The goal of orthognathic surgery is to improve the function of the jaw and help patients improve everyday functions such as eating, speaking, and breathing. Patients with moderate to severe jaw misalignment may be candidates for orthognathic surgery. Also known as corrective jaw surgery, orthognathic surgery may also be performed as a surgical option for sleep apnea or TMJ disorder.
Signs of Jaw Misalignment
The following may be signs of jaw misalignment:
- A chin that is weak or protruding
- Impaired speech
- Inability to close the lips completely
- Difficulty chewing or grinding food
- Snoring and/or sleep apnea
- Unbalanced facial aesthetics
- Dental crowding
Complications due to jaw misalignment may include tooth decay, tooth injury, gum disease, and more.
Benefits of Jaw Surgery
Many patients who undergo orthognathic surgery consider it a transformative procedure. While the goal of this surgery is to improve the function of the jaw, improved aesthetics and facial proportions are another result of this procedure. Patients also experience:
- Improved chewing, speech, and respiratory function
- Improved long-term effects of orthodontic therapy
- Reduced tooth loss
Types of Anesthesia
Whitewater Oral Surgery Group uses three main types of anesthesia:
Local anesthesia is administered directly to the surgical site and only affects the local area. It is commonly used for minor procedures, such as simple dental extractions or small soft tissue biopsies.
Nitrous oxide is also known as laughing gas and is a mild sedative inhaled through a mask over the mouth and nose. It is often used in conjunction with local anesthesia. The effects of the gas will dissipate after breathing some oxygen for a few minutes after the procedure.
IV sedation is administered into the patient’s vein. This type of sedation is most commonly used during impacted wisdom teeth extraction, extensive dental implant surgery, or any surgical procedure that may be more complex in nature.