An oral surgeon is responsible for treating and performing surgical procedures in order to repair or resolve injuries and conditions relating to the oral cavity, jaw and head. Their expertise is needed when an individual has an injury or condition that general dentists are not equipped to handle. Often, general dentists refer the individual to…
Ask an Oral Surgeon: When Is Jaw Surgery Needed?
An oral surgeon performs many types of surgeries. One of these is jaw surgery. You might be wondering when a patient may need this type of surgery. An oral surgeon can fix a patient’s bite or help prevent chronic pain in the future.
Improper bite from poor bone structure
Generally, a dentist will recommend tooth extractions, braces and retainers before having surgery. However, for teeth that are extremely misaligned, an oral surgeon may recommend having surgery. If the misalignment is because of the structure of the bone, then braces will not help. People who have open bites, overbites, crossbites and underbites can all benefit form jaw surgery.
Receding or protruding jaw
In severe cases, an individual’s lower and upper jaws do not align at all. This happens when the jawbones have developed more in some places than in others. If the lower jaw protrudes, either the upper jaw is underdeveloped or the lower jaw is overdeveloped. On the other hand, a receding lower jaw is a result of the opposite of this problem.
Some types of developmental syndromes can limit growth on one side of a patient’s jaw. Other syndromes can cause parts of the jaw to develop too much. For each of these issues, the jaw must be recontoured. This requires surgery. Even though these problems may be noticeable in childhood, patients need to wait until the jaw has stopped growing. For children, headgear can be helpful.
Injury to the face
Sometimes, the jaw may be broken. This can happen because of an injury or a car accident. The jaw may not heal well on its own, so surgery can help correct the problem. This can restore both the function and the appearance of the jaw.
Some people have TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, disorders. Normally, the movement of the jaw should be unhindered. However, if a patient has pain when opening the mouth or feels the jaw lock, there may be a disorder. There are several noninvasive options to treat this problem. These can include retainers, mouthguards and orthodontic appliances. However, jaw surgery is needed for some people to eliminate their pain.
Removing unusual growths
The jaw is made out of glands, muscle, bone and mucosa tissues. While this helps the jaw function, it also means the jaw is more susceptible to cysts and tumors. Smokers and alcohol drinkers are more susceptible. If a patient has growths around their jaw, an oral surgeon can remove them. This can prevent deformities and an unappealing appearance. Patients may need to have chemotherapy or radiation if it is a cancerous growth.
Visit an oral surgeon today
There are many times that a patient may need jaw surgery. This can include restoring the jaw after an accident and fixing a protruding jaw. An oral surgeon can also remove growths from the jaw. If you think you may need jaw surgery, then visit an oral surgeon for a consultation.
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