While most bite problems can be treated by your orthodontist alone, there are a minority of cases that need orthognathic surgery (jaw surgery) in conjunction with orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cooke has worked extensively with surgeons at Kaiser, UCSF and right here in Napa. She has been selected as Kaiser’s contracted orthodontic provider for patients with surgical craniofacial conditions. Dr. Cooke and her team will guide you smoothly through this process because of their expertise.
Dr. Cooke will do the orthodontic treatment and the orthognathic surgery is performed by an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. The surgery is usually paid for by your medical insurance, but pre-authorization is required. The orthodontic treatment is covered through dental insurance to the extent that they allow.
Following are some of the conditions that may indicate the need for corrective jaw surgery:
- difficulty chewing, or biting food
- excessive wear of the teeth
- open bite (space between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed)
- unbalanced facial appearance from the front, or side
- facial injury or birth defects (cleft lip and palate)
- receding chin
- protruding jaw
- inability to make the lips meet without straining
- sleep apnea (breathing problems when sleeping, including snoring)
Evaluating Your Need for Corrective Jaw Surgery
Dr. Cooke, your dentist, and an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon will work together to determine whether you are a candidate for corrective jaw surgery. Together, they will determine which surgical procedure is appropriate, the sequence of treatment and continue communication through out the process. It is important to understand that your treatment, which will include orthodontics before, during, and after surgery, and may take several years to complete. Your surgical team understands that this is a long-term commitment for you and your family. They will try to realistically estimate the time required for your treatment.