Orthognathic surgery, commonly referred to as corrective jaw surgery, is performed by a skilled oral and maxillofacial surgeon to reposition the jaws. This procedure is ideal for patients who suffer from breathing, speaking, or eating problems, as well as other conditions. Jaw surgery requires delicate care and attention, and Dr. Stefanuto is a board-certified, dual degree specialist capable of providing exceptional care and results. Patients who undergo jaw surgery often notice more facial harmony and an improved appearance. This procedure can also bring the jaw forward to correct a weak or recessed chin, providing a more prominent chin and jawline.
Should I Get Jaw Surgery?
Orthognathic surgery can correct many oral and facial issues. You may be a candidate for jaw surgery if you experience any of the following:
- Difficulty biting, chewing, or speaking
- Inability to close the mouth completely
- A receding chin, or a chin that is too prominent
- Excessive showing of gums above upper teeth
- Facial asymmetry
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems
Contact our office in Kamloops to schedule an appointment. We will take detailed 3D scans of your face and mouth and design a personalized treatment plan for your condition. In addition to his dental degree, Dr. Stefanuto also holds a medical degree, which furthers his expertise in surgical procedures and dental care.
Orthognathic Surgery Process
Your oral surgeon will work with your orthodontist throughout treatment. Braces or other orthodontic appliances are often necessary to align the teeth before and after the jaw has been repositioned. Patients undergo general anaesthesia for this procedure to sleep comfortably and wake up when it is over.
During surgery, Dr. Stefanuto will make small incisions inside the mouth to access the jaw and gently position it in the correct place. This strategy avoids visible scarring and minimizes recovery. The lower jaw can be moved forward or backward, and the upper jaw can be widened, moved up or down, or moved forward and back. These movements are carefully planned out and executed with precision.
Types of Anaesthesia
We offer anaesthesia options to keep you as comfortable as possible during your surgical procedure.
Some patients desire a more prominent chin but do not require corrective jaw surgery. Chin osteotomy, or genioplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that involves reshaping the chin to achieve a desired appearance. If you are undergoing jaw surgery, Dr. Stefanuto can reshape the chin during the procedure. If you only need to change the contour of the chin, this procedure can be performed without undergoing jaw surgery.
A chin osteotomy is different from a chin implant. Genioplasty is ideal for patients who desire a longer or shorter chin because once the bone heals, it will stay that way without the risk of infection, implant migration, or loss of augmentation. A chin implant is a foreign entity that is inserted into the chin, while a chin osteotomy involves repositioning or reshaping your existing chin to achieve a desired look.
Other benefits of a chin osteotomy include:
- The ability to close lips at rest
- Relaxing the chin muscles
- Avoiding gum defects on the lower front teeth
The recovery process and time depends on the procedure you receive. In every case, our office provides detailed post-operative instructions and members of our team will guide you through every step of the healing process. Our office is available to answer questions you have, and we encourage you to contact us if you think you are not healing correctly or would like to schedule an appointment.
The average healing time after one jaw surgery procedure is about 6 weeks, but it can take up to 12 weeks to heal completely. In addition to the orthodontic treatment prior to and after surgery, the total treatment time could be several years. The results of jaw surgery are remarkable and change patients’ lives by restoring confidence and functionality to their smiles.
Jaw surgery patients often report improved speaking and breathing abilities, a more defined jawline, and satisfaction in knowing they have taken great strides to improve their oral and overall health.