What Is Jaw Surgery Called?

Jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a corrective procedure performed on the upper or lower jaw to correct various dental and skeletal irregularities. It is often employed to treat conditions such as misaligned jaws, malocclusions (bite problems), sleep apnea, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

The surgery is typically performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who works in collaboration with an orthodontist to ensure optimal results. The procedure aims to improve the functionality and aesthetics of the jaw, ultimately enhancing the patient’s overall quality of life.

Orthognathic surgery may involve a wide range of techniques, including repositioning the jawbone, reshaping the jaw, or modifying the facial bones. The specific techniques employed depend on the individual patient’s needs and the severity of their condition.

FAQs about Jaw Surgery:

1. Who is a candidate for jaw surgery?
Candidates for jaw surgery are individuals with jaw irregularities, such as overbites, underbites, open bites, or facial asymmetry. They may also experience difficulties with chewing, speaking, or breathing due to their jaw misalignment.

2. How long does the surgery take?
The duration of jaw surgery varies depending on the complexity of the case. It may range from a few hours to several hours.

3. Is jaw surgery painful?
During the surgery, patients are under general anesthesia, ensuring they do not feel any pain. However, some discomfort and swelling can be expected during the recovery period, which can be managed with prescribed pain medication.

4. What is the recovery period like?
The recovery period for jaw surgery can take several weeks. Initially, patients may experience swelling, bruising, and restricted jaw movement. A liquid or soft diet is usually recommended for a few weeks, gradually progressing to normal foods as tolerated.

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5. Are there any risks or complications associated with jaw surgery?
As with any surgical procedure, jaw surgery carries some risks, including infection, bleeding, nerve damage, or adverse reactions to anesthesia. However, complications are rare and can be minimized with proper pre-operative planning and post-operative care.

6. Will I need braces before or after jaw surgery?
Orthodontic treatment with braces is often required before and after jaw surgery to align the teeth properly. Pre-surgical orthodontics aligns the teeth in preparation for surgery, while post-surgical orthodontics fine-tunes the bite and ensures long-term stability.

7. How long will it take to see the final results?
Although initial improvements in facial appearance and bite alignment are noticeable shortly after surgery, it may take several months for the swelling to completely subside and the final results to become apparent.

8. Will insurance cover jaw surgery?
Insurance coverage varies depending on the individual policy and the severity of the condition. Some plans may cover a portion or all of the cost, while others may require a pre-authorization process. It is essential to consult with your insurance provider to determine the extent of coverage.

9. Can jaw surgery be combined with other procedures?
In some cases, jaw surgery may be combined with other cosmetic or functional procedures, such as rhinoplasty (nose surgery) or genioplasty (chin surgery). This allows for comprehensive facial harmony and optimal aesthetic results.

In conclusion, jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a corrective procedure performed on the upper or lower jaw to treat various dental and skeletal irregularities. It addresses issues such as misaligned jaws, malocclusions, sleep apnea, and TMJ disorders. With advancements in surgical techniques and technology, jaw surgery can significantly improve both the functionality and aesthetics of the jaw, ultimately enhancing the patient’s quality of life.

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