What is Orthognathic Surgery?
Orthognathic surgery, also known as corrective jaw surgery, is a combined orthodontic (braces) and surgical treatment approach for the correction of dental, jaw and facial deformities.
Why is Orthognathic Surgery Necessary?
The upper and lower jaws are bases upon which teeth and soft tissues are aligned. Braces can only correct dental abnormalities like crooked teeth and poor bites (malocclusion). However, disharmonies of jaw size or position can only be corrected surgically to achieve a good overall outcome.
What Problems are Best Dealt with Orthognathic Surgery?
Common problems that can be dealt with are:
What are the Possible Causes of Jaw Abnormalities?
There are many causes of jaw discrepancies. They may be inherited or acquired from developmental or traumatic causes. Jaw discrepancies may affect not only your facial appearance but also your bite, speech and chewing.
Diagnosis of a jaw deformity is usually by clinical examination, with radiographic imaging to accurately determine the site, nature and extent of the deformity.
What is the Sequence of Treatment?
Treatment is carried out in 4 phases:
Phase 1: Treatment Planning
Treatment planning is carried out jointly by an orthodontist and an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. The orthodontist determines how braces will align your teeth in preparation for surgery. The oral and maxillofacial surgeon studies your jaw deformity and decides on the type of surgery most appropriate for your case. This initial phase of treatment will include consultation, records-taking and discussion of the treatment plan with you.
Phase 2: Pre-surgical Orthodontic Phase
Phase 4: Post-surgical Orthodontic Phase
After surgery, post-surgical orthodontics is continued to achieve final alignment of the teeth and to retain them in their new position.
Can Surgery Be Avoided?
In growing patients, timely orthodontic intervention can sometimes correct jaw disharmonies. Special braces can then be used to modify bone growth, eliminating the need for surgery. However, for patients whose facial bones are no longer growing, certain corrections cannot be achieved with braces alone. A combined approach of braces and surgery is the appropriate form of treatment for such cases.
What are the Benefits?
Are There Any Risks?
No surgery is risk-free. Understanding the possible complications can help you make a better decision.
Orthognathic surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. It usually requires hospitalisation of about 1-3 days. Patients who undergo orthognathic surgery are generally healthy and therefore able to recover more easily.
Different conditions are corrected with varying procedures during orthognathic surgery. To set your mind at ease, simply ask your surgeons about the risks.
How do I look after myself after the surgery?
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