Reconstructive Surgery of the Jaws
Many craniofacial anomalies may involve an abnormality of the jaws that requires surgical treatment to improve function (chewing, speech, swallowing) as well as facial appearance. Some of these problems may be part of a known syndrome or other defined craniofacial diagnosis (e.g. cleft lip/palate, hemifacial microsomia); however, in other cases, these problems can occur in isolation. In either case, the Center for Craniofacial Anomalies at the University of Missouri is well-equipped to diagnose and treat these problems.
Typically, treatment planning for these types of cases is done in a multidisciplinary fashion, involving our team orthodontist and craniofacial surgeon, as well as on some occasions our oral/maxillofacial surgeon. This team has a great deal of experience in managing some of the most complex types of jaw deformities. In addition, we commonly work with orthodontists who are not members of our craniofacial team to treat patients with jaw abnormalities.
In most cases, after a surgical plan is formulated, a period of orthodontic preparation is required before surgery is performed. There may also be a need for postoperative orthodontic treatment. Some cases require treatment of either the upper or lower jaw, while others require reconstruction of both jaws. State of the art planning methods, such as virtual surgical planning and advanced imaging techniques, are used to help plan and prepare for surgery.
If you or your child has a jaw deformity, we would be happy to provide consultation to better help you understand the diagnosis and what treatment options may be available to you.