Will Jaw Surgery Correct My Open Bite?

Jaw surgery and a treatment plan can correct the type of malocclusion where the lower and upper sets of teeth do not properly align, an open bite, refers to the appearance that a patient’s mouth is always open due to abnormalities in jawbone alignment. Fortunately, by taking an interdisciplinary approach with orthodontics, dental work, and oral and maxillofacial surgery, malocclusions can be corrected. Your oral surgeon is an expert with jaw surgery. After a thorough examination and analysis of your bite, your oral surgeon can develop a treatment plan that corrects the underlying causes of a misaligned bite.

A dental malocclusion of any type can pose serious risks to oral health and a patient’s quality of life. When the upper and lower jaws do not align properly, patients normally experience stress and discomfort around their jawbone area, untimely tooth wear, and difficulty eating foods properly. Genetics, developmental, and birth abnormalities can contribute to malocclusions and open bites.

A multi-disciplinary approach to correct malocclusions involves your jaw surgery expert, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, working with a dentist and an orthodontist to restore teeth, gums, and reposition the jaws so that they align properly and comfortably. This approach, commonly referred to as orthognathic surgery, will involve a customized treatment plan that may include restorative dental work such as crowns to build up a patient’s bite; orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth; and corrective jaw surgery that realigns the jaws to a healthy position.

After treatment is completed, patients will enjoy restored tooth and oral function along with a more comfortable and attractive-looking alignment of the upper and lower jaws. They will also experience relief from strain on the tissues and joints surrounding the jawbone along with a reduction in tooth wear and tear.

By taking a comprehensive approach, your team of dental professionals will work together to ensure that you enjoy optimal oral function and an attractive smile.

If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact Dr. Larry Wolford’s office using our online contact form or call 214-828-9115

Condylar hyperplasia (CH) is a generic term describing enlargement of the condyle.  There are a number of different condylar pathologies that enlarge the mandibular condyle, with subsequent adverse effects on the morphology and function of the TMJ and mandible.  This may result in the development or worsening of a dentofacial deformity such as; mandibular prognathism (symmetric or asymmetric), and unilateral enlargement of the condyle, ramus, and body, facial asymmetry and malocclusion. 

Wolford has developed a simple, but encompassing classification that will allow the clinician to better understand the nature of the various CH pathologies, progression, and treatment options that have proven to eliminate the pathological process and provide optimal functional and esthetic outcomes.  The classification (Table 2 and Figure 29) also begins with the most common occurring form of CH and progresses to the least common occurring form.

CH Type 1:  This condition develops during puberty, is an accelerated and prolonged growth aberration of the normal condylar growth mechanism, is self-limiting but can grow into the 20’s, and can occur bilaterally (CH Type 1A) or unilaterally (CH Type 1B).

CH Type 2:  These condylar pathologies can develop at any age (although 2/3s develop in the 2nd decade), are unilateral condylar vertical and/or horizontal over-growth deformities, and are the most common occurring mandibular condylar tumors; osteochondroma (CH Type 2A) and less common osteoma (CH Type 2B).

CH Type 3:  These are other rare benign causing condylar enlargement. 

CH Type 4:  These are malignant conditions that can cause condylar enlargement.

The more common forms of CH (Types 1 and 2) will be presented relative to the clinical and radiographic findings, growth characteristics, effects on the jaws and facial structures, histology, and treatment considerations that are highly predictable in the elimination of the pathology and provide optimal treatment outcomes. 

FIGURE 29 Description

A-C) normal TMJ with balanced joint spaces.
D-F) CH Type 1 with relatively normal condylar shape, elongated condylar head and neck, and narrow joint space related to thin articular disc or displaced disc.  In the coronal view the condylar head is more rounded.
G-I) CH Type 2Av; an osteochondroma with a vertical growth vector without significant horizontal condylar enlargement or exophytic horizontal growth. This is a “young” osteochondroma with only about 3 years of growth.
J-L) CH Type 2Ah; an osteochondroma with horizontal (as well as vertical) enlargement of the condyle and exophytic outgrowth of the tumor. This tumor has been present for 6 years. Notice the significant increased vertical height of the mandibular body and ramus.

FIGURE 29