The mandible (or lower jaw) is the largest bone in the skull and the only movable bone in the face. If the mandible and the maxilla (upper jaw) develop incorrectly, or if the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connecting the lower jaw to the skull is dislocated, you might experience difficulty chewing, speaking, and/or smiling. From an unbalanced facial appearance to chronic jaw pain or difficulty breathing, skeletal damage or irregularities may require you to undergo more complex reconstructive treatment with corrective jaw surgery. A correctly positioned jaw and teeth can dramatically improve or eliminate symptoms of TMJ disorder, sleep apnea, and many other jaw-related oral health issues—and enable you to function normally again.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the only American Dental Association-recognized specialists required to undergo four additional years of hospital-based surgical training, becoming experts in reconstructive face and jaw surgery. Both Dr. Andrew Mueller and Patrick Waters received extensive training at Parkland/UT Southwestern, one of the most respected and renowned oral and maxillofacial surgical training programs in the world, and where many advances in corrective jaw surgery were pioneered. As oral surgeons with this prestigious training, we’re uniquely qualified to perform the complex corrective surgeries of the jaw that produce the most functional and aesthetic results possible. We work with your dentist and orthodontist to ensure all facets of your treatment meet the goal of improving the structure of your jaw and thus, your quality of life.
You may need corrective jaw surgery for all the reasons listed above, as well as birth defects, and when these issues can’t be corrected with orthodontics or conservative treatment. In each case, the goal of jaw surgery is to restore your facial harmony and balance by correctly aligning the jaw bones. We use advanced technology to aid in your treatment planning, then during the procedure itself, we gently manipulate your jaw, reposition it, and secure it with small pins that fuse to the bone during healing. Once fully healed, your jaw will be in correct alignment, improving your breathing, chewing, and speaking, reducing migraines, balancing your facial appearance, and creating a better environment for your teeth. If the thought of jaw surgery causes you anxiety, we’ll help you feel comfortable by providing education on your treatment options as well as offering IV sedation during the procedure itself.
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