Orthognathic surgery is surgery to the jaw or the face used to correct problems such as sleep apnea, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), malocclusion, or serious issues such as cleft palate. Orthognatic surgery is performed by an oral surgeon, often working with an orthodontist. This kind of surgery can be extremely successful in treating chronic conditions that don’t respond to other treatments.
Conditions Treated with Orthognathic Surgery
Misalignment of the jawbone can lead to a wide range of problems. In many cases, these problems are treated with traditional orthodontics or other methods. These methods can change the alignment of the teeth, but if the root cause of the malocclusion is the position of the jaw, there still might be issues that can lead to abnormal wear or uncomfortable symptoms such as headaches and earaches.
When orthodontics or other methods are not sufficient to correct malocclusion or jaw misalignment, orthognathic surgery can provide an effective, permanent solution. Some conditions that can be treated with this type of dental surgery include:
• TMD – This chronic disorder occurs when the jaw joint is misaligned.
• Malocclusion – A severe misalignment of the teeth.
• Sleep apnea – A condition in which breathing stops periodically during sleep.
Orthognathic surgery can be used to move the jaw into optimal alignment. This can correct the improper alignment of the joint itself or correct how the top and bottom teeth meet. In the case of sleep apnea, orthognathic surgery can increase air flow, making it easier to breathe during the night and reducing symptoms of sleep apnea.
Why Orthognathic Surgery?
Orthognathic surgery might seem like a drastic measure for some people. This can especially be true if you are not familiar with this type of surgery or have only been aware of orthodontic treatments for conditions where surgery can be a better option.
If your dentist or oral surgeon recommends this type of surgery, be sure to ask as many questions as you need to so that you feel comfortable with both the diagnosis and the treatment. To find out more about orthognathic surgery, please call the office of Dr. Chris Tye to schedule a consultation.