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When a patient presents severe alignment issues, sometimes jaw surgery is necessary to fix the person’s bite. Also referred to as orthognathic surgery, this form of orthodontic treatment may be recommended for adults whose jaw has finished growing – usually at age 18 in men and 16 in women – but does not align correctly for normal chewing, breathing, or talking. If the teeth are not the issue but the top and bottom jaw don’t come together properly, traditional orthodontic treatments may not be effective. However, orthodontics will likely be necessary before or after corrective jaw surgery to achieve the best results.
When Surgery May Be Necessary
The majority of cases treated by ProSmiles will get results through the use of braces or clear aligners. If severe jaw or skeletal problems are preventing a patient from biting down comfortably or breaking down food effectively, orthognathic surgery may be the best solution. This type of treatment might be recommended when patients have the following conditions:
- Facial or jaw injury
- Sleep apnea or snoring due to jaw misalignment
- Consistent mouth breathing
- A bite that doesn’t come completely together
- Excessive pain in the jaw, head, or neck from TMD
- Trouble biting or chewing when eating
- A receding or protruding lower jaw
Should Dr. McGuire determine jaw surgery is necessary for you, he will explain what to expect and how to manage recovery up front. Depending on the procedure performed, you may be able to return to work or school in three weeks or less, but total healing time for corrective jaw surgery may take nine to 12 months.
If you have any additional questions, please call the practice at 623-236-9509 at any time during business hours for prompt and professional assistance.