Corrective jaw surgery is an advanced and often life-changing procedure. For many of our patients in Northern Virginia, treatment leads to greater self-confidence and comfort, improvement in eating and chewing, and enhanced facial aesthetics. People who were never able to bite a sandwich or a piece of pizza may achieve normal function, and those who have been dissatisfied with their appearance are typically excited about the difference they see.
At the same time, corrective jaw surgery is a complex and lengthy process, one that requires patient commitment and a skilled and experienced doctor. General dentists and other practitioners often refer their patients to Dr. Gocke and Dr. Whiting because of their expertise in the procedure and their personal and attentive approach to care.
Why Corrective Jaw Surgery and Why Our Practice?
People living in the Northern Virginia area may require corrective jaw surgery for a variety of reasons:
- Their teeth, jaws, and / or chin may be misaligned, and surgery can help them achieve a more functional bite and aesthetic appearance.
- Surgery can reduce force on and trauma to the jaw joint (TMJ).
- Patients with a cleft lip or palette may require corrective jaw surgery to improve function and cosmetics.
- Patients may be experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, which surgery can often resolve.
Dr. Gocke has specialized training in and more than 15 years of experience with complex oral and maxillofacial surgeries, including corrective jaw surgery. Following the outstanding education he received at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, he continued to develop advanced techniques to serve his patients as effectively as possible.
Corrective jaw surgery takes place in a hospital setting to promote patient comfort and safety. Dr. Gocke maintains privileges at several top facilities in Northern Virginia, where he has managed a variety of complex cases. He is also the past president of the Virginia Society of Oral Surgery and currently serves as chairman of oral and maxillofacial surgery at INOVA Fairfax Hospital.
An Overview of Corrective Jaw Surgery With Our Practice
During your initial appointment, Dr. Gocke will spend a lot of time talking with you about your goals and what you can expect with corrective jaw surgery. This may include orthodontic work or procedures in related fields because your teeth need to be as straight and aligned as possible before corrective jaw surgery to create the best smile and bite possible.
As a result, you may need to have several procedures and treatments over a span of months to achieve your goals. Dr. Gocke encourages his patients in Northern Virginia to take the time to review the process and to make their decision when they are ready. There is no pressure to commit during this initial conversation.
Once you decide to begin the corrective jaw surgery process, you will return to Dr. Gocke’s office for:
- 3-D CT scans.
- “Before” photos.
Based on this information, Dr. Gocke will consult with your orthodontist or dentist and other specialists as required and further refine your treatment plan.
What to Expect With Corrective Jaw Surgery
In preparing for the procedure, Dr. Gocke will use advanced “virtual surgery” techniques. He will coordinate with a biomedical engineer to plan how your jaws will fit together. Our office will send the details of this plan to a specialized manufacturer that will create physical guides and splints customized to your procedure.
During your surgery, Dr. Gocke will use these guides to promote greater accuracy and better results. The procedure itself will take approximately four hours. Typically, Dr. Gocke places his Northern Virginia patients under general anesthesia for their safety and comfort during treatment.
Corrective jaw surgery patients spend the night at the hospital afterward. Patients don’t usually need to have their jaws wired shut. Instead, Dr. Gocke uses an advanced approach that employs tiny dental plates and screws. As a result, his Northern Virginia patients can eat and speak more normally as they recover.
You can expect swelling after surgery, which should subside within a week. You will also need to follow a diet of soft foods for six weeks. Our practice will provide you with a complete set of guidelines for post-operative care as well as prescriptions for any medications you may need.