After a blow to the face, a fall, or a car accident, you may have a tough time determining the extent of your injuries. You may have severe pain, swelling, and bruising, but how can you be sure about the true depth of your injuries? How can you know whether your injury will require jaw surgery or a simple ice pack?
The truth is that the face, jaw, and mouth are comprised of several delicate bones that can be fractured or broken as the result of a traumatic incident. Even if the skin has not been broken, these types of injuries can lead to long- term damage unless they are properly diagnosed and treated. Of all specialists in the medical and dental fields, your oral surgeon will serve as your best resource in the evaluation and treatment of your facial injury.
An oral surgeon can offer a unique range of expertise regarding pain management, nerve and bone anatomy both inside and outside of the face or mouth, and cosmetic surgery experience. Under the care of such a specialist, you can feel confident that each aspect of your injury will be properly addressed.
Perhaps your injury occurred near the nose, cheek, or center of your face. The cheekbone, or zygoma, can be fractured or completely broken, and the appropriate treatment can vary widely. For example, a hairline fracture in the cheekbone may simply require time to heal. An ice pack and pain relievers may be recommended to manage pain and swelling as the fracture heals. However, your oral surgeon will need to perform a clinical exam with CT scan in order to confirm the depth and extent of the fracture.
A more complex fracture can cause the bone to separate into two or more pieces, and the damage can inch dangerously close to the orbit of the eye. A fracture will likely require that the bones be surgically repositioned and stabilized, and may also include cosmetic surgery.
After an injury, contact our skilled dual degree oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Steven Koos DDS, MD, as soon as possible for a professional evaluation.
If you have the misfortune of an accidental blow or traumatic injury to the face, there is a strong possibility that you could suffer a fracture to your mandible, or jaw bone. The jaw is a particularly dense and strong bone, but its shape and location make it especially vulnerable to an injury such as a fracture, particularly in line with impacted teeth. Should such an injury occur, prompt medical attention and jaw surgery will improve your chances of a complete recovery.
A mandibular fracture typically results in intense and immediate swelling, which can restrict the movement of the jaw. These fractures can also change the contour of the face and as well as the alignment of the teeth. In the process of stabilizing and treating a broken jaw, our experienced oral surgeons will also ensure that the proper alignment of the teeth can be restored.
A proper diagnosis of a mandibular fracture can also help to ensure that a complete recovery is achieved. The extent of the fracture, the location of the fracture, and the number of fractures must all be determined and considered prior to the start of the surgical procedure. This occurs with the aid of advanced maxillofacial trauma imaging techniques with 3D cone beam CT scans.
Generally, the fractured portions of the jaw bone must be fitted together as closely as possible and then stabilized in order to allow the bones to fuse together again. Sometimes the bones can be realigned even without invasive or extensive surgery. Once the bones have been set, the jaw will need to remain stationary for a specified period of time (typically 2-6 weeks) to promote proper healing. Bone plates and screws are utilized for rigid fixation in an open reduction internal fixation technique (ORIF). In a closed reduction technique, the jaws are wired together to prevent movement.
To treat complex or multiple mandibular fractures, however, the bones will need to be surgically exposed, repositioned, and firmly stabilized with small screws or plates along with sometimes the addition of maxilla-mandibular fixation by wiring the jaws.
To evaluate the extent of a mandibular fracture, your oral surgeon will need to perform a clinical examination with the help of digital imaging. The appropriate form of jaw surgery will be recommended, and the details of the procedure as well as the post-operative instructions will be discussed with you.
Learn more by calling our dual degree oral and maxillofacial surgeon at ORA, Drs. Steven Koos DDS, MD to schedule an appointment today.
An open bite (apertognathia) is present when a space remains between the upper and lower jaws even when the mouth is closed. Childhood habits such as thumb-sucking can lead to this jaw malformation, as can genetic factors. This condition can lead to a variety of complications, such as problems chewing, speaking, premature posterior tooth wear or even jaw pain, in addition to having a detrimental effect on the smile’s appearance.
Fortunately, patients with this condition can turn to jaw surgery (also known as orthognathic surgery) as a corrective measure.
If you undergo corrective jaw surgery in Chicago, it is likely to be the culmination of a lengthy, interdisciplinary collaboration. Specialists in a number of disciplines will come together to ensure that the patient’s goals are achieved.
