An open bite (apertognathia) is present when a space remains between the upper and lower jaws even when the mouth is closed. Childhood habits such as thumb-sucking can lead to this jaw malformation, as can genetic factors. This condition can lead to a variety of complications, such as problems chewing, speaking, premature posterior tooth wear or even jaw pain, in addition to having a detrimental effect on the smile’s appearance.
Fortunately, patients with this condition can turn to jaw surgery (also known as orthognathic surgery) as a corrective measure.
If you undergo corrective jaw surgery in Chicago, it is likely to be the culmination of a lengthy, interdisciplinary collaboration. Specialists in a number of disciplines will come together to ensure that the patient’s goals are achieved.
For example, most patients who undergo corrective jaw surgery have concurrent orthodontic treatment. The orthodontist moves the teeth into the proper alignment and collaborates with this Chicago oral surgeon, who repositions the jaws at an appropriate juncture during orthodontic treatment.
If you need orthognathic surgery to correct an open bite, you will likely undergo the procedure at the hospital or an outpatient surgical center. You will be placed under general anesthesia and, depending on the complexity of your case, the surgery may last several hours.
In the case of an open bite, the oral surgeon may remove excess bone from the upper or lower jaw to improve the fit between the mandible and maxilla.
The corrective jaw surgery recovery process varies from patient to patient. The oral surgeon may use screws or wires to hold the jaws in the proper position as the patient heals from the surgery, and the chosen approach ultimately shapes the healing course. Most patients need to maintain a soft food diet for at least the first few days immediately following the surgery, and the surgeon will give you further instructions on necessary self-care. You will also schedule regular follow-up appointments with the oral surgeon to evaluate your progress as the bone heals from the surgery.
To learn more about corrective jaw surgery and to schedule a consultation, please contact Dr. Koos or Dr. Shah at ORA ® Oral Surgery & Implant Studio at 312.328.9000.