Corrective Jaw Surgery
Orthognathic surgery or corrective jaw surgery is a procedure with the incentive of re-aligning and correcting minor and major irregularities of the jaw bone and teeth that cannot be resolved with orthodontics for aesthetic and functional purposes.
The surgery improves and eliminates various functional, mechanical and speech issues induced by the irregular jaw structure. Below area list of symptoms that alleviate, improve, or completely diminish after a jaw reconstructive surgery.
- Biting and chewing becomes gravely improved
- Problem with speech or swallowing subside
- Minimal wear is inflicted on the teeth
- The occurrence of bite fit or jaw closure issues terminate
- Pain caused by temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder and alternative jaw issues alleviate
- Sleep apnea and breathing issue alleviate
Most patients are assigned dental braces 12 to 18 months prior to the scheduled surgery appointment to obtain the best teeth alignment possible. To develop the ideal treatment plan, both an orthodontist and maxillofacial surgeon follow the patient’s case. During the treatment following up to the surgery, multiple X-rays and models are requested to evaluate the intricate changes over the treatment period in regards to the patient’s dental structure. The incentive of the follow up is to obtain a thorough understanding of the skeletal issues and the necessary surgery approach.
To accelerate the treatment, patients have the option to accelerate the re-alignment period through orthodontic anchoring devices in conjunction with CT scanning and computer-assisted treatment planning, to achieve optimal teeth realignment at minimal time. In milder cases, the aforementioned procedures and programs can completely substitute the surgery and eliminate its need in treating skeletal problems of the jaw and teeth.
Since the surgery is operated inside the mouth, the risk of visible scarring appearing on the face is completely eliminated. Scarring around the chin or jaw is not a worry except in a few cases where incisions on the exterior of the mouth may be required. In the latter case, the patient will be informed.
Once the necessary incisions are made, surgeons will begin shifting, cutting, and altering the jaw bone to obtain the correct alignment in target areas. To secure the new positioning of the jaw bone, screws and bands may be used. However, owing to the minuscule sizing of the screws employed, the structures will not induce any pressure and will eventually integrate with the jaw bone through time.
In extreme cases, where the jaw bone is missing in length, bone grafts will be extracted from the leg or hip of the patient and transferred to the jaw bone and secured, likewise, with the aid of screws.
The surgery is performed on the upper jaw, lower jaw, and chin depending on the patient’s case.
To be a suitable candidate for orthognathic surgery, it is crucial that the patient has reached an age where jaw growth halts. In females, the ages of 14 to 16 and in males ages 17 to 21 are characterized by decreased or stabilized jaw development.
The surgeon will provide the patient with aftercare instructions that include minor changes in dietary and hygienic lifestyles. Tobacco and alcohol use should be terminated as the consumption of either hinders recovery. Strenuous exercise should be completely avoided as to not overwork the body. Patients can presume with their daily activities anywhere between one to three weeks depending on individual variety in terms of recovery rates.
The results are instantaneous, however, complete healing occurs over a period of 12 months, with initial healing preceding it in the first 6 weeks.
In most cases, braces may be applied after the period of initial healing, within the firsts six weeks of the surgery, for optimal realignment. The period of orthodontics will run its routine work and may last for years after the surgery to be replaced in the final years with retainers.
The results of the surgery along with the potentially necessary orthodontics period will result in a dramatic change in the appearance of the face with increased symmetry and a balanced appeal of the lower face. Chewing, breathing, and speech will dramatically improve as well.