What is Orthognathic Surgery?
Orthognathic surgery falls under the umbrella of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. It is a form of surgery undertaken to assist in the treatment of a variety of conditions that stem from an incorrect positioning of the jaw.
The surgery involves the separation of the tooth bearing segments of the jaws from their underlying bony supports, and the selective repositioning and fixation of these segments, usually with plates and screws hidden under the soft tissues.
Orthognathic surgery is usually performed in conjunction with a carefully devised orthodontic treatment plan or may be undertaken in order to alleviate the condition of sleep apnoea in a patient.
Indications for orthognathic surgery
The majority of people who undergo orthognathic surgery do so as part of a combined orthodontic and surgical team approach. These people often have an underlying jaw misalignment which orthodontics alone cannot treat. This may include people with large upper or lower jaws relative to the other jaw, people with large or deficient chins, and people who have a significant facial asymmetry.
Another major indication for orthognathic surgery is the surgical management of obstructive sleep apnoea. These patients will almost always be managed in conjunction with their sleep physician.
What does the surgery involve?
The surgery involves the separation of the tooth bearing segments of the jaws from their underlying bony supports, and the selective repositioning and fixation of these segments. Usually, the fixation of these segments is achieved with the use of plates and screws that are hidden under the soft tissues.
Due to the nature of orthognathic surgeries, they are often performed under general anaesthesia and require a period of hospitalisation immediately following the operation. Commonly, patients are required to adhere to an all liquid diet for a time while they heal.
What are the risks of surgery?
When looking to address any of the risks or considerations orthognathic surgery, the specialists of Capital Oral & Facial Surgery can help you find answers. A consultation with our surgeons will give you the opportunity to discuss the relative risks and benefits of any proposed procedures. Every procedure has risks and these risks are always balanced against your individual needs and treatment requirements.
The severity of the effects and healing time that patients will experience will vary from person to person, just like with other oral or maxillofacial surgeries such as dental implants or otherwise.