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Pre Post Surgery Orthodontist Coral Springs FL

Orthognathic Surgery

In some instances, when orthodontics cannot correct jaw abnormalities, orthognathic (or-thog-NATH-ik) surgery (jaw surgery) may be necessary. Orthognathic surgery aims to achieve proper alignment of the teeth and jaws.

Orthognathic surgery can correct jaw irregularities, realign the jaws, and improve the overall function of both teeth and jaws. Additionally, surgery may also improve facial appearance, such as bringing a “sunken chin” forward during the alignment process.

When Orthognathic Surgery Is Necessary

A Maxillofacial Surgeon performs orthognathic surgery. Your orthodontist and the oral surgeon will determine the best treatment plan. Braces are often used both before and after this type of jaw surgery. Coordination during the process is key to success.

Although problems may be evident at a younger age, orthognathic surgery is normally performed after jaw growth stops. For females, that is usually between ages 14 and 16. Boys continue growing, so surgery for males typically occurs between ages 17 and 21.

In instances where jaw positioning interferes with a patient’s ability to chew effectively, surgery may be performed on a child as young as seven. These circumstances are rare. Orthodontic procedures such as braces or Invisalign are the first option for treatment in younger children.

Problems That Orthognathic Surgery Can Correct

Although the overall purpose of orthognathic surgery serves to correct chewing, eating, speaking, it can also help correct:
Open bite.
Unbalanced facial features or structure.
Facial injuries.
Congenital disabilities.
Chronic TMJ.
Headaches.
Receding or protruding chin or jaw.
Sleep apnea or breathing difficulties.

Used with orthodontic treatment, orthognathic surgery will improve chewing, speaking, and sleeping and improve the overall facial profile.

Digital Technology Adds Precision

Using digital technology, the surgeon can accurately map the entire treatment and show the final results before any surgery. There are many benefits with digital imaging and technology:
Minimizes treatment times.
Reduces recovery time.
Increases the efficacy of the entire process.

In addition to digital technology, state-of-the-art materials add strength and predictability to orthognathic surgical procedures. Titanium screws and plates reduce post-surgery recovery time.

Combining better materials and digital technology means that you can return to your everyday life activities much quicker following a surgical procedure.

Preparing for Orthognathic Surgery

Your oral surgeon uses digital imaging, X-rays, CT scans, and other methods to map your surgery before it takes place. In many instances, you may have braces for a period of 12 to 18 months before surgery.

When you are healthy, your surgery and recovery will be easier. Maintaining good healthy lifestyle choices before surgery is essential. This means staying active, eating healthy, and keeping up with your oral health routine.

Your doctor may have additional pre-surgery instructions. Following them will help to ensure a successful procedure.

Risks of Orthognathic Surgery

Any surgical procedure includes some risks. Although very rare, some of the risks include:
Potential nerve damage.
Blood loss.
Possible infection.
Jaw fracturing.
Root canals.

Depending on the depth of the surgery, you may also have some loss of jaw bone and other factors not mentioned above. However, the benefits of jaw correction surgery outweigh any potential risks.

What Happens During Jaw Surgery?

Jaw surgery is performed in a hospital or clinic with overnight facilities. You can expect to be there for at least 24 hours after your surgical procedure and sometimes for as long as two to four days.

Surgery is conducted under general anesthesia. In most cases, the bulk of the procedure is performed inside the mouth, meaning you will have no visible scarring. Occasionally, small incisions must be made on the face along the jawline, but these generally fade over time.

The surgeon may use plates, screws, or even bone grafts to correct the jaw alignment. Depending on the complexity, the entire surgery may take two to three hours or longer. Every case is different, and the doctor will brief you before the procedure.

After Orthognathic Surgery

Following your surgery, you will receive aftercare instructions. These may include special dietary restrictions, medications to prevent infection, and additional wound care directions. Follow all aftercare instructions for proper healing.

Among the benefits of orthognathic surgery, you may experience improvement with speaking, chewing, swallowing, and even sleeping. Those are the functional changes. Jaw surgery can also provide a boost in confidence, self-esteem, and a better facial profile.

Risks from orthognathic surgery are very uncommon, but the benefits are well-documented. Your recovery time is generally around six weeks, although complete jaw healing may take as long as three months.

You will have a follow-up appointment in the weeks following surgery. At this time, you may receive braces. Your doctor will determine the period you wear braces following surgery. The braces help to stabilize the teeth and jaw to facilitate better healing.

Will Orthognathic Surgery Help You?

If the orthodontist determines that standard orthodontic measures cannot correct your teeth and jaw alignment problems, they may recommend orthognathic surgery. Surgery is only recommended after all other efforts have been exhausted.

If you are interested in finding out whether orthodontics or surgery is necessary to correct your alignment issues, contact Dr. Eliane A. John at John Orthodontics in Coral Springs, FL. Dr. John will conduct a complete, complimentary examination and recommend a treatment plan to give you the smile of your dreams.

Scheduling your first appointment is simple using the online Appointment Request form. Although orthognathic surgery is often unnecessary with the latest advances in orthodontics, it remains an option in severe cases.

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