Any abnormalities of the jaw, such as improper bites and small chins, will affect not only your physical appearance but also the way you talk, chew, bite, swallow, and breathe. While some of these abnormalities are a result of accidents, most of them are inborn. Fortunately, the discoveries in medicine, and more specifically dentistry, have made it possible for dentists and oral surgeons to rectify these defects through a procedure known as orthognathic surgery.
This surgery helps to correct jawbone deformities and realign the jaw and teeth to improve their performance. Similarly, these corrections will enhance your physical appearance and overall quality of life. Before a doctor recommends this procedure for you, they will examine your jaw and the deformity’s extent to see whether it can be rectified through other means. If they decide to have the surgery, you will be required to prepare yourself for the surgery. Typically, you will be required to wear braces for about 12 months, depending on the deformity’s severity, to try to align your teeth before the surgery.
In most cases, your surgeon will work closely with an orthodontist to develop the best treatment plan for you. The plan involves using x-rays, images, and models of your dental structure to establish the damage and the kind of treatment needed. Sometimes, the deformed jaw may require reshaping your teeth, covering the teeth with crowns or both. To limit the amount of time you wear the braces, your doctor may use temporary orthodontic anchoring devices. Some of these interventions can easily do away with the need to have jaw surgery. In some cases, the doctor will use virtual surgical planning (VSP) for guidance during the surgery.
Orthognathic surgery is usually done inside the mouth; therefore, no visible scars on your chin, cheek, or mouth. The surgeon will cut your jawbone and move it into the right position. They also use small bone plates, wires, rubber bands, and screws to secure the new position’s jawbone. The screws are supposed to bond with the bone over time. Sometimes the doctor may recommend bone grafting to add volume to the jaw. These bones will be harvested from your hips, ribs, or legs. In other instances, the jawbone may be restructured to offer a better fit.
Some of the surgery’s temporary effects include swelling and discomfort, eating problems, and slip-ups during adjustment to the new dental structure and facial appearance.