When Jaw Surgery is the Best Option
Orthognathic surgery, also known as jaw surgery, is a type of surgery used to correct structural abnormalities in the jaw and face. This can include issues with the alignment of the teeth, jaw, or bite. In this blog, we’ll explore what orthognathic surgery is, when it’s needed, and what patients can expect during the procedure.
What is Orthognathic Surgery?
Orthognathic surgery is a type of surgery used to correct structural abnormalities in the jaw and face. This can include issues with the alignment of the teeth, jaw, or bite. The surgery involves making incisions in the jaw and moving it into the correct position. The jaw is then secured in place with plates and screws, which will eventually fuse with the bone.
When is Orthognathic Surgery Needed?
Orthognathic surgery is typically recommended for patients with severe jaw or bite issues that cannot be corrected with orthodontic treatment alone. Some of the most common issues that can be corrected with orthognathic surgery include:
- Overbite or underbite: This occurs when the upper or lower jaw protrudes too far forward or backward, causing the teeth to not align properly.
- Open bite: This occurs when there is a gap between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed.
- Facial asymmetry: This occurs when one side of the face appears larger or more prominent than the other.
- Chronic jaw pain or TMJ disorder: This occurs when the jaw joint becomes inflamed, causing pain and discomfort.
What to Expect During the Procedure
Orthognathic surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia in a hospital or surgical center. The procedure can take several hours to complete, depending on the complexity of the surgery.
During the procedure, the surgeon will make incisions in the jaw to access the bone. The jaw is then repositioned into the correct position using specialized instruments. The jaw is secured in place with plates and screws, which will eventually fuse with the bone.
After the Procedure
After the orthognathic surgery procedure, patients can expect to spend several days in the hospital or surgical center recovering. Pain medication and antibiotics may be prescribed to help manage pain and prevent infection.
Patients will need to follow a strict diet of soft foods for several weeks after the procedure to allow the jaw to heal properly. The patient may also need to wear orthodontic braces or a retainer for several months to ensure that the teeth and jaw remain in the correct position.
Orthognathic surgery can be a life-changing procedure for patients with severe jaw or bite issues. It can help to improve facial symmetry, correct bite issues, and alleviate chronic jaw pain or TMJ disorder. If you’re considering orthognathic surgery, be sure to consult with a qualified oral surgeon to determine if it’s the right option for you and to discuss the best course of treatment.