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Orthognathia surgery

What is Orthognathia surgery and who needs it?

Orthognathia surgery is an operation to reposition the jaws. Ortho means to straighten and gnathia means jaw in Latin.

Orthognathia-TreatmentsThis operation is done with the aim of correcting any imbalance between the upper and lower jaws. This helps the teeth to bite together correctly. Another benefit of orthognathia is it helps enhance one’s face as it creates a more balanced appearance.

Who needs orthognathic surgery?

  • As jaws mature throughout our growth and development from adolescence to adulthood, there instances the growth of the jaws may cease or may come to completion. This leads to lack of proper function and may also affect appearance.
  • There are a number of reasons the upper and lower jaw remain disproportionate. Some of the reasons are injury or trauma, genetic causes or might be caused by a tumour.
  • Orthognathic surgery is more often than not a matter of choice rather than necessity. However, is sometimes not possible to correct how the teeth bite together using only orthognathics. A combination of braces and surgery might be used to correct how the teeth sit while orthognathic surgery is able to correct larger jaw discrepancies and balance the shape of the face.
  • It is important to use braces to move the teeth to the ideal position so as to align them correctly after orthognathic surgery. Sometimes braces are worn for up to 18 months before the surgery and for about 6 months after the surgery to align the teeth and ensure they are adjusted and stabilized. The last stage would be to wear a retainer for a period of time to hold the teeth together in their new position.
  • Treatment varies from one individual to another. It can range from 2 and half years to 18 months. Missing appointments and brace breakage might lengthen the treatment time.
  • The length of ones hospital stay varies from one person to another and the speed of recovery averages 2 – 4 weeks.
  • The operation is done from inside the mouth to prevent external scars. It is only on rare occasions does the surgeon need to make a small cut on the angle of the jaw though this is practically invisible after a few weeks of the surgery. The jawbones are repositioned and secured with plates and screws which remain under the gum. Small elastic bands are also used between the top and bottom brace to guide the teeth into their new position and bite.

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