Orthodontic Prep for Orthognathic Surgery
If you need corrective jaw (orthognathic) surgery, get in touch with our specialist oral surgeons at Gross Orthodontics. The surgery can help with various jaw conditions, such as underbite, overbite, TMJ disorder, birth defects, and facial injury.
While orthodontic work is a suitable treatment for many cases where the teeth and jaws are not properly aligned, there are circumstances where orthodontic treatment is not enough. Jaw surgery may need to be carried to correct irregularities in the jawbone to realign the jaws and teeth and improve function. The corrections may also improve the appearance of the face.
Surgical procedures may include moving the upper or lower jaws backward or forward, and could also include adjunctive procedures, such as chin or cheek surgery to ensure facial symmetry. Orthodontic treatment with braces may be required before or after surgery.
Orthognathic surgery may help to improve chewing, minimize excessive wear on the teeth, correct problems with bite and jaw closure, improve speech, relieve obstructive sleep apnea, alleviate jaw pain, repair birth defects or facial injury, and correct facial asymmetry to improve the cosmetic appearance.
How Do I Know if Orthognathic Surgery is Right For Me?
This is where scheduling a consultation with one of our experts should be your first step. Oral surgeons, maxillofacial surgeons, and orthodontists often work together on these types of cases, combining their skills and expertise to manage the best outcomes for their patients.
The likelihood is that for congenital abnormalities you will require orthodontic treatment with braces for 12-18 months before surgery. Planning is extensive with x-rays, scans, and models of your jaw made to determine the best treatment options.
What to Expect During Orthognathic Surgery
Orthognathic surgery is performed under general anesthesia by oral or maxillofacial surgeons. It is usually carried out inside the mouth so that no scars will be visible on the face, although, occasionally it may be necessary to make small incisions outside the mouth.
The surgery will include making cuts into the jawbones and moving them into the correct positions. The bones are kept in place with screws, plates, and wires which eventually become integrated with your bone structure. Sometimes, a bone graft may be required, which may be taken from elsewhere on your body, such as the hip or leg.
How Long is Recovery After Orthognathic Surgery?
Your surgeon will provide you with detailed instructions on the recovery process and what to expect. There are certain things that should always be avoided after surgery, including smoking which inhibits the healing process, and strenuous activity.
Diet is likely to be affected and you may have to eat only soft foods, such as mashed potatoes or soup. In some cases, you may only be able to consume a liquid diet.
The jaw will take up to six weeks to heal initially, but it is around three months before it is considered fully healed. If you are having orthodontic treatment, the entire process from beginning to end may take several years.
Find out more about how we can help you with any questions you have about orthognathic surgery. To schedule an appointment at Gross Orthodontics give our office a call at 915-751-7779.