Benefits of Corrective Jaw Therapy

Having a properly aligned and sized jaw is essential to some basic functions you may take for granted. Your ability to eat what you want and sleep through the night depends on a healthy jaw. Any abnormalities can lead to headaches, pain, indigestion, and speech impediments. 

Our team of expert orthodontists at LM Orthodontics in McLean, Virginia, team up with orthodontic surgeons when orthognathic surgery (also known as jaw surgery) is needed to improve the placement and movement of your jawbones and joints.

What to expect from corrective jaw surgery

Before diving into the many benefits of corrective jaw surgery, it’s best to gain a better understanding of what happens at each stage of the procedure. 

Before surgery

Your corrective jaw surgery often begins months before the first incision. Typically, you’ll wear braces to shift your teeth into better positions and prepare them for surgery. In the last days and weeks leading up to your surgery date, you meet with our team to finalize the surgical plan, which usually involves taking measurements, molds, or images of your mouth. 

During surgery

Because of its invasive nature, you’re under general anesthesia during your surgery. Each procedure is different, but they usually take 2-5 hours depending on your specific needs. Most of the incisions are made inside of your mouth, but in some cases, we may need to make incisions on the outside. 

After surgery

You spend approximately 1-4 days in recovery at the hospital following your surgery. We send you home with detailed post-op instructions for eating and taking care of your oral hygiene. To keep you comfortable, we prescribe pain medication. 

The total recovery time is 6-12 weeks on average. You may notice some numbness in your lower lip, but this is usually temporary and will subside as you recover. After you fully heal from surgery, you may need braces to continue aligning your teeth. 

Benefits of corrective jaw surgery

Corrective jaw surgery requires both financial and physical investment, but we have seen how it can change people's lives. Here are just a few of the benefits of corrective jaw surgery.  

Clearer speech

When you talk, you rely on jaw movements to make proper sounds and articulate words. Irregularities in your jawbones and bite make talking difficult. After surgically correcting your jaw problems, you’ll be able to speak clearly and more confidently.

Improved eating

Your jaw is integral to a variety of daily functions, including your ability to chew. Jaw problems can cause you to chew abnormally, which puts extreme pressure on your teeth and can even lead to digestion problems. We realign your jaw and return it to the optimal chewing position. 

Easier breathing

Many patients who have protruding or receding jaws find it hard to breathe normally during the day and at night. Jaw surgery can improve your sleep, which can improve your overall health. 

Enhanced appearance

The main goal of corrective jaw surgery is to fix functional problems, but there are some fringe cosmetic benefits as well. After surgery, your appearance from the front and side improves dramatically. We also address bone irregularities that alter the shape of your face. 

Candidates for corrective jaw surgery

Though it’s not for everyone, corrective jaw surgery is an incredibly versatile procedure that can address a wide variety of jaw problems. We work closely with you to understand exactly how your jaw problems are impacting your wellbeing and comfort before recommending the surgery. 

You’re likely a candidate for corrective jaw surgery if you have one or more of the following conditions:

Corrective jaw surgery may also be an option if you have chronic or severe sleep apnea or pain and headaches caused by temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). 

Don’t spend another day living with your jaw problems. Start your journey to a more functional jaw today by requesting an appointment online or over the phone at our McLean, Virginia, location.

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