Corrective Jaw Surgery
What is corrective jaw surgery?
If the dental discrepancy created by the position of the jaws is too important to be corrected with braces alone, corrective jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, becomes an option for patients who have completed their growth. Malformations of the jaws and face can be linked to heredity, trauma, different growth rate or disease. By repositioning the jaws, the surgeon can help you avoid future problems with your bite, speech, sleep and provide a better cosmetic appearance. Such a procedure is generally preceded and followed by an extensive orthodontic treatment to align the teeth in the ideal position.
Who needs corrective jaw surgery?
Corrective jaw surgery may be needed for patients who have the following symptoms:
- Pain while chewing, biting and swallowing food associated with a discrepancy in the jaws.
- Uneven facial appearance from either the front or the side
- Excessive space between the upper and lower teeth or jaws when they are closed
- Chronic jaw or joint pain and headache
- Sleep apnea
What are the treatment steps?
- Most of the patients who come to us for orthognathic surgery evaluations are referred by their orthodontist before the start of their treatment. This is to allow the orthodontist to devise a comprehensive treatment plan and know which type of dental alignment will be necessary for the patient.
- Following the consultation with the oral surgeon and the finalization of the treatment plan with the orthodontist, the orthodontic phase begins and lasts approximately 18-24 months.
- When the orthodontic treatment is nearing completion, the orthodontist will typically send the patient for a full surgical evaluation to ascertain if the patient is ready for surgery. This will provide the surgeon with valuable insight into the necessary surgical correction to be done.
- When it is confirmed that the patient is ready, a surgical date is set according to the patient and the operating room availability.
- A final work-up appointment is set 2 -4 weeks prior to the surgery in order to make the final surgical measurements.
- During this time orthodontic follow-ups continue as usual. The hospital will also perform a medical assessment in order to ensure safety when putting the patient to sleep (general anaesthesia).
- Around that time, the patient will return to their orthodontist to have appliances installed in preparation for the procedure (posts and hooks installed on special surgical wires) and to ensure that there is no more movement of the teeth.
- The patient undergoes orthognathic surgery under general anaesthesia at the hospital. Some procedures require the patient to be admitted for 1-2 nights, and some allow for the patient to leave the hospital on the same day.
- Post-surgical orthodontic treatment can typically be resumed 6 weeks later and generally lasts from 6 to 12 months. During that time the oral surgeon will see the patient periodically to ensure optimal results following the procedure.
We will be happy to explain corrective jaw surgery procedure to you in detail, call us today for further information!