When patients have a misaligned bite, orthodontic treatment can be used to correct the problem. However, for some patients, orthodontic treatment such as braces is only one step in the treatment process. If alignment problems extend beyond the teeth, to the jaw bone, surgery may be required to get your jaw properly aligned. Scottsdale oral surgeon Robert F. Guyette performs orthognathic surgery to align the jaw and give patients improved function as well as an improved appearance.
How will you know if you need orthognathic surgery? There are some signs to look for that may indicate that your jaw bone is misaligned. Some common symptoms that are experienced by patients with a misaligned jaw include:
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, or speaking
- Pain or tightness in the jaw (such as those experienced with TMJ disorder)
- Difficulty breathing through your nose
- Frequent snoring
- An obviously protruding upper or lower jaw bone
- A misaligned bite (particularly when your upper and lower teeth do not open in the front)
- Receding chin
- Sleep apnea
Some of these symptoms may also be a result of orthodontic problems. Orthodontic treatment may be performed before orthognathic surgery, and may be required afterwards as well. If your symptoms are not relieved by orthodontic treatment, Dr. Guyette can let you know if you are a candidate for orthognathic surgery.
With orthognathic surgery, Dr. Guyette is able to reposition the teeth, upper jaw, lower jaw, and chin to place them in a correctly aligned position. Bone can also be added or taken away as necessary. The areas of the jaw that are actually altered will depend on each patient’s unique issues. Each surgery will be customized to address every patient’s specific areas of concern. Dr. Guyette employs use of all of the most advanced equipment to show you exactly how your orthognathic surgery will be performed. With x-rays and computer video images, Dr. Guyette will show you exactly where (and how) your bite will be corrected. Many patients who require orthognathic surgery have a jaw bone that protrudes unnaturally or gives an asymmetrical, disproportional appearance. Orthognathic surgery will not only restore function and comfort to your jaw, but any visually aesthetic problems will be corrected as well. Before your surgery, Dr. Guyette can show you a computer image of what your newly aligned jaw will look like.
Following your orthognathic surgery, you will be given instructions for a modified diet to make sure your jaw is not strained during your recovery. During the initial recovery period of one to three weeks, you may experience some moderate pain. The pain can be treated with pain medication. While the jaw should feel comfortable and function normally within six weeks after surgery, it can take nice to 12 months for the jaw to be considered completely healed.
Schedule an Appointment
For our patients in Scottsdale, oral surgery can be performed to correct a number of problems. If you believe you may be a candidate for orthognathic surgery or have other areas of concern, schedule an appointment to discuss your concerns with Dr. Robert F. Guyette. Dr. Guyette can perform an exam and provide you with a personalized treatment plan.