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Orthognathic (Jaw) Surgery


3D illustration of skull and mandibleOur jaw is perhaps the most overlooked aspect of our oral health. If you suffer from jaw-related problems, you may qualify for orthognathic surgery. Orthognathic, or corrective jaw surgery, typically addresses the intricacies of occlusion (the way your teeth fit together).

There are a number reasons you may need orthognathic surgery, with many variations on the procedure. At Senestraro Family Orthodontics, we will be able to determine if you are a candidate for corrective jaw surgery. Surgical intervention may be the best way to alleviate severe, and often painful symptoms related to jaw disorders.

Reasons for Orthognathic Surgery


There are many patients who can benefit from orthognathic surgery, especially those with TMD or a malocclusion otherwise known as misaligned bite. We may recommend jaw surgery to:
•  Correct problems with speech
•  Correct problems that affect chewing or swallowing
•  Correct issues that occur when you open or close your mouth
•  Correct a facial imbalance for cosmetic and functional reasons
•  Address birth defects or abnormalities
•  Minimize the problems associated with bruxism (clenching or teeth grinding)
•  Minimize problems associated with TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder)
•  Repair a facial injury or trauma
•  Alleviate the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea

Corrective jaw surgery is usually only recommended when orthodontic treatment alone is unable to get you an ideal result. As part of your free consultation appointment, Dr. Seth Senestraro will perform a series of diagnostic tests to determine if orthognathic surgery is right for you. This is an excellent opportunity for you to ask questions and discuss orthognathic surgery options and alternatives.

Many patients seek orthognathic surgery for purely esthetic reasons and not necessarily to correct their bite. That being said if your jaws are out of place causing facial imbalance or asymmetry your bite is likely off as well. The most common request for esthetic improvement reported by men seeking jaw surgery is a receded or small lower jaw making them appear less maculine. Conversely women commonly seek facial balance through jaw surgery because they look masculine due to a lower jaw that is to far forward. Other asymmetries and height issues such as gummy smile can also be corrected with jaw surgery and braces.

Preparation for Orthognathic Surgery


Orthodontic treatment is a large part of the preparation for corrective jaw surgery. Dr. Seth has excellent communication with the oral surgeons as they work as a team to plan your surgical and orthodontic treatment, this cooperation is vital to the success of your treatment. Braces are used to align your teeth allowing the oral surgeon to move your jaws to their ideal position during surgery. After the surgery elastic bands are worn from the top to bottom braces to stabilize your surgical result. The braces are usually in place for about 12 to 18 months before your surgery. Braces are usually on for another 6 months after surgery as Dr. Seth gets all the details perfect.

X-rays and 3D CBCT scans are also an important part of the preparation process. These diagnostic tools help us develop a more precise and appropriate treatment plan. In particular, 3D imaging can help us design a surgical guide that results in safer and more effective surgery. At Senestraro Family Orthodontics we will do a complimentary 3D x-ray scan to help you make an informed decision on whether jaw surgery is the the best option for you.

Types of Orthognathic Surgery


In most cases, the surgery is performed inside your oral cavity to avoid facial scars around your chin, jaw, and mouth. The type of orthognathic surgery you receive depends on your symptoms. Types of corrective jaw surgery include:
•  Lower Jaw. Also known as a mandibular osteotomy or bilateral sagittal split osteotomy, BSSO, is the most common type of surgery that can help correct a receding or protruding lower jaw.
•  Upper Jaw. Also known as maxillary osteotomy or le fort osteotomy is a type of surgery that can correct open bites, cross bites, or a significantly narrow, protruding or receded upper jaw.
•  Chin surgery. Also known as a genioplasty, this type of surgery can correct a deficient chin, usually accompanied by a severely receded lower jaw.

After Orthognathic Surgery


After your orthognathic surgery, you should see improved function of your teeth, a balanced facial appearance, and several other health benefits that improve chewing, swallowing, sleeping, and breathing. Be sure to follow our post-operative instructions to avoid potential complications.

The healing period for orthognathic surgery typically takes about six to 12 weeks. We usually recommend avoiding tobacco use, difficult foods, and strenuous activity. Talk with Dr. Seth Senestraro to learn more about life after corrective jaw surgery.

Schedule Your Surgical Consultation


With countless orthognathic surgery cases completed, Dr. Seth has the expertise to work closely with your surgeon to get the best outcome possible. Find out if you can benefit from orthognathic surgery. Call (503) 925-3335 to schedule your surgical consultation today.
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