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Orthognathic Surgery

Orthognathic surgery is often needed when jaws don’t meet correctly and/or teeth don’t seem to fit with jaws. Teeth are straightened with orthodontics, and corrective jaw surgery repositions misaligned jaws. This not only improves facial appearance, but also ensures that teeth meet correctly and function properly. Also patients with OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) are also beneficiaries of the improved skeletal jaw position and better airway dimesnions resultant from orthognathic surgery.

Who Needs Orthognathic Surgery

People who can benefit from orthognathic surgery include those with an improper bite or jaws that are positioned incorrectly. Jaw growth is a gradual process and, in some instances, the upper and lower jaws may grow at different rates. The result can be a host of problems that can affect chewing function, speech, long-term oral health, and appearance. Injury to the jaw and birth defects can also affect jaw alignment. While orthodontics alone can correct bite problems if only the teeth are involved, orthognathic surgery may be required if the jaws also need repositioning.

Concerns in the following areas should be evaluated:

  • Difficulty in chewing, biting, or swallowing
  • Speech problems
  • Chronic jaw or TMJ pain
  • Open bite
  • Protruding jaw
  • Breathing problems
  • Clefts of upper palate
  • Sleep Apnea

Any of these can exist at birth or may be acquired after birth as a result of hereditary or environmental influences or, trauma to the face. Before any treatment begins, a consultation will be held to perform a complete examination with x-rays. During the pre-treatment consultation process, feel free to ask any questions that you have regarding your treatment. When you are fully informed about the aspects of your care, you and your dental team will make the decision to proceed with treatment together.

Technology and Orthognathic Surgery

Dr. Krakowiak uses modern computer techniques, artistic sense and three-dimensional models to show you exactly how your surgery will be approached. Using comprehensive facial X-rays and computer imaging, we can show you how your bite will be improved and even give you an idea of how you’ll look after surgery. This helps you understand the surgical process and the extent of the treatment prescribed, and to see the benefits of orthognathic surgery.

If you are a candidate for Corrective Jaw Surgery, Dr. Krakowiak will work closely with your dentist and orthodontist during your treatment. The actual surgery can move your teeth and jaws into a new position that results in a more attractive, functional and healthy dental-facial relationship.

Oral and Facial Deformities

Differences in skeletal growth between the upper and lower jaws may lead to both functional and psychological difficulties. Functional difficulties may include problems with chewing, swallowing, speech or TMJ performance.

Patients may also exhibit psychological difficulties stemming form aesthetic and social concerns. Some abnormalities may only involve misaligned teeth and can be corrected orthodontically with braces or other appliances. Serious growth disturbances, however, require surgery to realign the upper and lower jaws into a more normal relationship. Common dentofacial deformities, including under or overdevelopment of the jaws (prognathia, micrognathia, retrognathia), or misaligned teeth (overbite or underbite), can make it difficult to eat, swallow, speak, and breath.

Dr. Krakowiak an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, performs a variety of special corrective jaw surgeries and procedures to produce a more balanced, functional skeletal relationship for the patient. Often performed in conjunction with treatment by an orthodontist and restorative dentist, corrective jaw surgery is usually performed in a hospital or ambulatory surgical center under general anesthesia.

Congenital deformities like cleft lip and palate occur when all or a portion of the oral-nasal cavity does not grow together during fetal development. As a member of a team of health care specialist, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons play an important role in the carefully orchestrated, multiple-stage correctional program for these patients. The goal is to help restore the jaw and facial structures, leading to normal function and appearance. Care and treatment must consider function, appearance, nutrition, speech, hearing, and emotional and psychological development.