Corrective jaw surgery is performed to correct structural defects in the jawbone. It usually involves repositioning the protruded or recessed jawbone. Scroll down to find out more about jaw surgery.
Corrective jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a surgical procedure that is used for correcting malocclusion or abnormal bite. It may also be performed to correct the misalignment between the upper and lower jaw. Mismatch between the teeth can affect one’s ability to bite or chew the food properly. One may also suffer from jaw pain, speech problems and breathing problems.
Crossbite, underbite and openbite are some of the problems associated with the mismatch between the upper and lower jaw. Not only does the misalignment cause abnormal wear and tear of teeth and various other health problems, such an upper or lower jaw asymmetry can lead to an unbalanced facial appearance. The aim of this surgery is to correct this misalignment so that the teeth can meet properly. Once a person has had an orthognathic surgery, he/she would also have to consult an orthodontist and undergo treatment so as to ensure that the teeth stay in the right position. Given below is some information on how jaw surgery is performed and how long would one take to recover from this surgery.
While an orthodontist can correct the problems associated with crooked teeth, it is an oral surgeon who can correct the abnormalities in the jawbone. While the structural defect will be corrected by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, one will need to undergo orthodontic treatment prior to the surgery as well as post surgery. Tooth problems such as presence of wisdom tooth or cavities may need to be addressed prior to the surgery. There are various types of jaw surgeries that are performed to correct the structural abnormality.
After analyzing the structure and position of the jawbone, the surgeon may recommend maxillary osteotomy or mandibular osteotomy for correcting the misalignment. Maxillary osteotomy is performed for those who suffer from a receding upper jaw that causes open bite or for any other defect associated with the upper jaw, whereas mandibular osteotomy is recommended for those who suffer from a receding or protruding lower jaw.
In case of maxillary osteotomy, incision is made below the eye sockets so that upper teeth along with the roof of the mouth can be moved together and positioned in a way that upper and lower set of teeth can fit properly. Titanium bone plates and screws are then used for fixing the jaw in the position. For mandibular osteotomy, the incisions need to be made behind the molars and the jaw is shifted backwards in the correct position. Fixation devices such as surgical plates, screws or wires would have to be used so that jawbone stays in this new position and heals properly. Orthognathic surgery may be used for repositioning a part of the jaw or may be used for correcting the misalignment and repositioning the entire jaw. A receded lower jaw can affect the appearance of the chin, therefore, genioplasty or chin surgery may need to be performed to correct a deficient chin and restore the normal shape of the chin.
Orthognathic Surgery Recovery
As is the case with most surgical procedures, there is a risk of bleeding, infection and swelling. Since the surgery is performed under general anesthesia, one may experience anesthesia-related side effects. Nausea, vomiting or facial numbness or tingling may be experienced after the surgery. A person who has undergone this surgery may recover in three to four months. However, one may take longer to recover in event of infection or injury to the adjacent teeth or structures in the mouth. Post surgery, one may experience problems while speaking, but as the incisions heal, these symptoms will disappear. As far as the after care measures are concerned, one would need to follow a liquid diet after the surgery.
Consuming hard or solid foods can stretch the jaw and cause pain or other problems. It’s essential to avoid any kind of stress until the tissues have healed considerably. One must also pay attention to the aspect of dental hygiene. One must use a soft-bristled toothbrush in order to avoid any bleeding. One must refrain from smoking or using tobacco. This restorative jaw surgery cost is high and one would have to shell out anywhere between $20,000 to $40,000 for this surgery. It is therefore, essential that one follows all the guidelines given by the maxillofacial surgeon.
While a corrective jaw surgery helps in restoring the shape of the jaw and enhances one’s facial appearance, it also helps in alleviating various distressing symptoms that occur as a result of jaw deformities. It one meets the criteria set for a suitable candidate for this surgery, one would need orthodontic treatment before and after the surgery. This surgery can surely provide an improved look, but there is a need to comply with the guidelines given by one’s dentist, orthodontist and the surgeon.