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Orthognathic Corrective Jaw Surgery

Corrective Jaw Surgery Explained

Ortho – straight and Gnatho – the jaw surgery are surgical procedures designed to straighten the alignment of jaw bones.

The majority of people in north America and UK have some slight discrepancy or asymmetry between the position of the upper and lower jaws.  For most people, the discrepancy is minor enough that when transitioning from baby teeth to adult dentition, the adult teeth can tip or rotate to compensate and allow everything to come together to create a functional condition.

20% of people will benefit from additional compensation that can be achieved with traditional orthodontic treatment.  Orthodontists call this “orthodontic camouflage” of the skeletal imbalance.

Approximately 5% of people in north America have a facial skeletal asymmetry that should not be solved with dental camouflage of their skeletal problem.  For those 5%, extreme tooth movement to camouflage the skeletal discrepancy, will add years to treatment time, compromise functional and aesthetic parameters of health, and may induce slow and chromic pathology (see SMILE DESIGN).  Orthognathic surgery corrective jaw surgery and surgically assisted rapid orthodontics (SARO) has evolved to help these people.

Compromised functional

  • Jaw joint (TMJ) pain or noise
  • Facial muscles spasm and frequent head aches
  • Facial muscles fatigue/ache when chewing or speaking
  • Excessive tooth wear and/or fractured teeth, crowns, and fillings
  • Gum recession and root exposure in spite of good oral hygiene
  • Inability to chew solid or sticky food with back teeth
  • Inability to incise foods such as pizza or sandwiches with front teeth
  • Biting cheeks/tongue/lip/roof of my mouth
  • Choking sensation or difficulty swallowing food
  • Hard to breath when chewing food – fatigue
  • Hard to keep lips together
  • Chronic mouth breathing
  • Sleep complaints/daytime sleepiness, snoring and obstructive sleep apnea
  • Difficulty pronouncing D, K, L, R and S words or spitting when speaking
  • Dental appearance inhibits smiling/social interactions/self-confidence/ my effectiveness at work
  • Facial appearance inhibits smiling/social interactions/self-confidence/ my effectiveness at work

Compromised aesthetics

  • Weak jaw line and chin projection
  • Sagging neck tissue, double chin, and jowling
  • Long, poorly supported upper lip (see LIP SHORTENING and SHAPING)
  • Vertical wrinkles or flat upper lip (see facesbyKelly)
  • Poor SMILE DESIGN
  • Enhanced nasal length
  • Perioral marionette lines

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