Working with your orthodontist, our surgeons reposition the jawbones so that your orthodontist can complete the proper alignment of the teeth. We use state-of-the-art computers with 3D cameras, 3D x-rays, 3D printing, and virtual reality imaging to plan the technical details of jaw surgery.
A comprehensive team of orthodontists, craniofacial/maxillofacial "jaw" surgeons, speech and language pathologists, psychologist facial surgery specialists, maxillofacial prosthodontists, computer-assisted jaw surgery planners, surgery coordinators, and other specialists work together to the jawbones and the teeth.
Differently shaped jaws occur because the upper and lower jaws grow differently. The jaws do not match and because of that, the teeth cannot be aligned properly by your orthodontist. This difference in the jaws can occur from birth, adolescent growth, and accidents.
- Open Bite
- Narrow Upper Jaw
- Facial Asymmetry/Asymmetric Jaw
- Vertical Maxillary Excess
- Airway: Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Jaw surgery will improve the ability to eat comfortably, may help to breathe easier, and could help to say certain words that use the tongue tip and teeth sounds. The surgery will improve facial appearance, how your teeth meet and your smile. In more than 40 years of doing this surgery we have found many patients will benefit for the following reasons:
- Eating: The teeth fit properly. The front teeth can cut into foods and the back teeth can chew
- Drinking: Improved ability to bring the lips together.
- Speech: Improve speech: sounds that need the tip of the tongue, front teeth and lips
- Breathing: Moving the upper jaw forward will increase the airway space.
- Appearance: Better support for the lip and nose. Better profile and frontal appearance and smile.
About the Craniofacial Center at UI Health
The Craniofacial Center (CFC) is a fully-dedicated center meeting the needs of patients who require reconstructive jaw surgery through a team approach. Established in 1949, we have been caring for children and young adults with Cranio-Maxillofacial conditions for more than 70 years. Click here to meet the Jaw Surgery Team.
Time of Jaw Surgery
Jaw surgery is ideally done after growth is completed. While typically the upper jaw stops growing early, it is the continued growth of the lower jaw that can be an issue and need for re-operation if it is done too early.
For most girls this is typically age 16. However, boys will continue to grow well after 17 years of age. We can get an idea when the facial skeleton is no longer growing by comparing the bone x-rays at two different times (6 months to a year apart). Other special x-ray such as a hand wrist can help determine when growth is completed.