Orthognathic (or-Thog-Nath-Ik) surgery is another name for jaw surgery. Corrective jaw surgery is performed to treat breathing issues and other functional issues caused by various skeletal and dental defects.
A board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon performs this operation (OMS). Its purpose is to improve oral function by altering the jaw and tooth placements. It can be used to treat individuals who have upper and lower tooth misalignment, which causes:
Jaw Surgery Varieties
According to the (AAOMS), a board-certified OMS can undertake a variety of orthognathic surgeries based on the needs of the patients. The term “osteotomy” refers to the general surgical removal (excision) of bone tissue. Jaw surgery is classified into two types:
Surgery on the lower jaw (mandibular osteotomy)
Surgery on the upper jaw (maxillary osteotomy)
Surgery on the Lower Jaw
The mandibular jaw is the medical term for the lower jaw. As a result, a mandibular osteotomy removes some of the bone in the lower jaw.
An OMS may recommend this surgery to repair a projecting or receding lower jaw. Typically, the procedure entails:
Obtaining access to the lower jaw from the inside of the mouth;
The lower jaw bone and soft tissue beneath the molars are cut;
Allowing movement of the lower jaw’s front;
Repositioning of the lower jaw bone;
Using screws, plates, wires, or rubber bands, secure it in its new location.
Surgery on the Upper Jaw
A maxillary osteotomy operation may be recommended by a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon to correct:
Inadequate facial bone development in the midface region (midfacial hypoplasia)
Having too many or too few teeth visible
An upper jaw that is projecting or receding
Cleft lip and palate
During this therapy, the surgeon will create incisions into the upper jaw bone, which will be located above the level of the teeth. They can then adjust the entire upper jaw (including the teeth and palate) to improve jaw and tooth alignment. The jaw is then fixed with screws, plates, wires, or rubber bands.
Procedure for Jaw Surgery
Corrective jaw surgery is often performed entirely inside the mouth, requiring no facial incisions. However, minor incisions outside the mouth may be necessary at times. In most situations, there is no apparent scarring.
During the treatment, the surgeon will cut the upper, lower, or both jaws near the wisdom teeth to liberate them. After that, the jawbones can be adjusted into the desired position for correction. They are then held with tiny screws, bone plates, wires, or brackets.
There are occasions when the surgeon will need to add more bone to the jaws. Bone tissue can be extracted from the hip, ribs, or legs. In other circumstances, existing jaw bones may need to be reduced or modified to achieve the procedure’s goals.
Orthognathic surgery is conducted under general anesthesia, which means you will be unconscious during the procedure. The procedure takes 1-3 hours, depending on the measures taken. After the surgery, you should expect a 2-4 day hospital stay.
The Advantages of Jaw Surgery
The benefits of improving the alignment of the upper jaw, lower jaw, and chin through orthognathic surgery vary depending on the repaired abnormalities. Some examples are:
Balancing the look of lower/middle face features
Improving Jaw Function Overall
Teeth alignment and function improvement
Improving breathing, chewing, and swallowing abilities
Getting rid of speech impairments
Constant mouth breathing
Increasing the amount of restful sleep
Enhancing one’s facial appearance
Increasing self-esteem and confidence
There are a variety of medical conditions that can be helped by jaw surgery, including TMJ pain, chronic jaw pain, headaches, facial injuries, dentofacial birth abnormalities, obstructive sleep apnea, excessive wear on the teeth from grinding them, facial asymmetry, and problems with jaw closure. Some of these conditions include:
Before and After Jaw Surgery
Corrective jaw surgery is frequently used to repair small and large dental and skeletal defects, such as tooth and jaw misalignment. This type of surgery can help you breathe better, speak better, chew better, and look better. If you have moderate to severe jaw difficulties that cannot be treated with orthodontics alone, jaw surgery may be possible. So, before you decide whether or not to undergo surgery, let’s look at the effects of jaw surgery before and after.
Ideal Jaw Surgery Candidates
Patients who have not finished growing are not usually candidates for jaw surgery. In females, this is generally between the ages of 14 and 17. Males are b/w the ages of 16 and 22. Orthognathic surgery may be an option for some patients with jaw difficulties that cannot be alleviated by orthodontic treatment alone. Most people undergoing corrective jaw surgery have already worn braces. Braces are also commonly utilized following an orthognathic treatment to help secure the teeth in their new places during the recovery phase. Orthodontists and maxillofacial surgeons collaborate to develop the most effective treatment strategies for their patients.
Those who have: are good candidates for orthognathic surgery.
Uneven facial features caused by congenital abnormalities or trauma
They are unable to seal their lips without straining.
TMJ or other jaw joint pains that persist
Chewing or swallowing difficulties
An open bite, an underbite, or an overbite
Constant mouth breathing
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
Excessive tooth wear
Candidates for jaw surgery who are in good health, who do not smoke, have stable body weight, and have reasonable expectations of what to anticipate before, during, and after the procedure are ideal candidates.
Who Should Abstain from This Procedure?
Jaw surgery is not suggested for those who can achieve their orthodontic goals using braces, headgear, or other conventional orthodontic procedures.
Getting Ready for Jaw Surgery
Orthodontists and maxillofacial surgeons collaborate to create treatment strategies for misaligned jaws and teeth. Virtual surgical planning, X-rays, models, and photographs are all used to assist their surgical decisions.
Braces are often worn for 12-18 months before an orthognathic operation. This aids in tooth alignment and improves postsurgical outcomes. Dental crowns, temporary orthodontic anchoring devices, and tooth contouring may be required in some circumstances.
Cost of Jaw Surgery
Jaw surgery costs between $20,000 and $40,000, depending on various criteria unique to each patient. Some examples are:
Board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons and their staff’s fees
The degree of misalignment of the jaw and teeth that must be rectified