Corrective jaw surgery may be necessary if your teeth are misaligned in a way that orthodontics alone can’t fix. The procedure can help your bite function better, improve your smile, and balance the features of your face.
Midland Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery performs corrective jaw surgery for patients with differing needs and from a wide range of ages. Our specialists generally work in consultation with the orthodontists who refer their patients to our care. By partnering with a Midland OMFS doctor early in the process, you and your orthodontist can plan treatment for the most effective and attractive outcome.
The Corrective Jaw Surgery Process
The lead-up to corrective jaw surgery is a multi-stage process that can take one year or longer. Talk with your orthodontist to find out when you should schedule your initial consultation with Midland OMFS, or get in touch with our practice directly.
In your initial visit to our practice, your doctor will carefully examine your teeth and jaws, evaluate whether you are a candidate for the procedure, and answer any questions you have. Once you decide to have corrective jaw surgery, your doctor will collaborate with your orthodontist on your treatment plan.
You will complete most of your orthodontics before you have corrective jaw surgery. This process can take several months. Following orthodontic treatment, your teeth may look imperfect even though they are properly aligned for the surgery. This is because your orthodontist will position your teeth in a way that will look best after you have the surgery.
During a follow-up visit at Midland OMFS, we will take X-rays and create a digital scan of your teeth, and we will combine these images to prepare for your surgical case. Your doctor will use this model as the basis for a surgical stint: a physical template that will allow the doctor to align your jaws in a natural and aesthetically appealing way. Once your doctor has produced the stint, you’ll be ready to have your procedure.
What to Expect with Corrective Jaw Surgery
Midland OMFS doctors perform corrective jaw surgery procedures locally at Mid-Michigan Medical Center, where you will receive attentive care throughout your experience. You will sleep through the entire surgery under general anesthesia. The process takes about three hours for each jaw, and patients usually stay overnight and leave the hospital the next day.
- Your jaws may be wired closed for 3-4 weeks. This will stabilize the surgical sites — like a cast would do for a broken leg — and will help the sites heal properly.
- You’ll be able to talk and eat soft foods and liquids. We may recommend that you consult with a dietician to track your caloric intake.
- Expect 4-6 weeks of significant swelling and pain. Our practice can advise you about medications for managing discomfort, but the biggest recommendation we have is to take it easy while you recover.
Most of our younger patients return to school or work after a week or two, and all corrective jaw surgery patients visit Midland OMFS on a weekly basis as they heal. At about six weeks, patients generally can have the wires and surgical stint removed and can get back to normal activities.
Once your Midland OMFS doctor determines that your bite is stable, you’ll return to your orthodontist, who may recommend some additional steps for perfecting the alignment of your teeth. You can expect a beautiful smile and a more functional bite at the end of the process.
Learn more about corrective jaw surgery by contacting Midland OMFS and scheduling an appointment with a specialist. Connect online or by phone at (989) 839-9979.