Orthognathic surgery is an operation to reposition the jaws. (Ortho means straighten, gnathia means jaw in Latin). The operation aims to correct imbalances between the upper and lower jaws.
It is not always possible to correct your teeth and achieve the bite using only orthodontics (braces). This is because the bones of your face and jaws, in which the teeth are positioned, may be out of balance with one another. (For example, you may have a larger lower jaw and a normal sized upper jaw).
Orthognathic surgery is able to correct larger jaw discrepancies and improve both the bite of your teeth as well as your appearance by altering the shape of the face.
The first consultation is a very important part of your treatment. It is an opportunity to meet the team consisting maxillofacial surgeon and orthodontist.
Your doctor will assess your expectations and also establish the diagnosis. They will take photos, dental impressions for study models, x-rays or CT scans needed to assess your case.
If your condition warrants surgery then this will be explained to you about the realistic outcome, the required time frame and also any risks involved.
It is normal to need orthodontic treatment before as well as after the surgery. It is important to use braces to move the teeth to make sure that they will meet together correctly after the operation.
The surgery may be limited to either the upper or lower jaw or in some cases both jaws (bimaxillary osteotomy).
In the vast majority of cases all surgery is all done from inside the mouth, so there are no external scars. The jawbones are repositioned and secured by tiny plates and screws made from pure titanium, which remain under the gums and are not seen in the mouth. Immediately following the surgery the teeth are not normally wired together. Small elastic bands are placed between the top and bottom braces to guide the teeth into their new bite after a day or so.
Surgery will require a general anaesthetic which will involve admission to a Hospital.
Preparing to have your surgery
Your surgeon will explain how to prepare for your procedure. For example,
This is usually a very safe procedure which is carried out regularly by specialised and experienced surgeons at FMS. Complications in this type of surgery are, fortunately, rare and may not apply to you but it is important that you are aware of them. These may include:
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