The Surprising Medical Benefits of Orthognathic (Jaw) Surgery
Learn more about what orthognathic surgery is, and how it could have medical benefits for you.
The mouth is arguably the most important gateway to our bodies. The condition of our teeth and
gums can affect everything from diabetes to cancer, but sometimes it can cause pain a lot closer to
home: in the jaw.
There are many causes of jaw pain, including temporomandibular joint dysfunction (also known as
TMJ dysfunction) – a condition wherein the jaw becomes misaligned from the temporomandibular
joint, causing a long list of painful symptoms. Other conditions of the jaw include a bad bite, a
crooked smile, and speech issues.
Why Choose Orthognathic Surgery?
Dr. Randy Sanovich practices facial plastic surgery in Dallas, Texas. He says there are medical
interventions for jaw issues. One such procedure is called orthognathic surgery.
“Orthognathic surgery surgically corrects the positioning of the jaw, but it has many purposes and
functions. It can really reduce some of the pain experienced by misalignment.”
It can also help reduce speech impediments caused by the jaw not aligning properly.
An orthognathic procedure is done under general anesthesia and involves the surgeon moving the
jawbone and repositioning it. This often not only improves the alignment of the jaw but may even
approve its appearance, too.
Combination Surgical Procedures with Orthognathic Surgery
Another procedure that is often scheduled along with orthognathic surgery is a procedure called a
genioplasty. A genioplasty focuses on the positioning of the chin, and according to Sanovich is
more cosmetic in nature than orthognathic surgery.
“Genioplasty procedures are generally performed because the patient is unhappy with the
protrusion or shape of their chin,” he says. “But scheduling the procedures at the same time if both
are needed is a great idea if your surgeon agrees.”
Orthognathic surgery can even be performed along with orthodontic procedures including the
widening of the upper jaw, which is another way to fix the alignment of the bite.
“A bad bite isn’t just about having crooked teeth or an uneven smile, “explains Sanovich. “It can be
very painful to the patient, and it can even damage the teeth.”
That’s because if the teeth are misaligned they can have uneven wear, or even knock into each other. “This can cause enamel damage like chips and cracks,” says Sanovich. “And you can’t replace your enamel. It doesn’t grow back. Then you’re looking at more problems- problems where the only solution may be veneers, which can be costly and are not covered by most insurance plans.”
“The best thing to do is to avoid needing expensive dental intervention and consider a procedure
like orthognathic surgery which may actually be covered by insurance. Either way it’s an investment
in your health and well-being.”
If you are considering orthognathic surgery and would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sanovich, please call 972-776-4888!
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