Jaw surgery is often known as orthognathic surgery. This procedure is used when nonsurgical procedures are unable to correct jaw issues. Jaw surgery is a perfect treatment for a patient who has experienced a facial injury, growth problems, TMJ disorders, orthodontic problems, or other unique obstacles. Issues with the jaw or TMJ should be taken care of as soon as possible to prevent future problems, restore jaw function, and create a balanced facial appearance. Here at Hill & Ioppolo Oral and Facial Surgeons of Lubbock, our first-class oral surgeon, Robert B. Ioppolo, DDS, has years of experience correcting jaw problems through corrective jaw surgery.
Jaw Surgery Corrective Improvements
Growth problems, injuries, and other jaw issues can make many everyday activities more difficult. Many of these complications affect your ability to eat, communicate, and breathe comfortably. Patients who decide to undergo jaw surgery often see many benefits:
- Reduced pain/discomfort
- Improved jaw function (eating, breathing, etc.)
- Less wear on teeth (due to improved tooth alignment)
- Improved facial appearance
Signs That Jaw Surgery is Right for You
Any of the symptoms listed below may be reason to consult with a jaw specialist:
- Breathing problems or sleep apnea
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing food
- Problems closing your mouth completely
- Alignment problems or poor fit when biting down on your teeth
- Chronic pain in your jaw
- Difficulty or tightness when opening your mouth wide
If you or your dentist notices any of these issues, you may want to come in for a consultation with Dr. Ioppolo. He will be able to help you decide if jaw surgery is your next step.
Orthognathic Surgery Procedure
Jaw surgery can be used to treat many problems, but the main goals of surgery are usually to improve jaw function and bite alignment while also maintaining a balanced facial appearance. Your oral surgeon and your orthodontist will work as a team to carry out your specific treatment plan.
The treatment process usually involves wearing braces for a few months before your procedure. Once your teeth are prepared for their new alignment, you will come in for your surgery appointment. After administering the proper anesthetic, Dr. Ioppolo will separate the portion of the jaw that needs movement and replace it in its new position. Usually, tiny plates, screws, or wires will secure your jaw in place. These devices will be impossible to see from the outside, and because they are made of biocompatible materials, such as titanium, they will not need to be removed after the procedure. After the procedure is finished, you will rest until your anesthetic wears off.
Sometimes, patients can return home the same day as their procedure, but most of the time, an overnight stay will be required the night of the surgery. After returning home, patients will have to rest and recover while the bone heals. Usually, the first week is the hardest; then things start to get easier. Your surgeon will provide you with pain medication to help control any discomfort. You will also receive instructions for post-operative care. Maintaining a soft foods diet and getting lots of rest will be important, especially for the first couple of weeks. After the jaw has healed fully, your orthodontist will make any fine adjustments to your braces.
Orthognathic Surgery in Lubbock, TX
Jaw surgery can be life-changing for patients who suffer from chronic jaw pain, over or underbite, or other jaw development problems. To learn more about this procedure, feel free to contact our office. One of our staff members will be happy to help you schedule a consultation with our oral surgeon.