Orthognathic surgery, also known as corrective jaw surgery, is a combined orthodontic (braces) and surgical treatment approach for the correction of dental, jaw and facial deformities.
The upper and lower jaws are bases upon which teeth and soft tissues are aligned. Braces can only correct dental abnormalities like crooked teeth and poor bites (malocclusion). However, disharmonies of jaw size or position can only be corrected surgically to achieve a good overall outcome.
Common problems that can be dealt with are:
There are many causes of jaw discrepancies. They may be inherited or acquired from developmental or traumatic causes. Jaw discrepancies may affect not only your facial appearance but also your bite, speech and chewing.
Diagnosis of a jaw deformity is usually by clinical examination, with radiographic imaging to accurately determine the site, nature and extent of the deformity.
Treatment is carried out in 4 phases:
In growing patients, timely orthodontic intervention can sometimes correct jaw disharmonies. Special braces can then be used to modify bone growth, eliminating the need for surgery. However, for patients whose facial bones are no longer growing, certain corrections cannot be achieved with braces alone. A combined approach of braces and surgery is the appropriate form of treatment for such cases.
Oral hygiene is easier to maintain without poor bites and crooked teeth. Speech or chewing problems due to jaw disharmonies may be resolved. It may minimize excessive wear of the teeth over years of use in severe malocclusion associated with jaw discrepancies. The relationship of the jaw bones is harmonised, restoring balance to the middle and lower face, thus improving facial appearance. The lasting reward is a healthier and happier you.
Orthognathic surgery is a predictable treatment option to complex dental/facial problems. It ensures the best possible results, both functionally and aesthetically.
No surgery is risk-free. Understanding the possible complications can help you make a better decision.
Orthognathic surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. It usually requires hospitalisation of about 1-3 days. Patients who undergo orthognathic surgery are generally healthy and therefore able to recover more easily.
Different conditions are corrected with varying procedures during orthognathic surgery. To set your mind at ease, simply ask your surgeons about the risks.
After the surgery, you will be prescribed medications to control pain and improve your recovery experience. Most patients are able to feed on liquid diet by mouth in the days immediately after the surgery. Your surgeons will walk you through your progress back to normal diet over the next few weeks during your postoperative visits. Proper oral hygiene care is crucial in preventing post-operative infections.
You are advised to avoid:
The surgical team will be in the best position to educate you on post-surgery care advice, including feed and hygiene instructions, which are individualised to your needs.
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