Is there treatment for Lantern Jaw?
I have a daughter who has genetic lantern jaw. She did not see the need to adjust her jaw alignment when she was young. As a result, her face becomes asymmetrical and she has difficulty closing her mouth and chewing food. These inconveniences became evident as she grew older, affecting her facial appearance. Will wearing braces solve her problem, or is it necessary to undergo an operation
Patients with lantern jaw (prognathism) may have been advised of different solutions. A dentist may recommend braces. On the other hand, some orthognathic or maxillofacial surgeons may recommend surgery as the best option, as they have yet to recognise the benefits of getting one’s teeth aligned.
Lantern jaw can be classified into two types: Dental prognathism for milder cases, and osseous prognathism for more serious cases.
• Dental Prognathism
Due to malocclusion (imperfect positioning), which can be solved by orthodontics.
Many patients prefer non-invasive operations due to social customs and also their concerns over surgical risks. Orthodontics may help in solving occlusal problems, but not asymmetrical facial appearance, which is due to combined teeth-bone position problem (dentofacial deformity). Thus, the best option is to undergo surgical orthognathic-orthodontic combined treatment.
• Osseous Prognathism
Caused by congenital bone overgrowth or abnormality - this will lead to asymmetrical appearance on both sides of the face. Patients are advised to undergo orthognathic surgery, combined with dental or orthodontic treatment and a series of post-operational follow-ups.
Orthognathic surgery is a highly-specialised operation and in order to ensure a successful surgery, cooperation is required between orthognathic surgeons, orthodontic doctors and the patient, with the help of the computer data and simulation. An analysis of upper and lower jaw positions is also needed in order to come up with a solution for prognathism. The recovery period after surgery is usually about one to two months. At the beginning of the recovery period, patients will take in liquid food in order for the jaw and wounds to heal. Patients can eat solid food at the doctor’s discretion after one to two weeks.
Dr Stephen H.A. Hsu, DDS
Xing-Li Clinic, Taipei
Dr Hsu is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who is well-versed in facial-related operations such as orthognathic, facial reduction, jaw bone reconstruction and chin bone plastic surgeries, bringing back beauty and confidence to each and every customer.
No.318 Guangfu S. Road, Da’an Dist.,
Taipei, Taiwan (R.O.C)