If your child has a craniofacial anomaly that involves an abnormality of the jaws, he or she may need surgery. These surgeries help improve chewing, speech and swallowing, as well as give an improved facial appearance. 

Your child may have jaw problems as part of a craniofacial condition, such as cleft lip or palate or hemifacial microsomia. However, in other children, these problems can occur without being related to any other conditions. In either case, the Center for Craniofacial Anomalies at the University of Missouri Children’s Hospital is well-equipped to diagnose and treat these conditions. 

Pediatric reconstructive jaw surgery team

Experts from multiple pediatric subspecialties work together closely to coordinate your child’s care. 

These team members may include: 

  • Craniofacial surgeon 
  • Oral/maxillofacial surgeon
  • Orthodontist

Our team has extensive experience 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.

Preparing for reconstructive jaw surgery

In most cases, after we formulate your child’s surgical plan, a period of orthodontic preparation is required. 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 are happy to provide consultation to better help you understand the diagnosis and which treatment options may be available to you.