When to Consider Jaw Surgery
Dr. Dustin J. Hopkin performs jaw surgery at his Salt Lake City, UT, oral surgery office to correct orthodontic misalignments, facial asymmetries, and growth removals. The primary purpose of orthognathic surgery, or corrective oral and maxillofacial surgery, is to ensure proper function of the jaw and preserve the health of the teeth and other oral tissues. Misalignment can cause pain and can also lead to tooth damage that may require extensive dental work to repair. Dr. Hopkin has extensive experience in oral surgery and will provide you with exceptional care throughout your treatment.
What Conditions can Jaw Surgery Treat or Correct?
There are a number of different conditions that jaw surgery can either treat or correct. One of the most common reasons for jaw surgery is the correction of orthodontic misalignment. Surgery is beneficial when traditional orthodontic treatment alone is not enough to fully correct the misalignment. Jaw surgery can also treat or correct:
- Facial asymmetry
- Growths or tumors in the jaw
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) complications
- Sleep Apnea
When is Jaw Surgery Recommended?
Orthodontic complications are common in adolescents and teens. If jaw surgery is needed, however, we recommend waiting until jawbone growth has stopped. This typically occurs between the ages of 13 and 15 for females and 16 and 18 for males. In uncommon and extreme circumstances, surgery may be required before growth has stopped.
One of the most common reasons for jaw surgery is the correction of orthodontic misalignment.
Those with orthodontic misalignments, such as a crossbite or open bite, are most frequently recommended for jaw surgery. These conditions can damage the teeth and place excessive stress on the jaw. We may also recommend jaw surgery if you:
- Find it difficult to chew, speak, or swallow
- Have facial structures that are disproportionate or asymmetrical
- Suffered facial trauma or have a birth defect
- Have benign or malignant growths in the jaw
What to Expect during Treatment
Before recommending surgical treatment, Dr. Hopkin will perform a thorough evaluation. This may include reviewing radiographs, a physical examination, and other tests. In the case of orthodontic misalignment, Dr. Hopkin can work closely with your orthodontist to develop your treatment plan. Many patients require orthodontic treatment prior to and following corrective jaw surgery.
All incisions associated with jaw surgery are created inside the mouth, so facial scarring will not be an issue. General anesthesia is typically used for this extensive procedure. Once you have been sedated, Dr. Hopkin will carefully shift your jaw into proper alignment. The procedure may involve the placement of screws or plates to hold the jaw in place. You can expect to make a full recovery from your procedure within approximately six weeks.
Schedule an Appointment Today
If you require orthognathic surgery to correct misalignment, remove growths, or to correct asymmetry, call our office at (801) 277-3942 or contact Hopkin Oral Surgery online today to schedule an appointment. After a thorough consultation, Dr. Hopkin can determine whether you would be a good candidate for jaw surgery and work with you to develop a treatment plan.