Orthognathic Surgery: What You Need to Know

Posted on: 8 February 2024

Orthognathic surgery, also referred to as corrective jaw surgery, is a transformative procedure aimed at addressing a wide range of dental and skeletal concerns. Whether it's correcting misaligned jaws, fixing bite problems, or improving facial aesthetics, orthognathic surgery offers comprehensive solutions. Although the idea of undergoing surgery may initially seem overwhelming, it's important to recognize that orthognathic surgery can bring about substantial benefits, positively impacting not only oral health but also overall well-being and self-confidence. With the expertise of skilled surgeons and advancements in surgical techniques, individuals can undergo this procedure with reassurance, knowing that they are taking a significant step towards a healthier and more harmonious facial structure.

What Is Orthognathic Surgery?

Orthognathic surgery involves the realignment of the jaws to improve their function and appearance. The procedure can address a wide range of concerns, including overbite, underbite, crossbite, open bite, and even sleep apnea. During the operation, your surgeon will make incisions in your gums and move your jawbones into their ideal positions using small screws or plates. Your surgeon may also reshape your chin or other facial bones if necessary.

Who Can Benefit from Orthognathic Surgery?

If you have difficulty biting or chewing food properly or experience chronic jaw pain, you may be a good candidate for orthognathic surgery. Other indications include obstructive sleep apnea caused by a narrow airway due to an overgrown mandible (lower jaw), difficulty speaking clearly due to an improper bite alignment, or facial imbalances that affect your appearance negatively.

Before Your Procedure

Your surgeon will likely provide you with specific instructions on how to prepare for your operation. This typically includes avoiding certain medications that may increase bleeding risk before the procedure and fasting beforehand. You'll also want to arrange transportation home afterward, as you won't be able to drive yourself home due to sedation.

After Your Procedure

Recovery time varies depending on the extent of the procedure performed, but it generally takes several weeks. Afterward, swelling and discomfort are normal, and your surgeon may prescribe pain medication to help you manage the discomfort. You'll need to adjust your diet for a while to allow your jaw to heal properly, which can involve consuming softer foods or liquids exclusively.

Orthognathic surgery can be a life-changing procedure for those who need it. If you're experiencing difficulty with biting or chewing food properly or have chronic jaw pain, orthognathic surgery may be the solution you're looking for. Remember that everyone's experience is different, but by preparing yourself and following your surgeon's postoperative instructions carefully, you can ensure the best possible outcome.

Contact a local medical center to learn more, like The San Diego Center for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.