Orthognathic Surgery: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a type of surgery that is used to correct discrepancies in the alignment of the upper and lower jaw. It is a complex, multi-step process that typically begins with orthodontia, followed by surgery and a period of recovery, concluding with additional orthodontia.

Orthognathic surgery is performed for a variety of reasons. The most common indication is when the upper and lower jaw do not align properly, leading to a functional or aesthetic issue. In some cases, the misalignment of the upper and lower jaw can lead to difficulty chewing, speaking, or even breathing.

Answers to FAQs About Orthognathic Surgery

How do jaw bone problems develop?

Jaw bone problems can be caused by a variety of factors, and they can vary in severity. Depending on the cause, jaw bone problems can range from mild to severe and can be debilitating. Understanding how and why jaw bone problems develop is important for finding the right treatment.

Acquired jaw bone problems occur later in life. These jaw bone problems can be caused by injuries or medical conditions that affect the jaw. Common causes of acquired jaw bone problems include jaw fractures, arthritis, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, and oral cancer.

What are some examples of congenital jaw problems?

Congenital jaw problems describe a range of birth defects that affect the shape and size of the jaw, as well as the alignment of the teeth. While some of these conditions are individual issues, such as an overbite, others can be related to an underlying medical condition.

Some of the examples of congenital jaw problems include:

  • Cross bite
  • Underbite
  • Cleft lip and palate
  • Open bite

What should you consider before getting jaw surgery?

It’s important to understand the potential risks and benefits of the procedure before making a decision. Jaw surgery can correct skeletal irregularities, including misalignment of the jaws, an underbite or an overbite, or other problems with the jawbones.

Some of the considerations you should keep in mind include:

  • Your condition
  • The risks involved
  • Cost of the procedure
  • Alternative treatments
  • Recovery time
  • Your goals

What should you expect before a jaw surgery?

Jaw surgery is a complex and often necessary procedure that requires a great deal of pre-work before it can be performed. Your healthcare provider needs a number of tests and steps to obtain the necessary information to plan your surgery.

X-rays are one of the first steps in the process of preparing for jaw surgery. X-rays provide an image of your jawbone, which is important for helping to plan the surgery. CT scans provide an even more detailed image of the jawbone and its components, enabling your healthcare provider to plan the procedure more accurately.

In addition to x-rays and CT scans, your healthcare provider will also take photographs of your teeth and jaw. These photographs can be used to create a dental model of your teeth and jaw, which can then be used to help plan the procedure.

Depending on the complexity of the surgery, your healthcare provider may also use scanning technology to get a more accurate picture of the teeth and jaw. These tests and steps are essential for your healthcare provider to have the necessary information to plan your jaw surgery.

Without them, the surgery can’t be performed safely or effectively. So if your healthcare provider has recommended jaw surgery, make sure to ask them about the pre-work that needs to be done before the procedure.