Corrective jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, treats and corrects abnormalities of the facial bones, jaws, and teeth. These kinds of abnormalities can often cause difficulties with chewing, talking, sleeping, and other routine activities. By moving the teeth and jaws into more balanced positions, often in conjunction with orthodontic treatment, this surgery can restore proper functionality, dramatically enhance the facial appearance, and create a healthier smile.

By utilizing the latest in digital imaging and simulation technology, Dr. Coppe and Dr. Sears are able to demonstrate the overall functional and esthetic benefits of orthognathic surgery. Computerized treatment planning helps to minimize treatment times, the recovery period, and the overall efficacy of jaw surgery. State-of-the-art materials used by the surgeon, such as titanium plates and miniature fixation screws, provide stability, strength, and predictability of surgical treatment. These advances in technology, procedures, and equipment reduce post-surgical recovery time, allowing patients to return to their normal routines soon after the procedure.

Who needs corrective jaw surgery?

While orthodontic treatment such as braces or Invisalign can be used to correct issues of teeth misalignment, corrective jaw surgery may be necessary to fix abnormalities with jaw growth or position. Injuries and birth defects can affect jaw alignment, or it could be that the upper and lower jaws have grown at different rates. Those suffering from any of the following conditions could be excellent candidates for corrective jaw surgery:

  • Difficulty chewing or biting food
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chronic jaw or jaw joint (TMJ) pain and headache
  • Excessive wear of the teeth
  • Open bite (space between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed)
  • Unbalanced facial appearance from the front or side
  • Facial injury or birth defects
  • Receding chin (“overbite”)
  • Protruding lower jaw (“underbite”)
  • Inability to make the lips meet without straining
  • Chronic mouth breathing and dry mouth
  • Sleep apnea (breathing problems when sleeping, including snoring)

For some of the above issues, orthognathic surgery may not always be necessary. With significant advances in recent years, orthodontic treatment alone may be enough to correct the problem. Dr. Sears will work closely with an oral surgeon, to determine if orthognathic surgery is the appropriate treatment option.

Making a commitment to correct these conditions through surgery, and possibly orthodontic treatment, is an investment toward a life free from chronic jaw pain and dental issues. While treatment may take several years to complete, the results will last a lifetime.