Also referred to as corrective jaw surgery, orthognathic surgery is an oral surgery meant to rectify the jaw and lower face problems, particularly those relating to the structure, development, and airways. Some of the most common problems that necessitate orthognathic surgery include sleep apnea, malocclusion problems, and TMJ issues.
This procedure also becomes necessary when dealing with orthodontic dental bite issues that can’t be treated with braces and facial imbalances that can be improved through correction surgery. In this article, we will discuss orthognathic surgery and its importance.
How Is Orthognathic Surgery Performed?
An orthognathic surgery should be performed by a qualified maxillofacial surgeon, an oral surgeon, or a plastic surgeon with the help of an orthodontist. Typically, a patient is required to wear braces before and after this procedure and retainers after the final removal of dental braces. Careful coordination between the oral surgeon and orthodontist is needed to ensure that the teeth fit correctly after the surgery. This procedure is often necessary after the reconstruction of the cleft palate or any other craniofacial severe anomalies.
Proper planning for this surgery is necessary to make sure that the procedure goes on smoothly and successfully. Since this surgery leaves noticeable changes on your face, it is important to arrange for a psychological assessment before and after the surgery to assess the need for the surgery and the predicted effect on you. It also involves taking radiographs and photographs to help the surgeon plan the surgery. A lot of care must be taken in the planning phase to improve airway potency.
In the past, the presurgical orthodontic phase could take up to one year and be carried out with traditional metal braces. But today, this process has improved with new approaches and paradigms emerging. For instance, some dental clinics start with the surgery and finish with orthodontics.
Medical Uses of Orthognathic Surgery
Studies have revealed that about 5 percent of the population in the USA and UK present severe dentofacial deformities that cannot be treated with orthodontics, thus requiring orthognathic surgery. For instance, if your upper and lower jaws grow disproportionately, they will cause a severe dentofacial deformity that will require correction surgery.
This surgery is also widely used to treat patients with an insufficient maxilla, especially people with an orofacial cleft. Patients who have undergone orthognathic surgery for cleft lip and palate report satisfactory aesthetic results, despite the potential complications like scar tissue formation. Talk to your oral surgeon to know if any potential complications might occur after the surgery.