Facial deformities refer to any malformations or distortion of the facial features. The impairment may either be congenital or acquired. They can occur due to severe burns, accidents, penetrating injuries, cleft lip and cleft palate (abnormal cleft formed in upper lip and/or palate), maxillary hypoplasia (protruding lower jaw) or Treacher Collins syndrome (abnormally formed cheek and lower jaw bones).
Facial deformities need to be corrected to retain the normal facial features and their functions. The correction of facial deformities involves the treatment of minor or major skeletal and dental abnormalities. Treatment focuses on correcting functional problems such as biting, difficulty chewing, difficulty swallowing, space between the upper and lower teeth when mouth is closed shut, excessive wear of teeth, receding chin, mouth breathing, unbalanced facial appearance, protruding jaw and dry mouth.
Your doctor may order a 2D or 3D CT scan to identify the extent of deformity. Surgery is usually recommended for the treatment of facial deformities. The treatment may also involve orthodontic procedures before and after the surgery.
The correction of facial deformity may extend to several years to complete, based on the condition. Many major craniofacial deformities need multiple procedures performed at different ages and stages. Treatment of facial deformities does not end with surgery, but needs to be managed for many years. For example, as a child grows and develops, regions of the face may not develop equally forming asymmetries; therefore, a child must be monitored routinely for his/her growth and development. Sometimes, surgery may be recommended to correct these asymmetries. A continuity of care will assure you with the best long term outcome of the surgical restoration.