Everything You Need To Know About Cosmetic Jaw Surgery
Jaw Surgery is also called orthognathic surgery. It involves the realignment of jaws and treatment of irregularities present in the jawline. Orthognathic surgeons can also perform this surgery to enhance jawline aesthetics. This article sheds light on how doctors perform jaw surgery.
What Is Jaw Surgery?
Orthognathic surgery or corrective jaw surgery is performed when the jaws and teeth fail to meet harmoniously. It requires the repositioning of the jaws so that the teeth can meet each other in the correct occlusion line (bite line). Subsequently, this improves jaw functions, such as chewing, sleep apnea, speech, and facial aesthetics.
Jaw surgery involves details of how teeth align and their effect on a person’s overall facial aesthetic. Moreover, it also concerns the harmonious movement of the jaw within the temporomandibular joint or TMJ.
Hence, this surgery requires highly qualified doctors called maxillofacial surgeons who specialize in dentistry and medicine. It allows them to deftly repair trauma to the jaw while also preserving critical facial nerves. An orthognathic surgeon at a jaw surgery hospital can increase or decrease the length of your jaw. They can also move your jaw in, out, up, and down.
Who Can Opt for Jaw Surgery?
People who face the following issues can decide to undergo jaw surgery.
- Facial imbalance or asymmetries, such as posteriorly or anteriorly placed chins or overlapping jawbones
- Problems in biting and chewing
- Hindrance in speech
- Problems in lip closure
- Facial injury or congenital disability
- Improper bite
- Pain caused by the TMJ joint.
What to Expect Before a Jaw Surgery
Your maxillofacial surgeon will work with you and develop a treatment plan. Doctors will expect you to undergo different examinations, including X-rays, CT- scans, and other imaging of your teeth and jawbones to devise a computer-guided treatment plan.
How is a Jaw Surgery Performed?
Usually, the surgery takes around two to four days. A patient undergoes jaw surgery under general anesthesia in a maxillofacial surgery hospital. Cosmetic jaw surgeries are performed from inside your mouth. This ensures that there are no facial scars around the chin, mouth, or jaw.
Your orthognathic surgeon will make tiny incisions in the jawbones and move them in the correct position. Once the movement has been achieved successfully, they’ll secure the bones in their new place using screws, wires, tiny bone plates, and rubber bands. Over time, these small screws become a part of the bone structure.
In some cases, adding some extra bone to the original jaw bone might be required. This will require your surgeon to transfer some bone grafts from other body parts, such as ribs, legs, or hip bones, and secure them with screws and plates. Moreover, some cases may require the reshaping of bones to fit in perfectly with the original contour of the jawbone.
An operation on the jaw can be performed on the upper jaw (maxilla), lower jaw (mandible), or chin.
Upper Jaw Surgery
Primarily, upper jaw surgery is performed to treat problems, such as protrusion of the upper jaw, reduced facial growth, crossbite, and open bite.
Your orthognathic surgeon will start by making cuts above your upper teeth. This will allow the entire top jaw (maxilla) to move as one unit. After that, the doctor will move the jaw forward until the upper teeth fit perfectly with the lower teeth.
After the correct position has been fixed, your surgeon will fix the jaw with screws and plates that are smaller than orthodontic braces. In some cases, surgeons might have to shave off the excess bone to reduce jaw height. This is usually done in open bites wherein the patients have a significant gap between their upper and lower teeth due to excessive bone growth.
Lower Jaw Surgery
Lower jaw surgery can correct a protruding or retruding jawbone. Often, patients opt for a mandibuloplasty to make their jaw narrower for cosmetic reasons. This gives the patient an aesthetically “feminine” jaw with a more pointed shape that resembles a “V.”
The orthognathic surgeon performs this surgery by making incisions behind the molars and along the length of the jawbone. A single unit of motion is achieved by this. Later, the jaw is repositioned backward or forward and fixed in its new position using screws and plates.
For a cosmetic lower jaw surgery, your surgeon will shave the broader part of your mandible and reshape your jaw to a more triangular shape. A mandibular surgery usually takes two to three hours and is performed in a jaw surgery hospital.
Recovery After a Jaw Surgery
You can expect an initial healing period of about six weeks after the surgery. However, complete healing requires around 12 weeks. You will be prescribed medicines to control pain and inflammation.
The results from this surgery are permanent and require a few follow-up appointments later at your jaw surgery hospital to ensure the correct alignment and functioning of your jaws.