Jaw Surgery

Working Together For You

In the treatment of dental abnormalities, bad bites (malocclusions) and crooked teeth usually are corrected by an orthodontist. Growth abnormalities of the jaw usually are corrected by an oral surgeon. When both conditions exist, it is common to find an orthodontist and oral surgeon working together.

Orthodontic treatment and surgery is a combined approach involving orthodontics to straighten the teeth and oral surgery to correct severe cases of bad bites and jawbone abnormalities.

Who Needs Corrective Jaw Surgery?

People who may benefit from corrective jaw surgery include those with an improper bite resulting from misaligned teeth and/or jaws. In some cases, the upper and lower jaws may grow at different rates. Injuries and birth defects may also affect jaw alignment. While orthodontics can usually correct bite, or “occlusion,” problems when only the teeth are misaligned, corrective jaw surgery may be necessary to correct misalignment of the jaws.

Correction of Common Dentofacial Deformities

Correcting an Open Bite: Some of the bone in the upper tooth-bearing portion of the jaw is removed. The upper jaw is then secured in position with plates and screws.

Correcting a Protruding Lower Jaw: The bone in the rear portion of the jaw is separated from the front portion and modified so that the tooth-bearing portion of the lower jaw can be moved back for proper alignment.

Correcting a Receding Lower Jaw or “Weak Chin”: The bone in the lower portion of the jaw is separated from its base and modified. The tooth-bearing portion of the lower jaw and a portion of the chin are repositioned forward.