In our last post, we covered a basic introduction to what corrective jaw surgery is and those who might benefit from it. In today’s post, we’ll go more in depth about jaw surgery with the different types that are available.
If you struggle with a misaligned jaw, it can make everyday tasks such as eating and speaking quite difficult. Improve your quality of life and work with us at the Alaska Center for Oral + Facial Surgery where we provide empathetic, patient-centered care. Explore these specific types of jaw surgeries with us today!
Why Would You Get Jaw Surgery?
Jaw surgery is a complex procedure because of the nature of the joint. Both our maxilla and mandible join together to be able to move up and down, backward and forward, and side-to-side, making it extremely intricate and more easily prone to concerns. When something goes wrong, it’s profoundly noticeable as it affects the way we sleep, speak, and look.
Jaw surgery can evoke major anxiety in patients who may be intimidated and frightened by medical procedures. But, for those who suffer from a misaligned jaw, this surgery is well worth it. Below are common reasons people elect to have jaw surgery.
- Improved eating – Jaw surgery can effectively treat patients who have trouble chewing and biting foods. Imagine not being able to enjoy foods because you physically can’t eat them — your quality of life and enjoyment of food will be greatly and positively impacted.
- A reduction in headaches – Chronic headaches can make daily activities hard to push through, but oral surgeons are able to correct for teeth grinding or TMJ issues through jaw surgery.
- Improved facial aesthetics – Not only are jaw issues physical, they’re often emotional. Overbites and underbites can make patients extremely self-conscious, but jaw surgery can correct this and its physical effects by shortening or lengthening the jaw bones.
Now that we’re familiar with some of the reasons people get jaw surgery, below are the different types that are available.
The jaw has two components, the upper jaw or maxilla, and the lower jaw or the mandible. If either of these are out of alignment, jaw surgery is typically needed.
- Maxillary osteotomy – This type of jaw surgery deals with the upper jaw and can correct for a crossbite, open bite, when you show too many or too few teeth, or a receded upper jaw line. An incision in made above the teeth (gum line) and into the upper jaw — there are no incisions made on the face. The upper jaw is cut into small pieces to be broken and moved to a new position in a controlled manner. The surgery is well-planned with a series of surgical planning and models to determine the final outcome.
- Mandibular osteotomy – This type of jaw surgery concerns the lower jaw and can correct for an extremely receded jawbone. The oral surgeon will either focus on moving the jawbone forward or backward depending on the patient’s bite alignment. This jaw surgery involves an incision toward the back of the mouth near your molars — a starting place to gain access to your jaw. The jaw is then cut and moved into its new position. From here, a small plastic piece is placed to help guide and support the new position and then fixed into place with titanium plates and screws.
- Genioplasty – This focuses on a deficient chin where a receded lower jaw usually accompanies this feature. If a patient is undergoing a mandibular osteotomy, oral surgeons can also restructure the jaw during this procedure.
Additional information on a jaw surgery…
As mentioned above, screws and plates are used to help align and hold the bone in its new position — the metal becomes what is referred to as “osseointegrated” and assimilates with your body and does not have to be removed.
If either surgery requires additional bone, bone can be grafted from your leg, hip, or rib.
Most often, these surgeries are all performed within your mouth so no facial scars will be visible.
There are many reasons why people get jaw surgery, but an improved quality of life is often at the forefront. Jaw surgeries include:
- Maxillary osteotomy
- Mandibular osteotomy
The oral surgeons at Alaska Center for Oral + Facial Surgery are not only highly skilled and trained but they’re also artists, crafting a new and improved jaw that makes everyday living even sweeter!