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What is Orthognathic Surgery?


Posted on 7/30/2016 by Andrew Zeiger

Orthognathic surgery is a procedure that can correct jaw misalignment. There are many reasons why someone might need orthognathic surgery, and the results can dramatically change how your jaw functions.

Reasons Why You Might Need Jaw Surgery
According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), there are many reasons why you might consider jaw surgery. They include but are not limited to:
•  Grinding of teeth
•  TMJ pain Difficulty swallowing
•  Difficulty eating food
•  Facial trauma
•  Sleep apnea


What is the Treatment Process Like?
Orthognathic surgery is a long, involved treatment process where your dentist, orthodontist, and oral and maxillofacial surgeon work together. Like most other treatment plans, a consultation is the first step, and you will be evaluated to see if you are a good candidate for orthognathic surgery.

Before the surgery can take place, you will most likely need orthodontic treatment to help the success of the surgery. Braces will align your teeth so that they are in the right position when your jaw is moved to its new alignment. The braces are on for about 9 to 14 months, and they are not removed until after the surgery. There is often a period of time where the braces are kept on post-surgery for any final adjustments to your teeth alignment.

The surgery itself will take about three hours, and it is done under general anesthesia. During the procedure, the jawbone will be adjusted, which could include removing bone, adding bone, or changing the shape of your jaw. It could also require adding screws or metal plates in order to keep your jaw in the correct position.

Recovery lasts about 1 to 3 weeks, and you will need to be on a special diet until you can transition to normal food. It will take between 9 and 12 months for your jaw to heal entirely.

If you have questions about orthognathic surgery and how it can affect the function of your jaw, contact our office today.
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