Orthognathic Surgery – Jaw and Facial Surgery

Orthognathic surgery is the correction of a wide range of minor and major facial and jaw irregularities, and benefits include an improved ability to chew, speak and breathe. In many cases an enhanced appearance can also result. Your orthognathic team consists of an orthodontist (a dentist who specialized in straightening teeth) and a surgeon specially trained in jaw surgery. First, your orthodontist uses braces to move your teeth into the correct position for the bite you’ll have after surgery. Then your surgeon reshapes your jaw and perhaps other facial bones to give you a better bite and a more pleasing appearance.

People who can potentially benefit from orthognathic surgery include those with an improper bite and those with jaws that are positioned incorrectly. Injury to the jaw and birth defects can also affect jaw alignment. While orthodontics alone can correct many “bite” problems if only the teeth are involved, orthognathic surgery may be required if the jaws also need repositioning.

Who Needs Orthognathic Surgery?

Dr. Jonathan Burke -  South Jersey Orthognathic Surgeon

The following are some of the conditions that may indicate a need for orthognathic surgery:

  • Difficulty chewing or biting food
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Speech problem
  • Chronic jaw pain
  • Excessive wearing of teeth
  • Open bite (space between upper and lower front or back teeth when mouth is closed)
  • Unbalanced facial appearance
  • Facial injury or birth defects
  • Receding chin
  • Protruding jaw
  • Inability to make lips meet without effort
  • Chronic mouth breathing with dry mouth
  • Sleep apnea (breathing problems when sleeping such as snoring, difficulty breathing, etc.
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