Jaw Surgery in Santa Monica CA

While the science behind moving teeth is the same at any age, adult patients don’t have a jaw that is still growing. For some of these patients, Santa Monica orthognathic surgery, or jaw surgery, may be needed to provide the healthiest and most stable bite.

Who Needs Surgical Orthodontics?

Adult patients who present with upper and/or lower jaws that are out of position may be candidates for surgical orthodontics in Santa Monica. The most common types of bites in the category are underbites and overbites. Other jaw issues that need surgical correction are excessive gummy smiles, open bites, and crossbites. When the upper and lower jaws and teeth do not fit properly it can cause a lot of problems, such as difficulty biting, smiling, chewing, or speaking, as well as potential jaw pain. Orthodontists will work in conjunction with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to ensure the jaws are positioned properly.

surgical orthodontics in Santa Monica

Is Surgical Orthodontics Really Necessary?

For some patients, yes. In some people, the jaws do not grow proportionally, leading to a bad bite. In adults, the only way to correct this is through surgery. A bad bite doesn’t result in only a less-than-ideal bite it can lead to problems with chewing, biting, and speaking. Additionally, it can cause jaw pain and headaches. And because an abnormal amount of pressure is placed when biting down, it can lead to chipping, cracking, and breaking of the teeth.

If you have any of the following symptoms, you may be a candidate for surgical orthodontics:

  • Difficulty when chewing, biting, or swallowing
  • Chronic headaches or jaw pain
  • Open bite: when the teeth don’t fit together when the mouth is closed
  • Overbite: Receded lower jaw or chin
  • Underbite: Protruding lower jaw
  • Problems making the lips meet
  • Mouth breathing
  • Sleep apnea

How Does Orthodontic Treatment Fit Into Surgical Orthodontics?

Usually, Santa Monica orthodontic treatment is provided both before and after surgery. The pre-surgery orthodontics will help align your teeth. The surgeon then moves the jaws to the proper position and allows for healing. After surgery, orthodontic treatment will fine-tune your alignment to ensure the ideal bite.

What Happens During Surgery?

During lower jaw surgery in Santa Monica, the jawbone is advanced so the teeth can be moved either forward or backward, depending on your needs. In upper jaw surgery, the jaw can be repositioned forward or backward, or it can be raised or lowered. Recovery time can be anywhere between four to eight weeks. Two weeks after surgery you should be able to return to your normal activities.