The jaw is a powerful tool that plays a vital role in how well we speak, chew, look, and even breathe. When the alignment of your jaw is off, or you have a structural abnormality, this can affect every aspect of your life. In some cases, you may need surgical treatment to address these abnormalities, which is why the experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeons at Carolinas Centers for Oral & Facial Surgery offer corrective jaw surgery in Concord, North Carolina.
What Types of Problems Does Jaw Surgery Fix?
There are many reasons to choose corrective jaw surgery at Carolinas Center for Oral & Facial Surgery. We can address common problems: malocclusion (underbite or overbite), crooked jaw, protruding jaw, open bite, and jaw asymmetry. These issues can cause a variety of problems, such as:
- Difficulty Chewing, Biting, or Swallowing
- Breathing Issues
- Sleep Apnea
- Chronic Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Pain
- Facial Dysfunction
- Excessive Teeth Wear
Any of these jaw issues can exist at birth or develop after birth as the result of genetics, environmental influences, or trauma to the face. No matter what causes your jaw problems, the team at Carolinas Center for Oral & Facial Surgery can provide efficient, reliable, and predictable results.
Before & Afters
See the differences we make through oral surgery. The services that our team of skilled surgeons provides can change your smile—and your life—by improving your oral health.
Our Process for Corrective Jaw Surgery
The First Steps
The first step to achieving beautiful results with corrective jaw surgery is scheduling a consultation with your surgeon at Carolinas Center for Oral & Facial Surgery.
During your consultation, you and your doctor will discuss your jaw problems and treatment goals, review your medical history, perform an oral evaluation, and take all the imaging necessary to build an ideal treatment plan.
Your initial consultation is also the ideal time to discuss any hesitations or concerns you have with the procedure., including the procedure risks, benefits, alternatives, and costs. All in all, you can expect your initial corrective jaw surgery consultation to take around two hours.
After your consultation, we work with your orthodontist to create a personalized treatment plan that helps you achieve your overall goals. Once we finalize your treatment, our practice will contact your insurance provider to obtain authorization and discuss the financial details with you.
Furthermore, depending on your treatment plan, it may be necessary to prepare your mouth for surgery by aligning your teeth with braces or retainers. When your orthodontist gives you the all-clear, we will schedule a return visit and set a date for your surgical procedure.
Once your teeth are optimally aligned and prepared for corrective jaw surgery, it is time to schedule your pre-surgical appointment. At this visit, our team will take comprehensive facial x-rays and use state-of-the-art computer video imaging to create a virtual model of your teeth and facial skeleton.
Computerized treatment planning minimizes treatment times, decreases your recovery period, and improves your surgery’s overall efficacy and accuracy. Furthermore, with this advanced technology, we can show you in great detail how your jaw will be improved and even give you an idea of how you’ll look after surgery.
When your surgery date arrives, it will take place at our accredited surgery center, and we will place you under anesthesia, which maximizes your safety and comfort during the procedure.
After anesthesia is administered, your surgeon will reposition your jaw to suit your individual needs. Depending on your treatment plan, your doctor can add, reshape, or remove the bone. Your surgeon may also use screws, surgical plates, rubber bands, and wires to secure your jaws in their new locations. In most cases, incisions are made inside your mouth to reduce noticeable scarring.
Following your corrective jaw surgery, you will likely experience facial swelling, bruising, and soreness. Facial swelling will peak around day two or three and then continue to subside within the first few weeks of your recovery. To minimize the swelling, we recommend you apply ice packs in intervals of twenty minutes on and off and keep your head elevated. To help with any discomfort, your doctor will prescribe you pain medication.
You can expect your discomfort to improve with each passing week. After about one week of recovery, you will meet with your surgeon for a follow-up assessment that examines how your jaw is healing.
Regarding your diet after corrective jaw surgery, you can expect to be put on a liquid diet for the first week and then a soft foods diet for around eight weeks or until your jaw heals. When on a liquid diet, we recommend broth, juice, and liquid protein drinks. No smoking is allowed during your recovery period, as this can significantly impact your body’s healing abilities.
Generally, our surgeons recommend taking one to three weeks off from school or work. However, this depends on the extent of your surgical procedure. Your surgeon will discuss their recommendations with you in more detail at your pre-surgery appointment.
There are three main choices for anesthesia
Local anesthesia provides numbness directly where it is administered. It does not affect consciousness, so the patient remains awake while the feelings of discomfort are eliminated. Local anesthesia is commonly used for minor procedures.
Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a mild sedative that the patient inhales to alleviate feelings of anxiety. It does not cause the patient to lose consciousness. It is often used together with local anesthesia.
IV sedation is commonly used for moderate to extensive oral or facial surgery procedures. This type of sedation is administered directly into the patient’s vein. Since amnesia (forgetfulness) is a common side effect of the medication, most patients who use IV sedation do not remember their procedure.
You’re in Good Hands with Our Doctors
If you are ready to take the next step towards a healthier jaw and better quality of life, contact us at (704) 788-1192 and schedule a consultation with our oral and maxillofacial surgeons to learn more about corrective jaw surgery in Concord, North Carolina. We are here to help you determine which dental treatment is right for you and your individual needs.