Jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, corrects irregularities of the jaw bones and realigns the jaws and teeth to improve the way they work. Making these corrections may also improve your facial appearance.
Jaw surgery is appropriate after growth stops, usually around ages 14 to 16 years for females and ages 17 to 21 years for males.
When to Consider Jaw surgery
– Make biting and chewing easier and improve chewing overall
– Correct problems with swallowing or speech
– Minimize excessive wear and breakdown of the teeth
– Correct bite fit or jaw closure issues, such as when the molars touch but the front teeth don’t touch (open bite)
– Correct facial imbalance (asymmetry), such as small chins, underbites, overbites and crossbites
– Improve the ability of the lips to fully close comfortably
– Relieve pain caused by temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder and other jaw problems
– Repair facial injury or birth defects
– Provide relief for obstructive sleep apnea
How is a lip enhancement procedure performed?
Surgery is usually done under general anesthesia. Surgery takes place in the hospital and requires a two- to four-day stay.
Surgery usually can be performed inside your mouth, so no facial scars show on your chin, jaw or around the mouth. However, sometimes small incisions may be required outside your mouth.
Your surgeon makes cuts in the jawbones and moves them into the correct position. Once your jaw movement is completed, tiny bone plates, screws, wires and rubber bands may be used to secure the bones into their new position. These screws — which are smaller than a bracket used for braces — become integrated into the bone structure over time.
In some cases, extra bone may be added to the jaw. Your surgeon transfers the bone from your hip, leg or rib and secures it with plates and screws. In other cases, bone may be reshaped to provide a better fit.
Jaw surgery may be performed on the upper jaw, lower jaw, chin or any combination of these.