Orthognathic surgery — corrective jaw surgery — most commonly treats severe jaw problems, such as underbites, overbites, and crossbites. Any form of jaw dysfunction can cause problems eating, speaking, or even breathing, but jaw surgery has the potential to improve and even eliminate these issues. It’s important to visit one of our offices in Springfield, Decatur, Jacksonville, or Litchfield, IL, so that one of our experienced oral surgeons can determine the severity of your condition, as well as an appropriate treatment plan. In more mild cases, nonsurgical intervention may be a feasible solution. We will discuss this and the option of surgery at your consultation appointment.
How do I know if I need jaw surgery?
Problems with jaw function usually result from the disjointed development and growth of the upper and lower jaws. When one jaw develops at a faster rate than the other, it’s possible you may experience
- An uneven bite or constant bite problems
- Chronic jaw pain
- Difficulty chewing food
- Trouble opening or closing the mouth
- Breathing issues
The presence of any of these symptoms may indicate an underbite or overbite, which are the most common forms of jaw dysfunction. Some minor cases are treatable with orthodontics alone, such as a mouthguard, but more severe cases often require jaw surgery.
What are the benefits of jaw surgery?
Jaw surgery can dramatically improve your quality of life and condition of your bite by correcting the position of your jaws. It can help eliminate discomfort as well as
- Improve breathing ability
- Improve chewing function
- Correct tooth alignment
- Prevent excessive tooth wear/damage
Most patients who undergo jaw surgery also report a boost in confidence following treatment because it’s known to balance out facial features.
Corrective jaw surgery is a collaborative effort between our office and your orthodontist. This teamwork allows us to provide you with optimal — and even life-changing — results. We will discuss in detail every aspect of treatment at your consultation appointment to ensure you understand what to expect.
The process usually begins with the installment of your braces. Your orthodontist will place braces on the teeth to shift them into their proper position, which helps prepare your jaws for surgery. Typically, the braces must be worn for 18–24 months.
Somewhere in the middle of your orthodontic treatment, our team will perform your surgical procedure. While you are under a general anesthetic, your oral surgeon will surgically separate one or both jaws and reposition them to be properly aligned, using small screws and plates to keep them in place. This is all planned virtually, using computer models so that the procedure is most accurate. After treatment, your jaws will take several months to heal, but you will slowly notice improvements in your abilities to speak, eat, smile, and even breathe.
Orthognathic Surgery at Oral & Facial Surgeons of Illinois
Our doctors are extensively trained and highly qualified to correct your jaws with surgery. If you have noticed symptoms of jaw problems or suffer from chronic jaw pain, we encourage you to schedule a consultation at one of our offices. We can help restore your smile and oral function.