Orthognathic surgery, also known as corrective jaw surgery, is a type of surgical procedure that is performed to correct abnormalities in the jaw and facial bones. This procedure is typically done to improve a patient’s ability to chew, speak, and breathe, as well as to improve the overall appearance of their face.
Orthognathic surgery is performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who works in conjunction with an orthodontist to plan and execute the treatment. The surgery involves moving the jaws and facial bones into their correct positions and securing them with plates, screws, and wires.
There are several conditions that can be treated with orthognathic surgery, including:
- Overbite: When the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth excessively
- Underbite: When the lower teeth protrude beyond the upper teeth
- Open bite: When the front teeth do not meet when the back teeth are clenched
- Crossbite: When the upper teeth are inside the lower teeth when biting down
- Facial asymmetry: When one side of the face is significantly different from the other side
- Sleep apnea: When a patient has difficulty breathing during sleep due to jaw or facial bone abnormalities
Recovery from orthognathic surgery can take several weeks, during which time patients may experience swelling, bruising, and discomfort. However, most patients are able to resume normal activities within a few weeks, with full recovery taking several months. Orthodontic treatment may also be necessary after the surgery to ensure proper alignment of the teeth.