Considering Jaw Surgery? What You Need To Know

Has your oral surgeon recommended orthognathic surgery to correct your jaw? You may have never heard this term before until your doctor informed you it was necessary to correct any irregular formation of your jawbone. The jaw is an important part of your oral health, as it serves as the main security for your teeth. Jaw surgery can also improve your overall appearance. If you have tried orthodontics to correct your bite or severely misshapen teeth, jaw surgery may be the next step. Here is what you need to know:

Why Would You Need Jaw Surgery?

There are several benefits to getting jaw surgery. If your bite is not aligned or is severely asymmetrical, jaw surgery can reconstruct your alignment. This is ideal for those with underbites, overbites, and crossbites. If your mouth does not close completely or if you cannot put your lips together, this surgery is also an ideal option. For those who suffer from the temporomandibular joint disorder, commonly known as TMJ, surgery can bring you some relief as well. Sleep apnea, difficulty swallowing or chewing, or consistent breakdown of the teeth due to improper alignment are also common reasons to go ahead with orthognathic surgery.

Is Jaw Surgery Risky?

No surgery is without risks but is generally safe when performed by a qualified oral surgeon. However, there are a few risks you need to know about, such as possible infection, loss of blood, and potential bone loss. There is also a chance the jaw could go back to its original position after the surgery. You may suffer some nerve damage and some jaw pain after the procedure. In addition, there might also be a need for further dental treatment to repair the damage done to any teeth during the procedure. Keep in mind the probability of these risks occurring are low, but still possible.

What Happens When You Get Jaw Surgery?

The best way to prepare for jaw surgery is to fully understand what will happen. Prior to the surgery, you will have a series of tests, including CAT scans to see the current position of the jaw. On surgery day, you will check in to the hospital. The surgery will take place under general anesthesia. You will not have incisions on the outside of your face in most cases as the surgery will take place inside the mouth. The surgeon will cut the jawbone and place them into the proper position. Wires, screws, and bone plates may be sued to hold the jaw in its new position. Over time, these elements will integrate into the bone itself. Your surgeon may even want to utilize your own bone from the hip or leg if you need additional structure.