Kate's Fear of TMJ

Orthognathic Surgery: What You Need to Know

Orthognathic surgery, also known as corrective jaw surgery, is a procedure performed to correct irregularities in the jaw and facial structure. This type of surgery can improve both the appearance and function of the jaw, helping individuals chew, speak, and breathe more easily. If you are considering orthognathic surgery, it's important to understand what it entails and what to expect. In this blog post, we will discuss a few things you should know about orthognathic surgery.

Reasons for Orthognathic Surgery

There are several reasons why someone may need orthognathic surgery. The most common reason is a misaligned bite or jaw, which can cause difficulty with chewing or speaking. Other reasons may include breathing problems caused by narrow airways or obstructive sleep apnea, facial asymmetry, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. In some cases, orthodontic treatment alone may not be enough to correct these issues, and orthognathic surgery may be necessary.

Planning and Preparation

Before undergoing orthognathic surgery, your oral surgeon will thoroughly evaluate your condition through X-rays, photographs, and models of your teeth. This will help them determine the best course of treatment for your specific needs. You will also have pre-surgical appointments with your surgeon and orthodontist to discuss the procedure in detail and address any concerns you may have. It's important to follow all pre-surgical instructions from your medical team to ensure a successful outcome.

The Surgical Procedure

Orthognathic surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia in a hospital setting or an outpatient surgical center. The length of the procedure can vary depending on the complexity of the case, but it generally takes anywhere from 1 to 4 hours. During the procedure, incisions will be made inside the mouth to access the jawbone. The surgeon will then make precise cuts in the bone and reposition it into its correct position. Plates, screws, or wires may be used to hold the jaw in place while it heals.

Recovery and Post-Operative Care

Following surgery, it's common to have swelling, bruising, and discomfort for a few days. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medication to help manage any discomfort. You may also need to follow a liquid or soft food diet for some time while your jaw heals. It's important to attend all follow-up appointments with your surgeon and orthodontist to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments. It can take several weeks or months for your jaw to fully heal, so it's important to be patient and follow all post-operative care instructions.

For more information, reach out to a local clinic, such as The San Diego Center for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.