Corrective Jaw Surgery

Corrective jaw surgery is sometimes referred to as “surgical orthodontics”, but is commonly known as orthognathic surgery.  The word orthognathic literally means straight jaws. It is derived from the Greek word orthos meaning straight and gnathos meaning jaws.  Therefore, orthognathic surgery is performed to straighten or correct improper jaw alignment and aid in jaw function.

Just as your orthodontist corrects your crooked teeth with braces and other appliances, Dr. Falcone can correct poorly positioned jawbones and teeth with orthognathic surgery.

Many times, people are born with or develop problems with their jaws that cannot be corrected by braces alone. One or both of your jaws may grow too much or too little, resulting in speech difficulties, chewing problems, bite irregularities, breathing difficulty, and an unfavorable facial appearance. Also, problems with your bite can threaten the health of your teeth and gums. Your jaw joints (TMJ) can be affected too, causing pain and dysfunction.

If you have unequal jaw or facial bone growth, orthognathic surgery with other cosmetic maxillofacial surgery may be indicated.

Take a close look at yourself. Do you have any of the following conditions?

  • Protruding jaw (upper or lower)
  • Receding jaw or chin
  • Large jaw or chin
  • Cheekbone or nasal abnormality
  • “Gummy Smile”
  • “Long” facial appearance
  • “Short” upper lip
  • Open bite (A space between your upper and lower front or back teeth when you bite.)
  • Unbalanced facial or jaw appearance
  • Speech or breathing impairment
  • Difficulty in chewing or biting
  • Chronic jaw joint pain
  • Excessive tooth wear
  • Chronic mouth breathing
  • Chronic snoring and/or sleep apnea
If you do have any of these problems, orthognathic and maxillofacial cosmetic surgery can be used to correct them.

Many times, a team approach is necessary between Dr. Falcone and your orthodontist. First, your teeth are properly aligned with braces, then corrective jaw surgery is performed to place your jaws in their proper position. In addition, chin, nasal bone, cheekbone or other facial deformities can be corrected at the same time.  Not only will your facial appearance be improved, but now your bite has been altered to allow you to chew, smile and speak with more confidence than ever before.

Dr. Falcone can determine if corrective jaw surgery and cosmetic maxillofacial surgery are right for you just by performing an examination and by taking some x-rays and photographs. Rarely, are other diagnostic measures necessary. Remember that unequal growth of your jaws can cause you a lot of trouble, so if you suspect a problem, see Dr. Falcone to have your jaws, face and bite examined. He will be available to answer any questions that you may have and propose a customized treatment plan to improve your jaw function and restore your facial balance and improve your appearance.