In order to correct congenital, developmental or acquired defects in how the upper and lower jaws relate to each other and to the cranial base, your oral surgeon may wish to perform an orthognathic surgery, also known as corrective jaw surgery. The types of facial “disharmonies” this type of surgery is used to correct include:
- “Long-face syndrome”,
- Protruding or receding lower jaws or chins,
- Protruding or receding upper jaws,
- Unbalanced facial features,
- Open bites, and
- Severe malocclusion (which are not anenable to a more conventional and conservative orthodontic treatment).
A person may need this type of surgery if they have:
- Difficulty chewing,
- Difficulty biting,
- Difficulty swallowing,
- Breathing problems
- Speech problems, or
- Chronic jaw pain.
This surgery can be very complex. Prior to performing this surgery, the oral surgeon needs to collaborate with the patient’s dentist and orthodontist to determine the nature, type, and kind of corrective surgery the patient requires in their specific case. In some cases the oral surgeon may need to remove, add, or re-shape the bone of the patients jaw. Until the bone has healed the jaw may be held in the new position through the use of surgical plates, screws, wires, and rubber bands.
A person who undergoes this surgery may experience the following benefits:
- Improved ability to chew,
- Minimized wear and breakdown of teeth,
- Corrected facial imbalance (improving the appearance of deficient chins, underbites, overbites, and crossbites);
- Repair and correction of facial injury defects and abnormalities, and
- Relieving sleep apnea.
This is major surgery and can be life-threatening. It needs to be performed in a hospital. After the surgery has been performed the patient needs to stay in the hospital for two to five days and then recuperate at time for three to six weeks.
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