Orthognathic surgery, also known as jaw surgery, realigns the jaws and teeth to improve their functioning and appearance. Jaw surgery may be a corrective option for those with moderate to severe jaw problems that can’t be resolved with orthodontics alone.
What is it?
Orthognathic surgery refers to procedures done on the jaw, which can be used to treat a variety of conditions. These procedures may be an option for those with difficulty chewing or biting food, difficulty swallowing, and chronic jaw pain that causes a headache. Other reasons why a person would elect to have this type of surgery include extreme wear of the teeth, open bite, unbalanced facial features, facial injury, birth defects, receding lower jaw, protruding jaw, trouble making lips meet, persistent mouth breathing, and sleep apnea.
What should I do to prepare?
Before orthognathic surgery, individuals may need to wear corrective braces for 8+ months to align teeth. Individuals should not consume food within twelve hours before the procedure. Patients may need to avoid certain dietary supplements and medications.
What happens during the process?
Depending on the condition being treated, the procedure varies, but many orthognathic surgeries involve separation of bones in the jaw as an initial step. Then, modifications are made to allow better fitting, and the bones are reconstructed to fix the abnormality.
What are the risks and potential complications?
This procedure involves risks, as with any surgical treatment. Specifically, there is the possibility of blood loss, infection, nerve injury, skeletal relapse and malocclusion, joint pain or degeneration, and fracture.
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