Orthognathic Surgery and Orthodontics: What You Should Know

Orthognathic Surgery and Orthodontics: What You Should Know

Orthognathic surgery is one of our specialties at New Jersey Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates. This treatment is considered when your upper and lower jaws do not meet correctly or when your teeth do not fit properly within your jaws. This results in bite problems that make it difficult to eat and cause chronic pain; it can also create asymmetry in your facial features. Whether due to genetics or a facial injury, it’s important to correct these issues by repositioning the teeth and facial bones to ensure better function. Orthognathic surgery allows us to do just that.

Oral Surgeons and Orthodontists: Your Orthognathic Surgery Team

Often, particularly in children, issues with the bite can be corrected with orthodontic treatment alone. Other times, orthognathic surgery is needed. In adults, the jaw is fully formed and fused together, so the only way to modify it is through surgical orthodontics.

Your oral surgeon and an orthodontist who specializes in surgical orthodontics will collaborate closely to provide your treatment. Although every patient has their own unique needs and requirements, your treatment plan usually begins with orthodontic treatment. We will determine how your jaw will be moved with surgery and your orthodontist will move your teeth in such a way that they will fit together correctly once the surgery is complete. This means your teeth may appear to be even more out of alignment in the lead up to your surgery.

After your oral surgeon repositions your jaw and facial bones, your orthodontic treatment will continue, making small adjustments and refinements to the positions of your teeth until your bite is optimized. When needed, a restorative dentist will also be included in your treatment plan to restore teeth that have been damaged or require replacement.

Signs You May Need Orthognathic Surgery and Orthodontics

It’s important to note that orthognathic surgery and orthodontics go hand-in-hand. Your teeth must be repositioned in order to function as they should after your surgery. Signs that you may need orthognathic surgery include:

  • Pain or difficulty when chewing, biting, or swallowing
  • Speech problems
  • Chronic jaw pain or TMJ disorder
  • Open bite
  • Protruding jaw
  • Breathing problems

Over time, a misaligned jaw may also compromise your overall oral health. When your upper and lower jaw do not fit together properly, it can place uneven stress on your teeth, making them prone to fracture and abnormal wear.

Orthognathic Surgery: First Steps

If you’ve been referred to our practice for orthognathic surgery, your first appointment will include a detailed diagnostic workup. We use state-of-the-art technology to create your treatment plan in conjunction with your orthodontist, including digital facial x-rays and skeletal analysis. Your oral surgeon will help you understand the process of orthognathic surgery, what you can expect during your treatment, and the benefits this procedure will provide. 

Learn More About Orthognathic Surgery

If you’ve been told you need orthognathic surgery and you’d like to learn more, contact us today to schedule an appointment or a consultation at one of our three New Jersey locations.