The Process and Procedure of Orthognathic Surgery

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Occasionally people have jaws that grow at a different pace and to a different extent, so they do not match each other. This results in a bite problem (“malocclusion”) that may necessitate corrective jaw surgery, known as orthognathic surgery. This can be performed to reposition the upper jaw, lower jaw, chin, or a combination of these parts.

The surgery may sound ominous, but the process is not something to be afraid of. Your orthodontist and surgeon will explain all the steps of the process beforehand. They will also carefully plan the steps to ensure that all goes smoothly. Did you know that orthognathic surgery is currently planned virtually, by computer?

In the majority of the cases you will need to wear braces for several months before the surgery. This is done to make sure that your teeth are well aligned and in the correct placement within your jaw prior to repositioning the jaw. The wisdom teeth are also generally extracted a minimum of 6 months before the surgery.

Facial scars are not a concern for this surgery, as it is routinely done on the inside of the mouth. On the day of the surgery you will be placed under general anesthesia. The surgeon will use small screws and fixation plates to hold the bony segments together after surgery during the healing process. This practically eliminates the need for “wiring the jaws shut”, which used to be the norm several years ago for 3-6 weeks at a time. The surgery itself takes a few hours, depending on the case. You may have to stay in the hospital for 1-2 days, before returning home.

After the surgery, certain activities and foods should be avoided. Your surgeon will provide these details along with medications to take. They will also recommend a specific oral care routine. Wearing rubber bands from the upper to the lower braces is also a common thing during the weeks or months following the surgery. In general people go back to school or work within 2 to 3 weeks from the time of surgery.

If you believe that you need orthognathic surgery, give us a call for an assessment. A referral is not necessary. At Beach Braces we will take the time to prepare you for everything that lies ahead during the preparation for the surgery, the surgery itself, as well as post-surgery. If you have any questions, contact our orthodontic team in Scarborough.

– The Beach Braces Team