Orthognathic Surgery

We have refined and perfected our corrective jaw surgery techniques so that our patients recover more efficiently and have less post-operative discomfort. We are constantly striving to improve our treatment methods to achieve better results, shorten recovery times, and provide a better patient experience.

-Dr. Holtzen

We are Knowledgeable and Compassionate

Orthognathic surgery has improved by leaps and bounds in recent decades, shortening hospital stays and greatly eliminating long and inconvenient recoveries. At the same time, the treatment model utilized by our oral and maxillofacial surgeon allows us to further improve upon these innovations.

From the moment you call our office to inquire about a jaw health issue, to the moment you leave your last follow-up appointment, our physicians, nurses, and staff are here to listen to your questions, care for your needs, make you comfortable, and ultimately help you feel and function better.

Types of Corrective Jaw Procedures

Corrective jaw surgery isn’t a single procedure done in the same manner to all patients with jaw issues. Instead, surgeons take on a wide variety of approaches and strategies to align the jaw, all dependent on the patient’s medical history, health conditions, and ideal outcome. For example, orthognathic surgery to fix a misaligned bite will be quite different from orthognathic surgery to treat a sleep apnea patient.

Common types of jaw surgery that we perform:

• Upper Jaw Surgery (Le Fort Osteotomy). The three types of Le Fort Osteotomy, Le Fort I, Le Fort II, and Le Fort III, all involve sectioning and realigning the upper jaw (maxilla) to improve the patient’s condition. These operations are often the treatment of choice for patients who suffer from cleft palate, an underdeveloped upper jaw (mid-face hypoplasia), or upper jaw fractures.

• Lower Jaw Surgery (Bilateral Sagittal Split Osteotomy). In this procedure, the lower jaw (mandible) is sectioned and split before it is re-positioned to better align the teeth and jaw. In some cases, this involves moving the jaw bone backward, while in others it involves moving the bone forward.

• Sleep Apnea Surgery (Maxillomandibular Advancement). There is an innovative sleep apnea surgery that involves moving both the upper and lower jaw forward in order to widen the patient’s airway and make breathing at night easier. This surgery, called Maxillomandibular Advancement (MMA), has a success rate of over 90 percent.

In all cases, we use state-of-the-art 3D imaging technology in order to better understand the exact position of our patient’s jaw as well as the very best way to correctly align the teeth and jaw. We refer to these images before, during, and after your operation.

Corrective Jaw Surgery: The Procedure & Results

While we offer several different types of jaw surgery, for a variety of health issues, the jaw surgery process is similar for all patients in a number of ways.

Below, learn about our treatment model and your recovery.

• Consultation & evaluation. During your initial visit, we will discuss your health complaint, review your medical history, discuss options for treatment, run tests, and outline our goals. In some cases, we may recommend non-invasive treatments for your health issues before recommending surgery.

• Destination Patients.Some patients travel to us from great distances to address their unique concerns. We are used to accommodating these situations and minimizing the inconveniences associated with travel through the following:

Gathering all necessary treatment planning data from your local doctor.

Performing the consultation, evaluation and most of the pre-surgery preparation remotely by phone and web-based meeting. This enables the patient to meet the doctor and fully understand the planned surgery before engaging in any travel.

Helping patients plan for travel, accommodations, and post-surgical care before, during, and after the surgery.

• Pre-surgery preparation: At Alpine Oral and Facial Surgery, we believe that the more planning that takes place before surgery, the better the outcome. In the case of corrective jaw surgery patients, we will take 3D images of their jaw and face so that we can simulate both the surgery and the predicted outcome with special software. We may also work in tandem with your orthodontist in case you will need to wear orthodontics for a period of time before your operation.

• Surgery: Your surgeon will discuss the specific steps of your surgery with you in detail. Your surgery and recovery will all take place in our state-of-the-art, accredited surgical facility – there is usually no need for a hospital stay. Your surgery will likely involve general anesthesia followed by the re-positioning of your jaw and facial bones. The surgery is performed using guides that have been fabricated by a computer to precisely reproduce the surgical plan, eliminating the human margin of error.

• Recovery: After your surgery, you will be brought into a second room to begin your recovery. Some patients may need to stay in a nearby skilled nursing facility overnight to be monitored, but a hospital stay is almost never needed. While you will feel absolutely nothing during the surgery itself, it is normal to feel sore and swollen for one to two weeks following the procedure. Many patients will need to follow a restricted diet for a period of time after their surgery while their re-positioned jaw heals. Your face and jaw will heal fully in about six months.

• Follow-up: Patients will need to meet with both their surgeon and their orthodontic professionals in the weeks and months following a procedure. These check-ups are so that your physician can evaluate your healing process and make sure that you have the best outcome possible. Your doctor will not only ask how you are healing, but will also verify whether the surgery is alleviating or eliminating your original health issue to determine whether you need any further treatment.

Are you an ideal candidate for corrective jaw surgery?

We are amazed at how orthognathic surgery can change lives. From someone who is struggling with chronic TMJ pain, to someone who has been involved in a car accident, to someone who was simply born with a misaligned jaw; we are committed to helping people acquire healthier, more comfortable lives.

Orthognathic FAQ’s

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