Through the advanced methods of today, the many cases related to the bite or the alignment of the teeth can now be corrected through orthodontic and dental treatment. But there are some cases that are not so easily remedied like skeletal and dental irregularities even with the most recent non-surgical techniques and most times an orthognathic surgery is recommended to correct these skeletal and dental irregularities.
The orthognathic surgery is not as serious as it sounds and it is neither complex nor demanding. For instance, to place dental implants in the jaw or to extract impacted wisdom teeth (molars that don't fully protrude through the gums), they are usually performed as a routine in-office procedure. This treatment can also be used to remedy severe orthodontic problems involving the relationship between the teeth and jaws, even used for congenital abnormalities linked to jaw development and for the correction of underbites which is the most frequent surgical correction. This treatment reduces sleep apnea which is a serious condition.
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who spends four years in a hospital-based residency program after completing the standard four years of dental school, usually perform the Orthognathic surgery. Dental surgeons train with other surgical and medical residents in areas like general surgery, emergency medicine and anesthesiology. In fact, besides anesthesiologists , dental surgeons are the only medical practitioners who can administer general anesthesia and all levels of sedation.
Who Can Benefit From Jaw (Orthognathic) Surgery
orthognathic (jaw) surgery benefits all those who suffer difficulties when chewing, talking, sleeping, or carrying on routine activities. In fact all problems related to the jaws, tooth alignment and facial asymmetries can easily be rectified with orthognathic (jaw) surgery. Cases like an unbalanced facial appearance, protruding jaw, or a congenital defect, can be corrected through these medical procedures.
Immediately after the examination, your regular dentist or orthodontist will hold a consultation session with you. In this way you can find out whether you need the orthognathic surgery or not. When it is confirmed that you do, the orthodontic treatment is usually where it starts. The orthodontics can align the teeth successfully but in some cases the jaws themselves needs to be brought into order and most times orthodontic appliances, like retainers and braces, will be used before and after the surgical phase of treatment to ensure that you have an aesthetically pleasing and effective result.
Through corrective orthognathic surgery, there are certain conditions that can be treated successfully and they are:
Congenital defects such as a cleft palate
Open bite, protruding jaw or receding chin
Difficulty swallowing, chewing, or biting food
Obstructive Sleep Apnea, when more conservative methods fail
Malocclusions (bite problems) resulting from underbites or severe overbites
Unbalanced facial appearance from the front or side
Chronic jaw or jaw joint (TMJ) pain and headache
Chronic mouth breathing and dry mouth
Inability to make the lips meet without straining
The Surgical Procedure
The process has some typical steps, even though every patient's needs are different. Planning and consultation among members of the dental team, including the oral surgeon, restorative or general dentist and the orthodontist is usually the first and most important step. We will develop a step-by-step plan for the entire process using diagnostic images, 3-D models and advanced software. Orthodontic treatments and surgical procedures will also be included in your plan. Even a picture of what the results will be after your treatment is finished will be shown to you.
For your comfort, the surgery may occur at the hospital or at our office, with the most appropriate type of anesthesia for the procedure. Most times the actual surgery leaves no visible traces since it is performed inside the mouth. With over-the-counter or prescription pain medication, minor pain and swelling can also be controlled. For a period of time after the procedure, a soft or liquid diet may be recommended. we will also help you through each phase of the treatment plan by closely monitoring your condition. And after the surgery, you will enjoy the numerous benefits of the enhanced appearance and the improved functionality of your teeth. The procedure will not only give you positive change in different aspects of your life but also change it for good.