Facial Surgery

Facial Surgery at Denver Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)
Dr. Schacht's training includes the diagnosis and surgical and non-surgical management of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. It also includes the differential diagnosis of the head, neck, and facial pain. This comprehensive knowledge affords the patient the ability to regain normal function while eliminating pain.

Corrective Jaw Surgery (Orthognathic Surgery)
Orthognathic surgery is performed to correct developmental growth abnormalities of the jaws and facial bones. Patients with these abnormalities usually present with a malocclusion. These problems can affect not only chewing but speech and the overall health of the individual as well as the aesthetic appearance of the face. Surgical treatment is usually conducted in combination with orthodontics. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. During the surgery, the jaws are moved to the correct position, not only to improve the patient's occlusion but to restore normal facial appearance as well.

Facial Trauma & Reconstructive Surgery
Dr. Schacht is experienced in correcting jaw, facial bone and facial soft tissue problems left as the result of trauma or removal of pathology. This surgery which restores form and function often includes moving skin, bone, nerves, and other tissues from other parts of the body to reconstruct the jaws and face.


Please find more information on specific facial surgeries below:

TMJ Surgery
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that hinges your jaw to the rest of your mouth. Unfortunately, it’s estimated that around 10 million Americans have some kind of TMJ disorder, with pain in the chewing muscles and jaw joint being the most common symptom.

Symptoms Of TMJ:

  • Jaw muscle stiffness
  • Limited movement or jaw locking
  • Radiating pain in the jaw, neck or face
  • A popping or clicking noise when opening or closing the mouth

Any combination of the above symptoms can point to a TMJ disorder. It’s important that you make an appointment right away to minimize the damage to your jaw.

Fortunately, there are many devices and procedures that can drastically improve or get rid of TMJ symptoms altogether. Only 20% of TMJ sufferers will ever actually need surgery.

What Causes TMJ Problems?
TMJ disorders can develop for many different reasons. These can include natural causes such as arthritis, or stress-induced causes such as clenching or grinding the teeth. As a result of any damage to the joint, the joint can slip out of position causing a clicking or popping noise when moving the jaw, as well as a misaligned bite and pain.

If you’re suffering from any of these symptoms and would like to be evaluated by an expert maxillofacial surgeon, please contact Denver Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Denver, Colorado and get checked out by Dr. Matthew Schacht!

TMJ Replacements
In the most severe cases of TMJ disorders, a complete joint replacement may be considered.  A total TMJ replacement is similar to hip surgery, in that it’s a “ball and socket” type of prosthetic joint being placed. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and only two incisions are made: Behind the lower jaw, where the condylar component (or “ball”) is placed and in front of the ear, where the fossa component (or “socket”) is implanted.

Why Would I Need A TMJ Replacement?
Total TMJ replacements are a last resort for TMJ sufferers with the most severe cases. These cases will usually cause loss of function and intense pain. If you experience any of the following symptoms, and they aren’t being relieved by other TMJ treatments, you may need a TMJ replacement:

  • Inflammatory arthritis
  • Complete immobility of the jaw
  • Improper jaw position due to bone loss or trauma
  • The failure of previous TMJ treatment options

If you’d like more information on total TMJ replacements, please make an appointment to see our highly qualified maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Matthew Schacht, at Denver Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Orthognathic Surgery (Corrective Jaw Surgery)
Orthognathic surgery (also called Corrective Jaw Surgery) is used to correct many dental and skeletal irregularities, mostly relating to the misalignment of the teeth and jaws. The main goals of orthognathic surgery include an enlarged airway to improve breathing and a correct bite to minimize pain and improve aesthetics.

Below are some conditions that may require orthognathic surgery:

  • Protruding jaw (maxillary prognathism or mandibular prognathism)
  • Inability to make the lips meet naturally
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Chronic jaw pain and headache
  • Sleep apnea
  • Birth defects
  • Open bite (when your mouth is closed, but there is a space between the upper and lower teeth)

Dr. Matthew Schacht will probably work closely with your orthodontist, as braces will usually need to be worn sometime before or after surgery (in some cases, both before and after surgery).

