Orthognathic Surgery: A Comprehensive Guide to Jaw Realignment

Dentist Blog

Jaw surgery, professionally termed orthognathic surgery, is a medical procedure designed to correct irregularities of the jaw bones and realign the jaw and teeth. This surgery can improve not only facial appearance but also ensure that the teeth meet correctly and function properly, which is vital for optimal bite and dental health.

Understanding the Need for Orthognathic Surgery

Orthognathic surgery is often recommended for patients with severe misalignment or discrepancies in the size and position of their upper and lower jaws. These issues, known as malocclusions, can result from a variety of factors, including genetic predisposition, injury to the face, or dental and skeletal development problems.

Who Needs Orthognathic Surgery?

Individuals who experience functional problems such as difficulty chewing, speaking, or breathing, as well as those with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, are potential candidates. Additionally, people with aesthetic concerns due to a disproportionate facial appearance may benefit from this corrective procedure.

The Orthognathic Treatment Journey

Patients typically begin their orthognathic surgery consultations with an orthodontist, who works closely with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to develop a comprehensive treatment plan. This involves orthodontic preparation to align the teeth before surgery, the surgical procedure itself, followed by a period of postsurgical orthodontic refinement. The treatment plan is highly personalized, addressing the unique needs of each patient.

The Orthognathic Surgery Procedure

Orthognathic surgery is a complex procedure that requires the expertise of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. It is often performed under general anesthesia and involves adjustments to the upper, lower, or both jaws. The surgeon makes incisions inside the mouth, then cuts and reshapes the bones as per the pre-determined plan. Fixation plates and screws are used to stabilize the bones during the healing process.

Preparing for Orthognathic Surgery

Prior to the day of surgery, patients undergo several preparatory steps. This includes evaluation by the surgical and orthodontic teams, dental treatments to correct any decay or issues, and discussions regarding expectations and post-surgery recovery.

What Happens During Surgery?

Orthognathic surgery can involve a variety of procedures, from 'shortening' the jaw to removing or adding bone or using advanced techniques like distraction osteogenesis to gradually grow new bone in a gap.

Orthognathic surgery represents a path to better oral health, improved function, and a more balanced appearance. By understanding the process and committing to the treatment, patients can enjoy long-term benefits that greatly enhance their quality of life. If you or someone you know is considering orthognathic surgery, consult an experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon to learn more about the procedure and the potential for a new smile and a healthier life.

Contact a company such as The San Diego Center for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery to learn more.


10 April 2024

Coping With Dental Emergencies

My son was outside playing with some friends when he accidentally fell down and hit his mouth on the sidewalk. The fall knocked out his front tooth, so I immediately placed the tooth in a small jar and added some milk. I rushed my son to the dental clinic and the dentist immediately took us into the examination room. The dentist placed the tooth back into the socket and saved it. My name is Beverly Tillman and thanks to the quick work of the dentist, my son didn't lose his tooth. Since this was a scary time for me and my son, I wanted to write this blog as a source of information for other parents who are facing a dental emergency. First of all, don't panic and get to your dentist as soon as possible. I hope this blog will help to answer your questions about dental emergencies.