If the jaw is misaligned, it can affect everyday functions such as chewing, speaking, and breathing, as well as other complications that compromise oral health, such as TMJ disorders, sleep apnea, orthodontic and bone structure issues. While many conservative treatments can correct a jaw misalignment, more severe or complex jaw conditions may require surgery known as orthognathic surgery.
Who needs orthognathic surgery?
Commonly known as jaw surgery, orthognathic surgery corrects the function and alignment of the jaw. Jaw surgery may be recommended to treat a variety of conditions, from facial trauma injury to birth defect. You may need corrective jaw surgery if noninvasive treatments do not work and you are experiencing symptoms such as
- Difficulty chewing and/or swallowing
- Difficulty meeting lips together
- Breathing issues
- Jaw that recedes or protrudes
- Sleep apnea
- Excessive wear on teeth
- Ongoing jaw (TMJ) pain
- Open bite
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, we encourage you to contact Bonita Medical Center for a complete oral evaluation from one of our skilled oral surgeons. They can diagnose your condition and create a treatment plan to optimize your oral health.
Orthognathic Surgery Procedure
Like any oral surgery procedure, the first step is meeting with an experienced oral surgeon, such as Dr. Schow, for a consultation appointment. This first visit allows your oral surgeon to evaluate your condition, order and review any diagnostic scans, and create a surgical treatment plan just for you. When you come to Bonita Medical Center for any procedure, we will make every effort to ensure you feel safe and comfortable throughout your treatment. Your consultation appointment is a great time to ask any questions you may have about your condition, your procedure, and what you can expect as a result. Pre- and post-operative instructions will also be provided to ensure optimal healing and minimize the risk of post-surgical complications. Depending on your treatment, your oral surgeon may also work closely with your dentist or orthodontist to achieve a healthy, attractive, and functional jaw structure. Preparation with braces by an orthodontist is a common step in the orthognathic surgery process.
Once you are completely at ease after the administration of anesthesia, your surgical procedure will begin. Most of the time, orthognathic surgery involves repositioning a portion of the jaw with wires, screws, and plates.
In general, patients can expect to be off work or school for two weeks to one month following an orthognathic surgery procedure, although the repositioned bones will take several weeks to heal. Full function of the jaw may take up to one year. Regular appointments with your oral surgeon and orthodontist are to be expected as you heal. You can promote your healing and reduce the risk of complications by following all post-surgical guidelines as instructed by your oral surgeon.
If you are experiencing any issues after your surgery, or have any questions, Bonita Medical Center is here for you. Please give our office in Santa Fe, NM, a call to receive assistance from one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff members.
Orthognathic Surgery in Santa Fe, NM
Our skilled oral surgeon, and Dr. Schow, perform a variety of oral and maxillofacial surgery procedures, including orthognathic surgery. If you are experiencing any problems with your jaw or have received a referral, we hope you will consider Bonita Medical Center. We look forward to caring for you and your loved ones.