Orthognathic (Jaw) Surgery in Washington, D.C.

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Overview

When the upper and lower jaws do not meet together properly, bite misalignment, aesthetic concerns, and functional difficulties may result. In advanced or more severe cases, orthodontic care alone may not be enough to improve oral function and bring the jaws into ideal alignment. Experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeons Dr. Edward Delgado and Dr. Michael Kuzmik offer expert orthognathic (or corrective) jaw surgery to treat a badly misaligned bite and facial deformities of the mouth or jaw. In this process, the top or bottom jaw may be repositioned forward or backward until a proper balance is achieved between the upper and lower arches. Along with enhancing the overall facial profile, this can increase a patient's ability to speak, eat, and breathe more comfortably. For more on how orthognathic surgery might improve your oral function and facial appearance, please schedule an appointment at one of our Virginia oral and maxillofacial practices.

Best Candidates

Patients of all ages who have minor to advanced dental or skeletal irregularities may be good candidates for jaw surgery. For some patients, a combination of orthodontics and oral and maxillofacial surgery may be recommended to attain optimal treatment results. During your consultation at one of our state-of-the-art oral surgical centers, Dr. Delgado or Dr. Kuzmik will evaluate your jaw position, how your upper and lower teeth fit together (bite), and your jaw and facial profile. They will collaborate seamlessly with your orthodontist or general dentist to develop a treatment plan that addresses your unique needs. Orthognathic jaw surgery may be ideal if you have:

  • Severe bite misalignment
  • Protruded or recessed chin
  • Facial trauma or congenital deformities
  • Difficulty speaking or swallowing
  • Trouble biting or chewing
  • Advanced temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems
  • Mouth breathing, sleep apnea, or other breathing conditions

What to Expect

At your initial visit, our oral surgeons will perform a thorough examination and take iCAT™ 3D digital x-rays to develop the ideal surgical plan for your needs. Jaw surgery is performed under general anesthesia at an accredited surgical facility or hospital. During the procedure, Dr. Delgado or Dr. Kuzmik may reshape and augment the bone, cartilage, and tissues in the lower face to bring the teeth and jaws into proper alignment. Generally, small incisions will be made on the inside of your mouth to minimize the chance of any visible scars. Biocompatible surgical plates, screws, and wires may be used to hold your jaw in its new position. Bone grafts or tissue regeneration technologies could also be incorporated into the surgical procedure to strengthen your jaw and facilitate the healing process.

Recovery

After your jaw surgery is complete, it is important that you have a family member or friend take you home. You will need to take approximately 1 – 3 weeks to rest and heal before returning to work or school. Prior to your procedure, our surgical team will provide you with aftercare instructions, including pain medication, diet limitations, and how to clean your mouth as you heal. We will also help you schedule any recommended follow-up appointments so our oral surgeons can monitor your healing progress. In general, your jaw may be given a few months to heal before orthodontic care or other treatments may begin or be resumed.

Insurance Coverage

Many dental insurance companies do recognize corrective jaw surgery as being medically necessary, especially when functional issues are a concern. Our financial team will review your insurance plan and inform you of any portion of your care that may not be covered. For your convenience, Dr. Kuzmik and Dr. Delgado accept a variety of convenient payment options, including flexible medical financing with CareCredit®.

Corrective Jaw Surgery

Corrective jaw surgery not only addresses aesthetic issues, like a recessed or protruded chin, but it can also improve the function of the teeth and may help enhance speech and breathing capabilities. Our surgeons have advanced expertise in the intricacies of orthognathic surgery and are experts in their field. For trusted oral and maxillofacial care in Virginia, contact the offices of Dr. Delgado and Dr. Kuzmik today.

*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.