The field of oral surgery, similar to general dental care, focuses on the long-term health and function of a patient’s smile and oral structures. Jaw surgery, performed at our Lincoln office by Dr. Andrew R. Glenn, encompasses a number of different procedures, each designed to correct a specific aspect of oral health, strength, and symmetry. Whether your jawbone has been damaged by a traumatic impact, suffers a congenital defect, or has grown weak from tooth loss, we can help reconstruct the foundation of your smile to improve its balance and function. To learn more about how we can enhance and preserve your oral health for years to come, schedule an appointment with Dr. Glenn today.
Corrective jaw surgery is sometimes required for patients with severe under or overbites, or who suffer with sleep apnea. This procedure involves moving the jaws to a predetermined position to help alleviate symptoms. Corrective jaw surgery is usually performed within a few hours, and some patients can return to work or school the following day.
The Importance of Symmetry
The lower jawbone, or mandible, is hinged by two joints, called the temporomandibular joints (TMJs). Located on either side of the face in front of each ear, the TMJs move in tandem when the mouth bites, chews, speaks, or otherwise opens and closes. To achieve continuous movement without damaging the components of your smile, the jawbone, teeth, and jaw joints must be properly aligned. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, and when the jawbone is uneven, the surrounding tissues and structures can suffer.
An imbalanced bite can place the TMJs under excessive pressure, leading to severe discomfort known as TMJ disorder. The imbalance can also subject teeth to extreme pressure and friction, leading to structural damage and even tooth loss. Dr. Glenn utilizes the high-tech iCAT imaging system, which employs cone beam computer tomography (CT)
technology to produce clear and precise 3D images of the mouth and jawbone. These images allow Dr. Glenn to accurately diagnose jawbone imbalance, plan the appropriate surgical treatment, and show the patient what treatment entails and how the final surgical outcome will look.
What is Orthognathic Surgery?
Uneven alignment of the jawbone, the cause of overbite, underbite, and crossbite, is often accompanied by crooked teeth, which may have grown at odd angles to accommodate an imbalanced bite. Creating unity between correctly aligned teeth and a balanced jawbone requires a collaborative effort between Dr. Glenn and your orthodontist. Known as orthognathic surgery, the procedure is a combination of corrective jaw surgery to restore bite balance, and orthodontic treatment to realign teeth to match the new, proper orientation of your bite. By improving jaw and teeth alignment for improved function, orthognathic surgery also significantly improves the visual appearance of a smile, and can greatly boost a patient’s confidence.
Bone grafting is a form of jaw surgery that involves grafting and regrowing bone structure in the upper or lower jawbone to support one or more dental implants. Bone can be obtained from a donor source or from another area of the patient’s body, then surgically grafted onto the affected area of the jawbone. To strengthen the posterior (back) upper jaw, a sinus lift can be performed to elevate the sinus floor to allow room for a bone graft. Grafting may also be used in conjunction with orthognathic surgery to lengthen or rebuild the jaw.
Learn More about Jaw Surgery during a Consultation
Jaw surgery can be a beneficial treatment for patients who have suffered traumatic facial injury, or have other congenital defects that limit the proper function of the jawbone. To learn more about achieving a stronger, healthier bite, and more beautiful smile, contact us today to schedule a consultation.