How Does Jaw Surgery Work?
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Jaw surgeries come in a number of variations. Some people require orthognathic surgery as part of repairing damage due to an automobile accident. Others may have a developmental concern (such as a cleft palate) that require surgical attention. Or perhaps a jaw is smaller than it should be, causing functional concerns that lead to tooth wear and TMJ pain.
The best jaw surgeon will explain your procedure in an easy-to-understand manner and listen to any concerns that you have. While surgery is not always necessary, when it is, you’ll feel better prepared understanding the process and how it works.
Aligning Your Upper and Lower Teeth
For your jaw surgery to be successful, the upper and lower jaws (maxilla and mandible) will need to close together properly. This means their midline is aligned and the teeth close against one another in a proper occlusion (biting relationship). Having teeth out of alignment will cause additional strain to the jaws, forcing them to function atypically. Do you have a large or narrow lower jaw? It may need to be re-set in order to accommodate a healthy biting relationship.
Validating the Anatomy of Your TMJ
Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is what allows the lower jaw (mandible) to move when you talk, eat, or laugh. It’s made up from a number of different tissues, including fixed muscles and loose cartilage.
If atypical anatomy — such as disk or bone deterioration — is present, surgery may be required to allow for proper range of motion or pain-free use of the joint.
During your exam, Dr. Hayes will use digital imaging to see inside of your TMJ to determine if any surgical correction is needed to the joint. If it is, we’ll talk through what modifications will be made in order to help it function properly.
Facial Profiles and Appearance
Finally, how will the jaw surgery affect your appearance? The best jaw surgeon will incorporate your current and planned facial profile as it relates to the repositioning or changes in your jaw shape. It could be that the jaw is brought further forward or backward, depending on your biting relationship and bone size.
Before selecting a jaw surgeon, ask to see before and after photographs of similar cases that they’ve completed. Understanding what the outcome of your procedure will look like can give you the reassurance that you’re making the right investment in your oral health.
When your jaw needs to be re-set, we’ll position the bone in the desired location and then stabilize your mouth as those surgical points heal. You’ll wear fixed appliances much like braces that keep your jaw from moving, allowing the muscles to relax so that the surgical site heals more quickly. You’ll want to stick to a soft diet with nutritional shakes and smoothies until things are back to normal.
Recovery from Jaw Surgery
The best jaw surgeon understands that your biggest concern is likely the recovery and healing process after your surgical procedure. At Coal Creek Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center, Dr. Curt Hayes takes patient comfort very seriously. We incorporate the latest techniques and resources to ensure an efficient recovery with the least downtime.
Schedule your jaw surgery consultation in Lafayette, CO today!
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