Corrective Jaw Surgery – Where Should You Begin?

One of the first questions I get on a daily basis about corrective jaw surgery is, “Where do I begin?” This comes from everyone who already knows they need surgery to someone who just wants to see what their options are and where to start.

The first thing I ask back is whether or not you already have an orthodontist.

If so, that’s where you should start, and there’s two reasons for this.

One, depending on your situation, you may be able to correct your bite with just braces, forgoing the surgery all together. While the surgery isn’t quite as scary as some make it out to be, it’s certainly no walk in the park and would be great if you can truly correct your issue without it.

Also, even if your orthodontist has already suggested surgery, they often know and work with experienced surgeons in your area, so they can give you a referral to set up a consultation.

In every orthognathic case, the orthodontist and surgeon have to work closely together in making sure that each does their job in getting you ready for a successful surgery.

The orthodontist’s job is, surprisingly, to make your bite worse. Huh?! Yeah, but there’s a method to the madness, because the ortho positions your teeth for your new post-surgery bite, so your current bite may get even more out of whack.

Don’t worry though, because the changes are so gradual, you will barely notice until it’s time for surgery anyway.
If you don’t already have an orthodontist, then that’s where you need to start.

Call around, ask some of your metal-mouthed friends, check online, or do whatever you can to find an orthodontist that you are comfortable with and can trust.

Don’t be afraid to go into a few different offices to meet and consult with various doctors, because this guy or gal is going to have their hands in your mouth for the next couple of years.

Once you sit down and discuss your options with your orthodontist, it’s time to set up the consultation with the orthognathic maxillofacial surgeon (sounds scary, right?).

During this initial consultation, come armed with every question you can think of, because this is the first true step in starting the process.

He will assess your overall bite and jaw alignment, and the office may even take new X-rays and molds. He may even be able to tell you if you’re due for underbite surgery, overbite surgery, or both, but don’t be surprised if a final determination isn’t made right away.