Orthognathic Surgery is definitely a mouthful to say and if you’ve ever been told you need it then you might already know it’s also known simply as Jaw Surgery. (If not, then there’s a thing you now know. Might be useful if you ever find yourself on Jeopardy and the category is Dental Procedures for $1,000.) But, if you think you’re having jaw problems and your primary dentist or physician referred you to an oral surgery practice like Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of San Buenaventura then Orthognathic Surgery might be, quite literally, what the doctor ordered. Let’s go over why you might need Orthognathic Surgery and what to expect if you get it done.
What is Orthognathic Surgery?
Orthognathic Surgery is a surgical procedure meant to correct alignment problems in the lower (mandible) or upper jaw (maxilla). Basically, Orthognathic Surgery is the process of repositioning your jaw when it has grown out of balance to alleviate any symptoms you might be having as a result.
Jaw growth is a gradual process and in some instances, the upper and lower jaws may grow at different rates. The result can be a host of issues that can affect chewing, speech, long-term oral health and appearance. These can be problems you or your child have had since birth or that appear later on in life for any number of reasons including trauma.
Signs you might need Orthognathic Surgery
If you have difficulty chewing, biting or swallowing, speech problems, chronic jaw or TMJ pain, an open bite, protruding jaw or breathing problems you might need to consult an Oral Surgeon. Jaw Surgery can help resolve many of these issues. In some instances, an Orthodontist can help correct a problem if it only involves moving teeth but this can only help so much. Often when your problems also include alignment of the jaw, they can only be treated with a combination of treatments that include Orthognathic Surgery.
Who is involved in your procedure?
Usually, your dentist, orthodontist or primary physician will recommend you consult an oral surgeon if they feel you need Orthognathic Surgery. During the pre-treatment consultation, we encourage our patients to ask any questions they have about their treatment. The surgeons at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of San Buenaventura will then perform a complete examination with radiographs. When you are fully informed about all aspects of your care, you and your dental team will make the decision to proceed with treatment together.
What to expect when undergoing Jaw Surgery
There are a few steps in the process. First, your orthodontist, in consultation with your surgeon, will apply braces and straighten your teeth. It’s possible that during this phase the alignment of your bite might actually worsen as your teeth are being positioned. This is normal and once your teeth have straightened the corrective jaw surgery repositions misaligned jaws and assures correct bite (called occlusion).
Post-surgery, our surgeons will give you instructions on what you can eat, oral hygiene and other recommendations on how to improve recovery time, including any medications to help manage pain. Recovery can take up to three months for the jaw to fully heal but you can expect to be able to go back to work or school after about three weeks. Additional orthodontic or dental treatment might also be needed after surgery.
Better health and a more attractive smile
The result of Orthognathic Surgery is a more attractive, functional and healthy dental-facial relationship, ensuring that your teeth meet correctly and function properly. Overall health and appearance should improve dramatically following Orthognathic Surgery. Patients often report higher self-esteem as a result and a positive change in lifestyle as breathing, chewing and speech are all enhanced.
At Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of San Buenaventura, our mission is to create a harmonious, patient-focused environment where the most advanced, individualized, yet compassionate surgical care is rendered. If you think you need Orthognathic Surgery, call us today at 805-648-5121.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons Dr. Siavash and Dr. Zarrinkelk have expertise ranging from the routine such as dental implant surgery and wisdom tooth removal to the complex such as corrective jaw surgery, repair of traumatic injuries and tumor surgery.
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