3 Types of Jaw Surgery
Your jaw consists of two parts; the maxilla or upper jaw and the mandible or lower jaw. Sometimes these are misaligned and need to be put back into place for bite reasons, or for aesthetic purposes. Corrective jaw surgery straightens or aligns the jaw, and is often referred to as “orthognathic” surgery; “orthos” meaning to straighten and “gnathic” relating to the jaw.
There are a few different types of jaw surgery, depending on which part of your jaw requires correcting:
Maxillary Osteotomy (Upper Jaw)
This type of surgery corrects a significantly receded upper jaw, cross bite, or when you have too many or too few teeth showing. It also can adjust an open bite.
Mandibular Osteotomy (Lower Jaw)
This surgery corrects a significantly receded lower jaw. The surgeon moves the jawbone forwards or backwards depending on the best adjustment and bite alignment.
A deficient chin often accompanies a severely receded lower jaw. Typically, surgeons can alter the jaw and restructure the chin during the same surgery.
Once your jaw is aligned, tiny screws and plates hold the bone into position. These screws and plates are osseo integrated and are specially formulated to be compatible with your body. They become integrated with your bone over time and do not have to be taken out. Extra bone can also be added to your jaw if there is insufficient bone. This can be grafted from your hip, leg, or rib.
How are These Surgeries Performed?
Often these types of jaw surgeries are performed entirely inside the mouth without any evidence on the skin surface as to what procedure has been performed. There are no facial scars on the chin, jaw or around the mouth.
Often with extensive jaw surgery, the process is carried out after you have had braces, so your teeth are aligned and ready for your jaw to be moved. Braces are placed anywhere from 9 to 18 months before jaw surgery.
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