For example, most patients who undergo corrective jaw surgery have concurrent orthodontic treatment. The orthodontist moves the teeth into the proper alignment and collaborates with this Chicago oral surgeon, who repositions the jaws at an appropriate juncture during orthodontic treatment.
If you need orthognathic surgery to correct an open bite, you will likely undergo the procedure at the hospital or an outpatient surgical center. You will be placed under general anesthesia and, depending on the complexity of your case, the surgery may last several hours.
In the case of an open bite, the oral surgeon may remove excess bone from the upper or lower jaw to improve the fit between the mandible and maxilla.
The corrective jaw surgery recovery process varies from patient to patient. The oral surgeon may use screws or wires to hold the jaws in the proper position as the patient heals from the surgery, and the chosen approach ultimately shapes the healing course. Most patients need to maintain a soft food diet for at least the first few days immediately following the surgery, and the surgeon will give you further instructions on necessary self-care. You will also schedule regular follow-up appointments with the oral surgeon to evaluate your progress as the bone heals from the surgery.
To learn more about corrective jaw surgery and to schedule a consultation, please contact Dr. Koos or Dr. Shah at ORA ® Oral Surgery & Implant Studio at 312.328.9000.
Patients often enter orthodontic treatment with dual goals of enhancing the smile’s appearance as well as improving the way the upper and lower jaw fit together to form the bite. However, braces alone are sometimes insufficient for achieving those goals when a skeletal deficiency is also present.
When orthodontic treatment does not completely correct the problems with the alignment of the teeth, jaw surgery in the Chicago Loop can be used as part of a comprehensive approach to address a variety of patients’ issues. Jaw surgery is also known as orthognathic surgery (orthognathic means “straight jaws”), and many oral surgeons will use the two terms interchangeably.
Jaw surgery may be necessary to correct a variety of abnormalities. If the patient has an open bite, in which space remains between the jaws even when the mouth is closed, surgery may be required. Additionally, a pronounced underbite or a recessed lower jaw can also be fixed through surgery. It may also be necessary to surgically reposition the lateral placement of the jaws in patients whose jaws are skewed to one side of the face.
Orthognathic surgery is typically performed in either a hospital or a dedicated surgical center. The patient is placed under full general anesthesia, and the surgery can last as many as 4-6 hours in complex cases. The dual-degreed oral surgeon will need to hold the jaw in place using plates and screws (rigid fixation) to ensure that the jaw does not shift during the healing process. Sometimes the jaws need to be wired closed for a short period of time depending on the complexity and stability of the case.
If orthognathic surgery is recommended in your case, it is important to consult with a dual-degreed oral surgeon. Without surgery, you may continue to have chewing problems or obstructions of the airway even after you have completed orthodontic treatment. When orthognathic surgery is indicated, you would also be unlikely to get the full aesthetic and functional benefits using only orthodontia.
When beginning your treatment, ask your orthodontist if you will also need to consult with an oral surgeon. If you are a candidate for orthognathic surgery, Dr. Steven Koos, a dual-degree oral surgeon serving the Chicago Loop, will work closely with your dentist and orthodontist to ensure that your overall course of treatment stays on track.
After reading the reviews, I decided this is the place to say good bye to all 4 of my wisdom teeth. After the visit I can say, it was a VERY pleasant experience.
When scheduling my appointment, they were able to see me asap. During my visit, i was put to sleep while he extracted all 4 of my wisdom teeth. I woke up and felt no pain. I was sent home with a cleaning kit, a cold pack, and a prescription for pain meds. The doctor also called later that evening to make sure i was feeling okay.
My dental insurance was blue cross/blue shield. After my insurance picked up some of the tab, the bill was a little costly, but they were able to set up payment arrangements.
After hearing the horror stories of getting your wisdom teeth pulled, I can say my experience was the best. If I didn’t move to California, I would still be coming to ORA.
I never thought the highlight of my week would be a dentist visit, but this has made it the case. The lobby is modern and relaxing, complete with beverages while you wait. My husband actually willing to drive me just for sitting around in there drinking coffee.
While you may wait for a standard doctor amount of time in one of the rooms, its not so bad- they have massage chairs and satellite tv. The receptions are nice and super helpful, they have even taken the time to explain my insurance to me in easily understandable terms and get into with my company.