Corrective jaw surgery – also called Orthognathic Surgery – is performed to correct a wide range of minor and major skeletal and dental irregularities, including the misalignment of jaws and teeth. Surgery can improve chewing, speaking and breathing. While the patient's appearance may be dramatically enhanced as a result of the surgery, orthognathic surgery is performed to correct functional problems.
Following are some of the conditions that may indicate the need for corrective jaw surgery:
Difficulty chewing or biting food
Chronic jaw or jaw joint (TMJ) pain and headaches
Excessive wear of the teeth
Open bite (space between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed)
An unbalanced facial appearance from the front or side
Receding lower jaw and chin
Inability to make the lips meet without straining
Chronic mouth breathing
Sleep apnea (breathing problems when sleeping, including snoring)
Your dentist, orthodontist, and Dr. Barefoot will work together to determine whether you are a candidate for orthognathic surgery. Dr. Barefoot will determine which corrective jaw surgical procedure is appropriate and will perform the actual surgery. It is important to understand that your treatment, which will probably include orthodontics before and after surgery, may take several years to complete. Dr. Barefoot and your orthodontist understand this is a long-term commitment for you and your family, and they will try to realistically estimate the time required for your treatment.