The restorative jaw surgery, also referred to as orthognathic surgery, is a procedure aimed at correcting deformed jaws. The surgery is done on the lower jaw, upper jaw, and the surrounding facial structure. This jaw reconstruction is crucial because it helps correct many dental issues that could prevent you from living a happy and fruitful life. However, before you go to the surgeon for this procedure, it is important to understand that not every dental problem requires jaw reconstruction. Therefore, you should consult a qualified doctor for advice on your suitability for the procedure.
Your doctor will start by evaluating your problem to determine the cause and the most effective remedy. Here are some of the primary jaw complications that require immediate reconstruction.
Congenital Jaw Problems
Also known as micrognathia or mandibular hypoplasia, this congenital jaw problem occurs when a child is born with a lower jaw that is shorter than other parts of their face. This condition is very common in kids born with genetic disorders like trisomy 13, progeria, etc. Similarly, it can result from fetal alcohol syndrome. While in some instances, this condition goes away when the child’s jaw develops fully, at times, it can cause serious feeding and breathing problems. That’s when the reconstruction surgery becomes inevitable.
Cleft Lip or Palate Conditions
Cleft lip and palate deformities occur when a child’s lip or mouth doesn’t form correctly during pregnancy. Collectively, these birth faults are referred to as orofacial clefts. These deformities’ actual cause is unknown, but some experts suggest that changes in the baby’s genes can cause cleft lip and cleft palate. Fortunately, advances in modern dentistry have made it possible for doctors to rectify this problem through restorative surgery.
Over and Under Bites
An overbite is the overlap of upper teeth over the lower teeth. Normally, humans should have an overbite of about 3-5mm. Anything above 5mm is considered abnormal. On the other hand, an underbite is a situation where your lower teeth fall in front of your upper teeth when your jaws close. In an ideal situation, the lower front teeth should be behind the front upper teeth. The two deformities require reconstruction of the jaw.
Traumatic Facial Injury
If your face gets severely injured during an accident and the jawbone is damaged, your doctor may recommend the jaw’s reconstruction to enable it to function properly. Some of these reconstruction procedures may require bone grafting. Therefore, you should discuss the problem with your doctor to determine the best surgical approach for you.