Orthognathic surgery, or in other words maxillofacial surgery, was defined as a new department by the Ministry of Health under the name Oral, Facial and Maxillofacial Surgery, and some plastic surgeons were awarded the Oral, Face and Maxillofacial Surgery Specialist diploma as a result of their clinical and scientific studies. For this reason, it is an issue that should be considered for patients to have the specialty diploma for the interventions and treatments to be performed in this region.
Orthognathic Surgery (corrective jaw surgery) is a surgery performed by plastic surgeons in cases where the lower and upper jaws do not fit together properly and/or the teeth are mismatched with each other in the mouth-closed position, which causes chewing, breathing, and speech disorders. With this treatment, the appearance of the face improves and the teeth come to the correct closing position and gain proper function.
Conditions that may require orthognathic surgery
- Chewing and biting problems
- Swallowing problems
- Speech problems
- Chronic jaw joint pain
- Opening in the anterior region
- Back positioned chin
- Anteriorly positioned chin (relative to the other chin) breathing problems
- Inability to bring lips together
- Sleep apnea (difficulty breathing during sleep, snoring)
- Facial injuries and birth defects
Who needs orthognathic surgery?
People whose teeth do not show proper closure or whose jaw positions are incorrect may benefit from Orthognathic Surgery. Although the development of the jaws shows a gradual stage, in some cases the development of the lower and upper jaw can be at different speeds. As a result, the chewing function, speech, oral health and face shape of the person are affected. Jaw injuries and birth defects also affect the closing position of the jaws. Orthodontic treatment alone only corrects the position of the teeth. However, if the position of the jaws is also desired to be changed, orthognathic surgery will definitely be required.
Identifying your needs for orthognathic surgery
Your dentist, orthodontist and plastic surgeon will evaluate you as a team and determine whether this treatment is suitable for you. In this process, your plastic surgeon is the person who recommends and shares the surgery that will suit you. Another important point to be aware of is that the orthodontic treatment that should be taken before and after the surgery will cover a period of several years. With the surgery, the anatomical placement of your face, especially your lower-upper jaw and chin tip, may change. After your medical condition and treatment options are determined, a treatment program that will give you the best results is arranged with the same treatment team. What does orthognathic surgery involve? In the preoperative period, your treatment begins with orthodontic splints to reposition your teeth. At the beginning of the treatment, you may think that your bite is worse than before, but when your jaw is reshaped with surgery, your teeth will fit together as they should. Before orthodontic treatment, x-rays, photographs and molds of your teeth can be taken. These will help shape your treatment and will also help keep your medical records.
Your surgeon will reposition your jawbones in line with your needs. In some cases, bone may need to be added, removed, or reshaped. Surgical plates, screws, wires, and rubber bands can be used to hold your jaw in its new place. Your incisions made during the surgery are usually made from inside the mouth so that the scars are not visible. In very rare cases, where an incision outside the mouth is required, every care is taken to ensure that this scar is not disturbing.
Your surgeon will give you information about special nutrition in the period until you switch to normal nutrition after the surgery. In addition, during this period, you will be asked not to smoke and to avoid physical activities that will create tension on the jaw.
Post-operative pain will be at a level that can be easily controlled with medications. It will usually take 1-3 weeks, depending on how well you feel during your return to work or school. Healing in your jawbone starts in the 6th week and continues until 9-12 months.
This surgery puts your teeth and jaw in a smooth and balanced position. Although the main goal of surgery is to improve your bite and jaw functions, in some patients, the improvement in facial appearance and speech is a satisfactory result. A properly planned and performed orthognathic surgery will have many dramatic and positive contributions to your life.