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Orthognathic Surgery:

A Solution for Severe Malocclusion

Mild, moderate, and even some severe orthodontic problems can be corrected with braces. But what if your malocclusion is caused by a skeletal issue? Although braces can move teeth, they cannot move bone. Therefore, in some cases, orthognathic surgery is necessary for long-term, optimal correction. Dr. Timothy E. Mickiewicz works in conjunction with an oral surgery specialist (OMS) to help patients with severe malocclusion achieve and maintain a healthy smile for years to come.

x rays of mandible maxilla and skull

About Orthognathic Surgery

Also referred to as corrective jaw surgery, orthognathic surgery involves repositioning the upper jaw, lower jaw, or both to optimize your occlusion (the way your teeth fit together). The purpose of this procedure is to improve your chewing function and stabilize your jaw joints, so they are resting in their proper positions. Depending on the specific case, orthognathic surgery can also open the airway, improve speech, and reduce the risk for periodontal disease. Orthognathic surgery is performed in combination with orthodontic treatment.

What Conditions Can be Treated with Corrective Jaw Surgery?

Orthognathic surgery addresses a myriad of orthodontic problems. You may benefit from this treatment if you notice:

  • Chronic TMJ pain
  • Migraines or headaches
  • Difficulty biting, chewing, swallowing, or speaking
  • Breathing issues, such as snoring or sleep apnea
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Open bite
  • Receding chin
  • Protruding jaw
  • Facial asymmetry

Of course, the best way to know whether or not this treatment can help you is to see Dr. Mickiewicz for a consultation. Orthognathic surgery isn’t for everyone, but it can be a tremendous help for those who need it.

Diagnosis and Treatment Planning

During your initial consultation, Dr. Mickiewicz will visually assess your teeth and gums, and will palpate around the jaw joints to feel for any abnormalities. X-rays and scans will then be taken so that the jawbone and joints can be evaluated. Because we utilize advanced diagnostic technology, Dr. Mickiewicz can use these radiographs to intricately plan your treatment, and share your records with the oral surgeon.

Comprehensive dental care is a team effort. Therefore, before the day of your surgery, you will have a consultation with the oral surgeon. He or she will use the diagnostic images to virtually plan your surgery, so that the necessary steps can be outlined before the first incision is ever made.

The Treatment Process

Typically, the first phase of treatment will be orthodontics. Therefore, you will wear braces for the amount of time specified by Dr. Mickiewicz before undergoing your surgery. Once your orthodontic phase is complete, your surgery can be scheduled.

The surgical procedure is generally performed in a hospital, ambulatory surgical center, or the oral surgery office. This way, the appropriate anesthesia can be administered for your comfort. During the procedure, the oral surgeon will reshape the jaws by adding or reducing bone where necessary. Surgical materials, such as screws, plates, wires, and bands may be used to stabilize the jaws in their new positions. The entire surgical process typically takes a few hours to complete. It is a complex procedure. However, when performed by a skilled and knowledgeable surgeon, this treatment offers a significant improvement in quality of life.

dental model and x-ray of three fixed appliances used for ortho

I have had headache issues for the last 35 years. Every morning greeted me with a headache. I’ve been to many doctors and have had many X-rays and cat scans of my head and neck. I was treated for migraines and neck issues. Nothing worked. I went to Dr. Mickiewicz two months ago and his diagnosis was TMJ. He fitted me with an appliance and the results are amazing. I have been back twice to have him adjust the appliance as my jaw loosens and adjusts, and he is always very patient with my extra-long explanations. I wish I had known him 35 years ago. FYI – I am now waking up without headaches – it is a good start to any day. Thanks Dr. Mick!

Lily S.

I have been seeing Dr Mickiewicz for over two years and am very satisfied with his services. I have a sleep apnea problem and rarely was getting any good nights rest. My medical doctor suggested I wear a large breathing machine… so I went ahead and got one and tried it out and and had nothing but problems trying to sleep with this large breathing machine strapped to my head. Then I saw Dr Mickiewicz and he has found the simplest and most affordable solution with my custom made mouthpiece that reshapes my jaw position just while I sleep! Bingo– no more sleep issues and also no more large breathing machine to struggle with! I am very grateful for his expertise and experience with sleep issues.

Tony A.

I recently visited Dr. Mickiewicz after years of suffering from sleep apnea and no success using conventional CPAP machines. I was fitted with dental appliance in an effort to resolve the problem. Frankly, I was skeptical, but I am so pleased with the early results. I just started using the device last week and I am already seeing an improvement in the quality of my sleep. From my first contact with Dr. Mickiewicz, it was immediately apparent that his grasp of the issues surrounding sleep apnea were light years ahead of his peers. He is a true professional and I enthusiastically recommend him.

Don B.

Always a great experience at this dental office. The front office has your paperwork prepared before you arrive. Everyone is very nice and friendly and hardworking. My teeth are thoroughly cleaned when I visit. This place is a step above the rest with the right amount of class and comfort.

Kara S.

When I went to see Dr. Mickiewicz my jaw was locking up on me because my TMJ was so bad and my doctor didn’t really know what to do for me. This man changed my life. At my first visit I couldn’t even yawn without my jaw locking in the open position. At my last visit I could yawn and even chew steak without my jaw hurting.

Jewel L.

I have spent thousands of dollars out of pocket to dentists for my TMJ problems with no lasting relief. Dr. Mickiewicz was able to give me relief after years of pain. I am also able to utilize my medical insurance for his services adding credibility to his level of service that goes beyond common dentistry. His extensive knowledge of the disorder was clear; combined with his personable disposition put me at ease. His staff also deserves mention they are true professionals with a clear constitution for compassion.

Cathleen J.

My husband and I have gone to Dr. Mickiewicz for years after a recommendation of a coworker. Kind of strange to say that going to the dentist is an enjoyable experience – but it is! After years of having tense and painful visits to other dentists in Sacramento, we have found the right DDS for us: above average in all areas. He is an excellent practitioner, listens to all symptoms and concerns, answers all questions patiently and repeats as necessary. Gives us time to make any decisions about our dental care if we are hesitant, and encourages second opinions. His chair-side manner is relaxed and personable – which helps me relax. He is stuck with us for life! Thanks Dr. Mickiewicz and staff!


Contact Us to Learn More

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, or if you suspect you may be a candidate for corrective jaw surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Mickiewicz. To reach us, you can call our Sacramento, CA office at (916) 469-9178 or contact us online.