Orthognathic Treatment / Jaw Surgery

Orthognathic treatment or jaw surgery can be used in conjunction with orthodontic treatment to treat the most severe types of jaw mis-alignment and bite issues.

What is Orthognathic Treatment?

Orthognathic treatment or jaw surgery is a specialist branch of oral & maxillofacial surgery and is usually accompanied by orthodontic treatment with fixed braces. It involves the modification of the jaws in order to change their alignment and position to improve both the function and appearance of the mouth, face and teeth.

For the best results, orthodontics and orthognathic surgery should be planned jointly, with a specialist orthodontist and an oral & maxillofacial surgeon liaising together.

What does it involve?

Before the surgery, you will require a period during which you will need to wear fixed braces. Midway through orthodontic treatment, surgery is carried out by the specialist surgeon while you are asleep under a general anaesthetic. Usually, it involves 2-5 nights’ stay at a hospital.

What do you do during the orthognathic surgery operation?

The details of the surgery will depend on your bite condition and are explained by the oral & maxillofacial surgeon. Surgery is aimed at repositioning part(s) of the top and/or lower jaw(s).

Does it leave scars?

The majority of orthognathic surgery is performed within the mouth so the only scars will be tiny white lines inside the mouth along your gum line.

What will I feel like after the surgery?

When you wake up from your anaesthetic, you will feel sleepy, swollen and sore around the mouth and face. Some areas of the face might feel numb temporarily. For a few days it will not be possible to open the mouth fully.

You should be up and about within a day or two and back to a normal routine within a month.

How long will I need to stay in hospital after the orthognathic surgery?

Usually 2-5 days.

How long will I need to take off work/study to recover after orthognathic surgery?

About 3-4 weeks.

For some excellent videos, information, and patient journeys relating to orthognathic surgery, please click on the following British Orthodontic Society link: Your Jaw Surgery.

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