15 Sep Corrective Jaw Surgery for an Open Bite
While many people may think of a malocclusion as being an overbite or an underbite, an open bite can also be problematic. An open bite is a malocclusion in which neither the upper nor lower jaws protrude but the two still do not meet. When the jaws do not meet properly, it can affect the functioning and appearance of the smile. Open bites may also contribute to conditions like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, which can cause discomfort.
As with other misalignments of the jaw, corrective jaw surgery can help to eliminate an open bite and restore the smile’s aesthetics and improve its ability to perform its job in important actions like breathing and chewing. Corrective jaw surgery is an option for patients who would not be able to achieve a properly positioned jaw through orthodontic appliances alone.
Patients who need corrective jaw surgery to resolve an open bite will consult with an oral surgeon, who examines the jaw’s structure and takes x-rays (or sometimes three-dimensional images) and photographs that provide the data necessary to inform treatment planning.
In most cases, corrective jaw surgery is incorporated into an orthodontic treatment plan that is simultaneously addressing improperly positioned teeth and misaligned jaws. Therefore, the oral surgeon will collaborate with an orthodontist to plan the timing of the jaw surgery and to be sure that it fits in with the broader treatment goals.
For example, the orthodontist may begin to reposition the teeth so that they are in their proper locations after the surgery is completed. When adequate progress has been made in realigning the teeth, the surgery will be scheduled. After the patient has healed from the surgery, the orthodontist will resume the process of realigning the teeth.
Corrective jaw surgery is most often performed in a specialty surgical facility or in a hospital, and the initial recovery period will take at least several days.
If you have been frustrated by upper and lower jaws that do not fit together properly, discuss the option of corrective jaw surgery with an oral surgeon to determine if this treatment might be appropriate for you. Call 405-624-1300 to reserve your appointment today.