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Corrective Jaw Surgery

Satisfied relaxed young woman in a dental chair after fluoride treatment.

Orthognathic surgery, or corrective jaw surgery, is often recommended when the jaw needs to be moved into a better position to improve an individual’s bite and facial appearance. Orthognathic surgery can be used to lengthen a jaw that is too short, shorten one that is too long or move it in or out, up or down.

Ideally when you bite your teeth together, they will meet with a slight overlap of the upper anterior teeth over the lower anterior teeth. Genetics often plays a role in how well a person’s bite is after the permanent teeth erupt. Sometimes the jaw bone can be too large or too small for proper occlusion. This can affect jaw function and the ability to chew. Poor jaw positioning can also affect speech, breathing and periodontal health. Facial aesthetics are also affected by the position of the jaws.

Planning of Orthognathic Surgery

Corrective surgery for repositioning the jaws takes methodical planning due to the intricacies of how the teeth come together, or occlude, and the aesthetics of facial appearance. Because several factors are included in such a surgery, a team approach is used to complete the procedure. Dental specialists work together to provide the optimal results.

The dental team will often consist of an oral surgeon, orthodontist and other specialists if needed. These can include a periodontist and endodontist. The general dentist may be included in the team, also.
Treatment begins with a consultation appointment. Diagnostic x-rays are taken and models of the mouth and occlusion of the teeth are made. Pre-surgical orthodontics are needed to align the teeth independently in each jaw. The optimal bite is achieved after surgery when the post-surgical orthodontics are implemented.

When is Orthognathic Surgery Considered?

There are certain circumstances under which corrective action may be taken to improve the bite and facial aesthetics of an individual. Areas in which surgery may be considered include:

  • Underbite or overbite
  • Misalignment of jaw, chin and nose
  • Speech problems
  • Difficulty in chewing, biting or swallowing
  • Teeth do not touch together (open bite)
  • Chronic jaw or TMJ pain
  • Protruding jaw
  • Breathing problems or obstructive sleep apnea
  • Snoring
  • Small chin/jaw is too far back

Some of these conditions exist at birth, while others may be the result of mouth trauma or environmental influences.

Orthodontics are an integral part of the orthognathic surgery process. The procedure does not require that your jaws be wired closed to hold the bones in place as was the case years ago. Modern technology has made it easier for patients to undergo this process. Small titanium plates and screws hold the bones together while healing takes place. Most patients are able to move their mouth normally as soon as they recover from the anesthetic after surgery.

Schatz Orthodontics is committed to helping you achieve your healthiest and best-looking smile. For more information about orthognathic surgery, give us a call and schedule a consultation appointment.

Posted on behalf of Schatz Orthodontics

22610 US Highway 281 North, Suite 201
San Antonio, TX 78258

Phone: (210) 494-4606

Free consultation for new patients!

Call: (210) 494-4606
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22610 US Highway 281 North, Suite 201
San Antonio, TX 78258


(210) 494-4606

Opening Hours

Monday - Wednesday 7:00AM – 4:30PM
Thursday 7:00AM – 4:00PM
Lunch Time 12:30PM - 1:30PM

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