What is Corrective Jaw Surgery?
Orthognathic surgery is a procedure used to correct lower face and jaw conditions, often related to structural issues, growths, airway constraints, or other sleep disorders and chronic pain conditions. The term is just a fancier way of saying corrective jaw surgery. It is helpful in a broad range of medical procedures, facial imbalances, disharmony, and asymmetries that require correction.
While the surgery was initially intended to remove impacted or displaced teeth, it has also become useful in corrective and cosmetic procedures. While people typically fear surgeries of any kind, orthognathic surgery in Michigan does come with several advantages, especially regarding facial aesthetics and self-esteem, meaning that many patients at our offices in Grosse Pointe, Sterling Heights, Warren, Macomb, Rochester and Washington, Michigan, are willing to put their fear aside.
Understanding Orthognathic Surgery
Jaw pain or trauma is a common issue that can lead to orthognathic surgery or, more commonly, corrective jaw surgery. While the primary use of such surgeries is for medical reasons, many people may also choose to undergo surgery for cosmetic purposes. This type of jaw surgery is a valuable solution in remedying specific jaw problems or correcting facial appearance.
The purpose of this article is to delve deeper into orthognathic surgery, providing an explanation and an understanding of the process for interested or soon-to-be patients. Obviously, an informational article will not provide all of the information you need, but it may help guide you to the resources that can answer all of your remaining questions.
Benefits of Orthognathic Jaw Surgery
Orthognathic surgery in Michigan can lead to the improved alignment of the upper and lower jaw along with the chin. With these benefits in mind, it is easy to see that there are several potential advantages to the surgery:
- Bite correction
- Pain relief
- Improved speech and swallowing
- Improvement of overall jaw function
- Balanced appearance of features
- Improved sleep
- Improved self-confidence and self-esteem
- Improved breathing
While the above list focuses on both medical and cosmetic improvements in a patient, it is worth noting that jaw surgery can also improve various medical conditions. For example, corrective surgery can reduce the occurrence of persistent headaches or chronic jaw pain. It can also relieve behaviors like excessive grinding.
Corrective Jaw Surgery Process
Before agreeing to do a surgery, you should be aware of the process. The surgeons for this type of surgery of the jaw are typically either oral or maxillofacial surgeons. It is also worth noting that the process is performed under general anesthesia in most cases and that it will require at most a four-day stay in the hospital.
While the bulk of the surgery is within your mouth, sometimes small incisions are required on the outside, depending on the procedure, meaning that small scars might be possible. If scarring is a significant concern to you, you can speak with your surgeon to find out the likelihood of it occurring.
During the procedure, the surgeon will make small cuts in your jawbones, allowing them to move the bone into the correct position. They will use plates and screws, rubber bands, and wires to secure the bones to the new location. The screws will become part of the bone structure as you begin to heal.
In more extreme cases, your jaw may require extra bone to be added. The extra bone is typically taken from a rib, hip, or leg, and it is secured in the same way as the jaw repositioning. However, before placing the bone, the surgeon will have to reshape it to ensure a good fit.
Types of Orthognathic Jaw Surgery
There are three types of orthognathic surgery: maxillary osteotomy, mandibular osteotomy, genioplasty. Maxillary osteotomy or upper jaw surgery is typically used to correct cross-bite or open bite problems. During this type of surgery, the surgeon will make an incision above your teeth to expose the entire top jaw, allowing them to move the upper section as one unit.
During a mandibular osteotomy or lower jaw surgery, the surgeon will cut behind the molars, cutting down to the jaw bone lengthwise so that, again, the front of the jaw can move as one unit. Finally, a genioplasty or chin surgery is primarily cosmetic and often accompanies a severely receding lower jaw. During the surgery, a surgeon will typically correct the lower jaw issue and then restructure the chin.
Is Jaw Surgery Painful?
It is natural to wonder how painful surgery is going to be. During the actual procedure at one of our locations in Oakland County, Macomb County, and the general metropolitan Detroit area, you will not feel a single thing because you are under general anesthesia. However, afterward, you are likely going to feel some discomfort. You may experience swelling, soreness, and numbness around your face, but this tends to subside during post-operation recovery. After the surgery, your doctor will typically prescribe painkillers to help you through the recovery process.
Who Needs Corrective Jaw Surgery?
While orthognathic surgery can be a cosmetic procedure, some people do need the operation. Someone in need of a corrective jaw surgery will typically display one of several symptoms:
- Speech problems
- Chronic jaw pain or TMJ
- Protruding lower jaw
- Breathing problems
- Open bite
- Difficulty chewing, biting, or swallowing
Jaw Surgery Risks
Any medical procedure will include some level of risk. Orthognathic surgery is no different. While most side effects are considered minor, it is still worthwhile to understand potential problems:
- Nerve injury
- Blood loss
- Jaw fracture
- Problems with bite or joint pain
- Need for root canal therapy
- Need for further surgery
- Loss of a portion of the jaw
- Relapse of the jaw position
Again, these risks are considered minor with orthognathic surgery, but you need to weigh your options before agreeing to the operation. Your doctor can explain the likelihood of any of these issues and offer their input on the procedure’s importance.
Jaw Surgery Recovery and Aftercare
While all patients are different, recovery from jaw surgery will typically require six to 12 weeks for most patients. Your surgeon will likely give you a post-operative checklist, which includes:
- Time off work or school for one to three weeks
- No smoking
- No strenuous activities for three weeks
- A liquid-only diet for several weeks, followed by a soft food diet for four to six weeks
An orthodontist will need to finish aligning the teeth, and they will typically use braces to do this. It would be best if you took your time during the recovery phase, knowing that your jaw use should only gradually increase after the surgery. Your jawbones take a minimum of six weeks to heal fully. It is crucial during this window that you refrain from any activities or exercise that could result in injury to your jaw.
Finally, during your recovery process, your surgeon or orthodontist will recommend rinsing your mouth with salt water at least four times daily to reduce the risk of infection. You should also try to rinse and brush your teeth after each meal, remembering to be gentle. While general recovery from surgery can take up to three months, it is essential to remember that the entire process, including orthodontic care and corrective surgery, can take several years.
Orthognathic surgery is both cosmetic and essential, depending on the case. While the risks are considered minimal, it is still vital for a potential patient to review, understand and consider all the information before committing to jaw surgery in Michigan. Your orthodontist can help you understand the process if you still have questions.
Corrective Jaw Surgery Near Me
Contact Summit OMS today for more information on corrective, orthognathic, double jaw surgery, jaw reduction surgery or double jaw surgery today. We have locations in Grosse Pointe, Rochester Hills, Clinton Township, Warren, Sterling Heights, Macomb and Washington, Michigan.