What happens if you’re told wearing orthodontic braces alone won’t correct the misalignment problems with your jaws and teeth? Are there multiple options for correcting jaw alignment? This is another option that your dentist, orthodontist or oral surgeon may recommend – corrective (“orthognathic”) jaw surgery. This procedure can dramatically change your life—from the inside out. Here’s a look at the differences you’ll see versus the functional differences you’ll feel.
Differences You Can See
Corrective surgery may reposition all or part of the upper jaw, lower jaw and chin into positions that are more balanced, functional and healthy. The procedure is used to correct:
• An open bite (space between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed)
• A protruding lower jaw
• A receding lower jaw or “weak chin”
• Facial injuries or birth defects
Differences You Can Feel
Granted, your appearance may be dramatically enhanced as a result of corrective jaw surgery, but the purpose of the surgery is to correct everyday, functional problems or discomfort, such as chronic jaw or jaw joint (TMJ) pain and headache. Patients feel improvements in:
• Chewing or biting food
• Making the lips meet without straining
• Sleep apnea (breathing problems while sleeping, including snoring)
The differences before and after orthognathic surgery are easy to see, and certainly easy to feel!