Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Questions Dental Surgery (Oral Surgery)

Is surgery helpful in treating sleep apnea?

According to my doctor, my sleep apnea is caused by my jaw being poorly positioned. Will surgery be helpful in treating it?

5 Answers

Obstructive sleep apnea is a complex physiologic and anatomic process related to upper airway collapse- and is multifactorial in origin. Forward movement of the upper and lower jaw can be performed in an effort to expand the upper airway at multiple levels in one surgical procedure. However, there are a large variety of surgical procedures which can be applied based upon presenting anatomy and physiology. I would advise an evaluation by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who is knowledgeable and well versed in management of obstructive sleep apnea, as well as evaluation by a sleep position as a good starting point.
If this is the case, yes. The lower jaw will have to be surgically advanced to a new forward position increasing your airway space and likely your overall facial profile.
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Surgery to move your jaw forward may be the answer to your issue. See your oral and maxillofacial surgeon so he or she can evaluate you for that kind of surgery.
Long considered the "Gold Standard" for curing sleep apnea is upper and lower jaw surgery with advancement of the maxilla and mandible. However, since most insurances won't cover jaw surgery right off the bat you may have to undergo various other less noninvasive treatment for sleep apnea such as dental appliances, CPAP machines, soft palate reduction, and nasal surgeries. If all the other treatments fail to correct the sleep apnea then corrective jaw surgery should be considered.
Yes. If that is the reason for your apnea, going through the jaw repositioning surgery would essentially cure you of your sleep apnea. There should be an evaluation as to whether the upper AND lower jaw should be moved forward for a better result, or just the lower. You will likely need an evaluation with an orthodontist along with the surgeon. Make sure you see someone who is board certified and that has a lot of experience with that type of surgery (does more than 30 a year) and experience treating patients with sleep apnea. The general term for that type of surgery is "orthognathic" surgery.