Corrective jaw surgery, technically called orthognathic surgery, can relieve symptoms for patients in the Peoria and Galesburg areas who have an unstable foundational bite or who experience obstructive sleep apnea. These issues are usually a result of unbalanced growth in the upper and lower jaws, which creates misalignment and causes challenges with eating, speech, and airway collapse in the case of sleep apnea.
To bring both the teeth and jaws into alignment, doctors typically combine orthodontics with corrective jaw surgery. Associated Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons frequently coordinates with other dental and medical professionals to provide patients with the care they need. For nearly five decades, we have supported corrective jaw surgery patients throughout Central Illinois and currently have locations in Peoria and Galesburg. Orthodontists, neurologists, and dentists often refer to our practice because of our experience and the quality of our work.
The Purpose of Corrective Jaw Surgery
Corrective jaw surgery moves your teeth and jaws into a position that is more functional and balanced. You might be a candidate for the procedure if you have:
- Difficulty biting, chewing, or swallowing.
- A facial injury or birth defect that affects your jaw.
- An open bite (space between the upper and lower teeth when you close your mouth).
- A receding chin or protruding jaw.
- Problems with chronic mouth breathing or dry mouth.
- Chronic jaw or jaw joint (TMJ) pain, typically accompanied by a headache.
- Sleep apnea (breathing problems when you sleep, including snoring and low oxygen saturation levels).
Doctors in our Peoria and Galesburg offices can determine whether your symptoms are related to the position of your jaws.
While the surgery is designed to assist your bite and make you more comfortable, you can also expect an aesthetic improvement and an improvement in your speech as well. Repositioning can give you a stronger jaw, softer features, better tooth display, a more balanced profile, and airway improvement. AOS can combine the surgery with other cosmetic procedures such as cheekbone implants, nasal septoplasty, and chin augmentation. Frequently, jaw repositioning and bite stabilization provide enough cosmetic benefits on their own to make other cosmetic enhancements unnecessary.
AOS’ Approach to Corrective Jaw Surgery
Start with a visit to our Peoria or Galesburg office for an initial consultation. We often see patients after a referral from their orthodontist or neurologist. Dr. Busch, Dr. Otte, or Dr. Schroeder will perform a comprehensive examination, which may include taking measurements, photographs, digital impressions, and a CT scan.
If you require corrective jaw surgery, your surgeon will discuss the procedure and recovery process with you. The operation offers extensive benefits, but it does require a lengthy recuperation with dietary and activity restrictions. AOS prioritizes patient care and transparency, and we will take the time to answer any questions you may have.
Typically, Peoria and Galesburg patients will also see an orthodontist for braces, which they will wear for 12-18 months before their corrective jaw surgery. The braces will move their teeth to be in the optimal position following jaw surgery. As a result, your bite may get worse before it gets better, but the operation should immediately improve the alignment of your teeth.
What to Expect with Corrective Jaw Surgery
After your braces have repositioned your teeth, you will have a follow-up visit with AOS so that your surgeon can:
- Create a 3D model of your jaws and teeth. This will allow the doctor to precisely plan your procedure before you ever enter the operating room.
- Develop guides for use during your procedure to ensure precision.
For most of our Peoria and Galesburg patients, corrective jaw surgery takes 2-4 hours to complete. Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons have advanced training that allows us to administer IV sedation and general anesthesia and are credentialed at regional hospitals. This significantly improves patient comfort and allows for appropriate anesthesia care.
Corrective jaw surgery does not typically require your jaws to be wired shut. Also, you will have no visible scarring since incisions are located inside the mouth. It is usually an outpatient procedure that AOS can perform in a hospital or at one of our clinical ambulatory operating rooms depending on the type of surgery and your insurance coverage.
Recovery and Results from Corrective Jaw Surgery
You can expect to return home the same day or the day following your procedure. You may have some swelling and bruising immediately afterward. Our surgeons typically advise patients to:
- Plan for two weeks away from school or work.
- Follow the dietary restrictions AOS provides. These include no chewing for four weeks and then only soft food for the next two weeks.
- Avoid exercise that could cause straining or jarring, such as running or aerobics, for two weeks.
- Stay away from contact sports for 12 weeks to avoid the risk of facial trauma.
Once you have recovered fully from your procedure, you should benefit from a much more functional bite. The surgery should also reduce or eliminate symptoms such as chronic discomfort and sleep apnea. In addition, you should also see significant aesthetic improvement in your facial features as the swelling fades.