Plastic Surgery

Orthognathic / Jaw surgery

What is the Orthognathic / Jaw surgery?

Orthognathic / Jaw surgery is surgery to correct conditions of the jaw and face related to skeletal disharmonies, or other orthodontic problems that cannot be easily treated with braces. Similarily as "orthodontics" means "straight teeth," "orthognathic" means "straight jaws."

Orthognathic or Corrective jaw surgery is performed to correct patients skeletal and dental irregularities (such as malalignment of jaws and teeth). While the patient's appearance may be dramatically enhanced as a result of the surgery, orthognathic surgery is performed to correct functional problems, and not for cosmetic purposes.

Corrective jaw surgery is performed by an oral / maxillofacial surgeon, usually in a collaboration with an orthodontist. It often includes braces before and after surgery, and retainers after the final removal of braces.

Orthognathic surgery is often needed after reconstruction of cleft palate or other major craniofacial anomalies. Careful coordination between the surgeon and orthodontist is essential to ensure that the teeth will fit correctly after the surgery.

What are the indications?

Some of the conditions that may indicate the patients need for Orthognathic / jaw surgery are listed hereunder. They include:
-  difficulty, when swallowing
-  difficulty, when chewing, or biting food
-  chronic jaw (or jaw joint) pain and headache
-  excessive wear of the teeth
-  chronic mouth breathing and dry mouth
-  breathing problems when sleeping (including snoring)
-  open bite (space between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed)

Orthognathic / jaw surgery may be needed:
- when a person has unbalanced facial appearance from the front, or side
- after facial injury or in case of birth defects
- in cases of receding chin or protruding jaw

What is the procedure?

Depending on the procedure, corrective jaw surgery may be performed under general anesthesia in a hospital, an ambulatory surgical center or in the oral and maxillofacial surgery praxis.

The surgery usually involves the reposition of one jawbone or the two jawbones in accordance with your specific needs. In some cases, bone may be added, taken away or reshaped. Surgical plates, screws, wires and rubber bands may be used to hold your jaws in their new positions.

The surgery often does not involve cutting the skin, and instead, the surgeon is often able to go through the inside of the mouth.

The duration of orthognathic surgery varies with the type of surgery and the severity of the abnormality. It may wary from 1,5 hours in case of routine surgery on one jaw to 3-5 hours in case the surgery involves multiple procedures.

Recovery period and recommendations

Possible side effects and complications

As with any surgery, corrective jaw surgery carries certain risks, including but not limited to pain, infection, bleeding, swelling, decreased sensation or numbness (due to nerve damage), nausea and vomiting.






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