10 Facts About Jaw Surgery
Jaw surgery, as with any operation, is a very serious matter, one that takes careful thought by both the patient and the doctor. If you have been considering jaw surgery but aren’t sure what to do, you may want to take into account some of these interesting facts:
- In Latin, “orthognathic” means to straighten (“ortho”) the jaws (“gnathia”).
- The goal of reconstructive jaw surgery is to improve the bite and function. However, many patients also experience an improvement in appearance and speech after surgery!
- Misalignment of the jaws can be caused by birth defects, injuries or because the upper or lower jaw have grown at different rates.
- Aligning your jaws can also save your teeth by minimizing excessive wear and tear.
- Jaw surgery is sometimes used to improve TMJ symptoms and provide relief for sleep apnea.
- Jaw surgery can even improve “gummy” or “toothless” smiles!
- An orthodontist can straighten teeth. So if your bite or smile is crooked because of the position of your teeth, an orthodontist can treat you. However, if your bite is off because of the position of your jaws, only an oral surgeon can thoroughly remedy the situation. We work with your orthodontist before and after surgery for a comprehensive approach to your bite and smile.
- Some patients require a hospital stay for a few days, however the average patient returns home the day of surgery.
- The time range for returning to school or work post-surgery is 1-3 weeks.
- Healing is usually complete within 9-12 months.