Jaw deformity correction

Jaw deformities range from mild abnormalities to those defects that can be corrected through surgical procedures only. The deformities in upper and lower jaw such as growth differences may cause malocclusion and misalignment of teeth. Genetic factors like trauma or some other birth defects also contribute to deformities in jaw. The diagnosis involves evaluation of various factors like:

  • Face proportions

  • Anomalies which affect the normal functioning of teeth and jaws

  • Aberrations related to windpipe or air passageway

Problems related to breathing, speaking, eating etc can be greatly reduced by correction of jaw deformities. If orthodontic treatment fails to correct the problem then surgical treatment is required which is called orthognathic surgery. This may involve movement of parts or whole of the lower or upper jaw and bring them to a balanced position. It is usually performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and an orthodontist and is performed in the mouth itself. The modification in the jaws is made by making cuts in the jawbones and then aligning these cut pieces correctly. A nasal tube is used instead of usual oral tubes for breathing. After the surgery, the jaws are wired together using stainless steel wires to ensure the correct positioning of the jawbones. Careful coordination between orthodontist and the surgeon is necessary to make sure that after the surgery, the teeth will correctly fit. Often braces or retainers are used for proper alignment after surgery.

The recovery time after the surgery ranges from a week to a year depending upon the complexity. The patients are advised to follow a liquid diet mostly for proper healing purposes. Regular check ups are necessary as problems like swelling, pain etc are common after surgery.