What Is Orthognathic Surgery?

Orthognathic surgery is the clinical term for jaw surgery, which aims to change the state of your jaw. Orthodontists and maxillofacial surgeons use it to realign the teeth and the jawbone. They also use it to correct any irregularities in the structure of the jawbone. Corrections to your jaw affect your facial structure and aesthetics, often positively.

For jaw surgery to be a corrective option, other orthodontic strategies must be ineffective since it is a major surgery. Usually, you will have to use braces before the surgery to help in the process. You may also need braces after the surgery until you heal completely. Your orthodontist will typically work with a maxillofacial surgeon to undertake the surgery.


What Is Orthognathic Surgery?

As mentioned above, it is surgery to correct and align the jawbone. It works for both the maxilla or upper jaw and the mandible, the lower jaw. The surgery will work for you if you have issues with your bite. Poor alignment makes it hard to bite, eat, or even speak.

The surgery typically stretches over some time. It entails orthodontic treatment to prepare for the surgery and after. When you add this time to the surgery and recovery times, the whole process may take between two and three years.


What Causes Jaw Problems?

Jaw problems are usually of three kinds: birth defects, those resulting from an injury in an accident, or a medical condition. Each affects the technique and the length of the treatment.


Common Congenital Jaw Problems

Some common congenital jaw problems are overbites or crossbites. However, other less common ones may be related to issues like Treacher Collins syndrome. Here is a list of the congenital jaw problems that usually occur:

·      Crossbite – When some upper and bottom teeth do not come together correctly.

·      Open bite – Open bites occur when most of your teeth do not come together when you close your mouth.

·      Underbites.

·      Pierre Robin sequence – It is a condition where children are born with smaller jaws, making it difficult for them to breathe or eat.

·      Cleft palate and cleft lip – These occur when your mouth and face do not develop correctly.


What Are Some Conditions Caused by Injuries or Medical Conditions?

·      Facial Fractures

Jaw fractures can affect your upper or lower jaw when you are hit by an object or punched. You can also get a jaw fracture from impact in an accident or by falling.

·      Tumors and Cysts

Another reason for jaw surgery is to extract or remove cysts or tumors from radiation exposure.

·      Obstructive Sleep Apnea

This condition occurs when your airway is blocked by excessive tissues, muscles, or tonsils. Your airway keeps being blocked and reopening while you sleep at night. Surgeons usually treat OSA with maxillomandibular advancement and orthognathic surgery.

·      Temporal Mandibular Joint Disorders

TMJ usually occurs when you have an improver bite, often when your lower and upper teeth do not line up.

·      Growth Disturbances

Growth disturbances occur when your body produces excessive growth hormones. The hormone causes tissues and your jaw to become unusually large.

For more about orthognathic surgery, visit Weston Center for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at our office in Weston, Florida. Call (954) 507-6441 to book an appointment today.

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