Jaw Advancement

Q: Dr. Eppley, Thirty four years ago (when I was 12) I had 4 teeth extracted and braces. This pushed back my maxilla and mandible. I saw that you do jaw advancement, sometimes without orthodontics, and I really feel that I need that to open my airways. I’m so tired, yet can’t sleep properly. I was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea. How much is this type of surgery and do you accept Aetna?

A: Thank you for your inquiry. What you are referring to is Bimaxillary Advancements (upper and lower jaw advancement) for sleep apnea. You can’t just move the upper jaw forward alone as that would throw off your bite considerably. One needs to move both the upper and lower jaws forward together so the bite remains the same. This is sometimes covered by insurance but requires a very specific set of qualifications. I would go to Aetna’s policy online and look under what is required in the surgical treatment for sleep apnea. They have very strict criteria for coverage. This is the first place to start. While such surgery can be done like any other aesthetic surgery from a cost basis, it is important to initially see whether you would qualify under your health insurance.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana