You’ve had a dramatic underbite your entire life. It’s always the first thing you notice whenever you look in the mirror or see a picture of yourself. You had braces as a child to make your teeth straighter, but they did little to actually correct the position of your jaw. What can be done about it? You’ve heard you can get it fixed with corrective jaw surgery, but that sounds very dramatic, is it really necessary? Today, Dr. Thomas Weil, a Houston oral surgeon, is going to discuss why you might need to get corrective jaw surgery.
Why Would I Need Jaw Surgery?
The jaw plays a very important role in your body in a multitude of ways. Firstly, it allows you to speak and eat comfortably. It also is a big influence on the positioning of your teeth, and is supposed to work seamlessly with the rest of your facial muscles. Sometimes, one jaw can grow too fast or too slow compared to the other, leading to a discrepancy. The most common ones are known as an overbite and an underbite. If you have either of these conditions, you may have had orthodontic treatment such as braces to help correct it, as straighter teeth can sometimes mitigate the issue.
Unfortunately, this is not enough in the most extreme cases. These problems can sometimes lead to TMJ disorders, which deal with the jaw joints that are positioned in front of your ears. A malocclusion (misaligned bite) can cause these joints to become strained, which can lead to a stiff, painful jaw, as well as chronic headaches. For cases where the jaw alignment is so severe that it is hampering function, a patient may need to get surgery.
How Jaw Surgery Works
No matter what your particular situation is, jaw surgery is a long and meticulous process. This is because not only does your jaw need to be modified, but your doctor has to make sure that it works with your teeth as well as the rest of your face. If all of these factors are not balanced correctly, it can lead to even more problems.
The process starts with a consultation at Piney Point Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. This will allow Dr. Weil or Dr. Koo to examine your jaw and determine if surgery is your best possible solution. If it is, the process will start with the doctors taking a variety of scans and x-rays of your jaw to create a realistic 3D model. They will use this to plan your surgery so that by the time you lay down on the operating table, they know exactly what to do. This entire process, including everything from planning to recovery, usually takes a few months to complete.
While surgery may seem intimidating and time consuming, it is usually the only solution to these types of problems. After a patient has recovered, not only will their jaw function be significantly increased, but their appearance will be more balanced as well.
Of course, if you are having frequent problems with your jaw, the only way to figure out if surgery is right for you is to come visit us. That way, we can learn more about your individual situation and come up with an appropriate treatment plan, whether that includes surgery or not.
We’re sure you still have questions, and that is OK. Simply give us a call today and we’ll provide any answers that you need.