Orthognathic surgery may seem like a fancy procedure, but it’s really just corrective jaw surgery. An oral surgeon might perform orthognathic surgery to correct a cross bite, underbite or open bite, as well as other issues that prevent the jaws from fitting together properly. Patients may choose orthognathic surgery to improve the appearance or functioning of their smiles or they may undergo the procedure in order to address symptoms of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders or sleep apnea.
This type of jaw surgery is often performed as part of an overarching orthodontic treatment plan. The orthodontist will collaborate with the oral surgeon in order to plan for the timing of the surgery within the orthodontic treatment. The teeth may begin to be repositioned prior to the surgery, with the process continuing after the surgery is completed. The entire treatment process that includes corrective jaw surgery may ultimately be a rather lengthy one, but it is certainly a worthwhile investment of your time.
Orthognathic surgery can involve a number of approaches or targeted structures in the jaw, and your surgeon will explain the specific technique being used in your procedure. For example, the adjustments made in a patient with an open bite will differ from those with a cross bite or a receding chin. Different devices, such as screws and plates, may be placed in the jaw during surgery in order to keep the jaw structure in the desired position.
The surgeon will also advise you of the setting in which your surgery will be performed. It may be in a specialty surgical suite in an outpatient setting or in a hospital, depending on the complexity of the procedure and the anticipated course of recovery. Corrective jaw surgery typically involves anesthesia for patient comfort, and your surgeon will advise you of the risks associated with this component of your treatment. You will also be educated on post-operative care to reduce your risk of complications.
Corrective jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, can have a variety of benefits for patients. If you feel that your quality of life could be improved by this procedure, call our office to schedule an evaluation!