Orthognathic surgery is needed when jaws dont meet correctly and/ or teeth dont seem to fit with jaws. Usually due to growth, abnormalitic teeth are straightened with orthodontics and corrective jaw surgery repositions misaligned jaws. This not only improves facial appearance, but also ensures that teeth meet correctly and function properly.
Who needs Orthognathic Surgery
People who can benefit from Orthognathic surgery include those with an improper bite or jaws that are positioned incorrectly. Jaw growth is a gradual process and in some instances, the upper and lower jaws may grow at different rates. The result can be a host of problems that can affect chewing function, speech, long-term oral health and appearance. Injury to the jaw and birth defects can also affect jaw alignment. Orthodontics alone can correct bite problems when only the teeth are involved. Orthognathic surgery may be required for the jaws when repositioning is necessary
Orthognathic Surgery Patient Symptoms include:
- Difficulty in chewing, biting or swallowing
- Speech problems
- Chronic jaw or TMJ pain
- Open bite
- Protruding jaw
- Breathing problems
- Sleep Disorders
Any of these symptoms can exist at birth, be acquired after birth as a result of hereditary or environmental influences or as a result of trauma to the face. Before any treatment begins, a consultation will be held to perform a complete examination with xrays. During the pre-treatment consultation process, feel free to ask any questions that you have regarding your treatment. When you are fully informed about the aspects of your care, you and your dental team will make the decision to proceed with treatment together.
Return to top
Dental implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which look, feel and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. Patients with dental implants can smile with confidence.
What are Dental Implants?
The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts, which are inserted into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed into the jawbone. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrudes through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.
Implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
Return to top
Major and Minor Bone Grafting
Over a period if time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth atrophies or is reabsorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality of bone suitable for placement of dental implants. In these situations, most patients are not candidates for placement of dental implants. Today, we have the ability to grow bone where needed. This not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, it also gives us a chance to restore functional and esthetic appearance.
Major Bone Grafting
Bone grafting can repair implant site with inadequate bone structure due to previous extractions, gum disease or injuries. The bone is either obtained from a tissue bank or your own bone is taken from the jaw, hip or tibia (below the knee.) Sinus bone grafts are also performed to replace bone in the posterior upper jaw. In addition, special membranes may be utilized that dissolve under the gum and protect the bone grafting and encourage bone regeneration. This is called guided bone regeneration or guided tissue regeneration.
Major bone grafts are typically performed to repair defects of the jaws. These defects may arise as a result of traumatic injuries, tumor surgery, or congenital defects. Large defects are required using the patients own bone. This bone is harvested from a number of different sites depending on the size of the defect. The skull (cranium), hip (iliac crest), and lateral knee (tibia), are common donor sites. These procedures are routinely performed in an operating room and require a hospital stay.
Return to top
Sleep Breathing Disorders / Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) affects 5% to 8% of the population. OSA develops as a result of a narrowing of the air passages with the onset of sleep. This occurs because the muscles in the throat, just like the rest of the muscles of the body, relax with sleep onset. The airway becomes narrowed as the tissues are drawn together during inspiration.The movement of the tissue produces the snoring sound. When the oxygen level in the brain becomes low enough the sleeper partially awakens, the obstruction in the throat clears and the flow of air starts again, usually with a loud gasp. People with OSA have disturbed sleep and low blood oxygen levels. Loud snoring, with episodes of pauses and gasps during which the snorer struggles unsuccessfully to breathe, is a prominent symptom of OSA. Snoring is present in 90% to 95% of patients with OSA. People with sleep apnea dont get enough oxygen and their sleep is poor.
The most common symptoms of Sleep Apnea include:
- Memory Loss
- Morning headaches
- Breathing pauses during sleep
- Daily sore throats
- Nightly insomnia
- Excessive daytime fatigue
Sleep apnea is a serious condition and individuals with OSA may not be aware of a problem. Frequently it is only the bed partner who is aware of this serious disorder.
Return to top
The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and coral pink in color. Any alteration in the appearance could be a warning sign for a pathological process. The most serious of these is oral cancer.
The following can be signs at the beginning of a pathological process or cancerous growth:
- Reddish patches (erythroplasia) or whitish patches (leukoplakia) in the mouth.
- A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily.
- A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth.
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness.
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing.
These changes can be detected on the lips, cheeks, palate and gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face and/or neck. Pain does not always occur with pathology, and curiously, is not often associated with oral cancer. However, any patient with facial and/or oral pain without an obvious cause or reason may also be at risk for oral cancer.
We recommend performing an oral cancer self-examination monthly and remember that your mouth is one of your bodys most important warning systems. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores. Please contact us so we may help. A biopsy or removal of the lesion is usually necessary.
Return to top