recovery from jaw surgery will also vary based on the specifics of the procedure. Some patients may be able to resume their daily routines within a matter of days, while others may need to take it easy for a week or longer.
Jaw surgery can be valuable for patients whose jaw structure detracts from their smiles. It can also be an effective treatment for TMJ disorder sufferers who have not gotten symptom relief. Patients who feel that they might benefit from jaw surgery should schedule a consultation with our skilled team of oral surgeons to discuss treatment options. Call Commonwealth Oral & Facial Surgery today to schedule your visit.