Jaw Surgery to Improve Function and Aesthetics
Oral surgeons can help you with a wide range of problems by performing orthognathic surgery.
This type of surgery involves changing the structure and alignment of your jaw to improve its function or the function of your teeth. It can help you breathe, chew, talk and sleep better and may improve your appearance at the same time.
Benefits of Orthognathic Surgery
You might be surprised to know that one type of surgery can help with as many different conditions as orthognathic surgery does. The following list covers the most common ways orthognathic surgery might help you.
- Improves chewing and biting
- Eliminates difficulty swallowing
- Stops chronic jaw pain (TMJ)
- May alleviate headaches
- Normalizes wear on teeth
- Closes open bite
- Balances facial appearance
- Repairs after facial injury
- Corrects certain birth defects
- Realigns receding lower jaw
- Repositions protruding jaw
- Can make closing lips possible
- Allows you to breathe through your nose
- Treats sleep apnea
You need Commitment to See Results
Your dentist can recommend orthognathic surgery if you need solutions to jaw-related problems. The oral surgeon works with your dentist and orthodontist to create a treatment plan. Although the surgery can last several hours, the total treatment time may take years. In many cases, you need to wear braces before and after the surgery. After the surgery, it takes from 9 to 12 months for your jaw to heal. Orthognathic surgery is not only a investment of money, but it is requires a commitment to sticking with the treatment over a long period of time.
How it is Done
Orthognathic surgery is always done using general anesthesia. After you receive the anesthesia, your oral surgeon wires your jaws shutto ensure the teeth will be aligned properly after the surgery. The surgeon then completes the procedure by cutting bone and re-positioning itaccording to plan. In nearly all cases, the cuts can be made from inside the mouth rather than on the outside of the face. When the procedure is complete, the surgeon removes the wire to free your jaws.
The Recovery Process
The general recovery process from orthognathic surgery can take up to a year. Right after the surgery, you get instructions on how to care for yourself, as well as prescriptions for pain relievers and antibiotics. You need to follow the diet your surgeon gives you very closely to ensure your jaws heal properly. At first, you need to stay on an all-liquid diet. When your surgeon sees that your jaw is healing well, you can go on to eating soft foods. You need to refrain from eating hard-to-chew foodsuntil your oral surgeon sees that your jaw is completely healed.