Corrective jaw surgery is performed for a wide variety of reasons, from cosmetics to functional anomalies. Regardless of the reason for the surgery, it is important to know what to expect throughout your procedure, and who is the proper surgeon to perform your surgery. At Arkansas Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons we can lead you through this process.
What are the Most Common Reasons for Corrective Jaw Surgery?
Corrective jaw surgery is performed for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common of these reasons are functional problems. These functional problems include correction of the dental bite—over or under, correction of speech or swallowing, and relief of sleep apnea.
Other reasons that patients have corrective jaw surgery for are to alleviate jaw joint, or TMJ, issues, to repair facial injury or birth defects, and to improve the lips’ overall ability to close properly. Some of the most common birth defects that require corrective jaw surgery are a cleft lip and cleft palate.
The sleep apnea surgery that is most common is jaw advacement. In jaw advancement surgery, both the upper and lower jaws are advanced forward. This allows for more room for the tongue and soft tissues of the mouth and throat. With more room, this prevents obstruction of the airway.
Outside of those mainly functional issues, there are other benefits of jaw surgery that patients desire, they will often times have surgery performed for aesthetic purposes, as well. This includes correction of facial asymmetries, correction of an overbite, and correction of an underbite.
How is My Corrective Jaw Surgery Performed?
A team of doctors will pre-plan your surgery. The team can include your surgeon, orthodontist, and general dentist, depending on the amount of correction that is needed for your desired result. The team at Arkansas Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons will use the most modern treatment planning techniques to plan your surgery. This includes cone beam computerized tomography (CBCT), x-rays, diagnostic models, virtual surgical planning (VSP) to pre-plan the surgery.
The most common corrective jaw surgery for the upper jaw is a LeFort I osteotomy and the most common procedure for the lower jaw is called Bilateral Sagittal Split Osteotomy. The use of tiny titanium plates and screws to hold the jaw(s) in its new position prevents the need to be “wired shut” as in years past.
General anesthesia is used to performjaw surgery and the majority of the time you will be able to go home the same day of the surgery.
What is the Typical Recovery Time from Corrective Jaw Surgery?
Recovery time will vary depending on the exact corrective jaw surgery procedure you have performed. This is where you need to follow the post-operative instructions of your surgeon and the surgical team very closely to ensure proper healing. The more invasive of a procedure, the more recovery time that will be needed. Some of the less invasive procedures will need less recovery time. For more invasive procedures, you may be on a soft or liquid diet for several weeks.
The beginning of your recovery, no matter the procedure, will begin with swelling, discomfort, and bruising. During this time, it is imperative to remain on the pain and swelling management protocol that your surgeon has prescribed to you. You will also want to remain on a soft or liquid diet at the beginning of your recovery period; however, you do need to make certain that you are getting adequate nutrition. Adequate nutrition requires getting between 2,500 and 3,000 calories per day and approximately 1.0 to 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight of protein per day. This may seem like a lot, but with the help of nutritional supplement shakes, you can achieve the recommended amount with no problem.
How Do I Choose the Right Surgeon to Perform my Corrective Jaw Surgery?
For any procedure that involves moving the bones of the mouth and potentially changing how the teeth function and how you look, it is best to choose an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon to perform your corrective jaw surgery.
At Arkansas Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, we are also trained as both, surgeons and dentists. We understand aesthetic and functional considerations to ensure you get the best outcome possible. We understand the details of your jaw surgery needs and also understand the oral and dental importance associated with your surgery. To schedule, a consultation give us a call at 501-623-4485 or visit us in Hot Springs, Arkansas.