Types Of Jaw Surgery

  • Maxillary Osteotomy – A maxillary osteotomy may be performed in order to correct a crossbite, an open bite, and upper jaw recession. During your procedure, Dr. Matthew Schacht will cut the bone above your teeth (beneath your eyes), so that your entire top jaw can be moved forward as one piece. Once it’s in the proper place, the bone will be held in place by tiny screws.
  • Mandibular Osteotomy – This type of orthognathic surgery is performed to correct lower jaw recession. During this procedure, Dr. Schacht will make cuts behind your molars and lengthwise, in order for the jawbone to move as one piece. Once in its proper position, screws will be used to hold the jawbone in place until it can heal.
  • Genioplasty – If the lower jaw is receded severely enough, a deficient chin can sometimes go along with it. The deficient chin will be fixed with a procedure called a genioplasty. During this procedure, Dr. Schacht will cut the chin bone and secure it in a proper position. This procedure can be performed at the same time as the other jaw surgeries.

Benefits Of Corrective Jaw Surgery
Below are a few of the benefits of receiving corrective jaw surgery:

  • Restore symmetry to the lower and middle facial features
  • Improve smiles that are too “gummy”
  • Reduces the risk of TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) and other common jaw problems
  • Helps with sleep apnea
  • Can make it easier to chew and bite food
  • Can make it easier to speak

To learn more about corrective jaw surgery, please contact Denver Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.

Facial Trauma Reconstruction
Here at Denver Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Dr. Matthew Schacht understands how traumatic a facial injury can be, both physically and emotionally, and is committed to treating his patients with the utmost compassion and understanding.

Doctor Schacht's experience in facial trauma reconstruction includes:

  • Fractured jaws- both upper and lower
  • Fractured facial bones- eye socket, nose or cheek
  • Knocked out teeth
  • Facial lacerations

We are able to treat both soft tissue and bony injuries with the minimum amount of incisions possible, to minimize scarring and ensure that your appearance will not be negatively affected.

What Does Correcting Facial Trauma Involve?
If bones of the face or jaw have been broken or fractured, they can be held together by wiring or by inserting small screws or plates. Any cuts or lacerations can be treated quickly and easily by way of stitches. Dr. Schacht is careful to ensure minimal scarring.

If a tooth has been knocked out, there are a few possibilities for repairing the damage. Obviously, if the tooth is still intact and is brought in quickly enough, there is a possibility of reinsertion. Placing the tooth in a glass of milk until it can be brought in and examined can sometimes help preserve the root. However, in the event that the tooth does not qualify for reinsertion, a prosthetic tooth can be implanted to restore aesthetic appearance and functionality.

Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries to the face are typically repaired by stitches. Great care is taken to ensure the best cosmetic result, as well as to examine and treat any possible injuries to the nerves, ducts, or glands that may be affected. Dr. Schacht has treated a wide range of facial lacerations and is well trained and proficient in this area.

Bone Injuries
Bones fractures or breaks in the face are treated in a similar way to fractures that occur in other bones of the body. The exact form of treatment will depend on the location and severity of the fracture as well as the health and age of the patient. For fractures of the jaw, we may need to wire the jaw shut or use plates and screws to secure the jaw in the proper place for healing. Dr. Schacht will be sure to make as few incisions as possible in an attempt to ensure the best cosmetic result. Incisions are often strategically placed so that the scar is hidden by the patient’s ears or hair.

Dr. Matthew Schacht will perform a thorough exam and take x-rays in order to create the best treatment plan for your specific injuries.

Not To Be Taken Lightly!
No facial injury should be taken lightly. A number of serious health and dental concerns arise from facial trauma, such as respiratory or breathing issues, speech and swallowing. Typically extensive maxillofacial fractures are accompanied by other serious medical problems. Dr. Schacht, one of Denver's finest oral and maxillofacial surgeons, will utilize his special care with his medical specialists to ensure that you receive the best overall care and results.

Why Choose Us?
Denver oral surgeon, Dr. Matthew Schacht has been well trained in dental implants, wisdom teeth removal, bone grafting, orthognathic (corrective jaw) surgery, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) surgery, maxillofacial trauma, jaw reconstruction and oral pathology.