In most cases, issues with overbites, underbites, crowding, etc. can be remedied through one of the various orthodontic treatment options offered at Dr. Dann Orthodontics. Nevertheless, sometimes patients do have skeletal or dental irregularities that require more modified, invasive forms of improvement. That is where Orthognathic surgery comes in.
Orthognathic surgery, or corrective jaw surgery, is performed when problems with teeth and bite alignment cannot be corrected through traditional orthodontic treatment (for example braces or Invisalign). While the reasons for these procedures vary, what doesn’t is their ability to steadfastly correct the more extensive oral issues you may be experiencing.
Types of Procedures
There is often a stigma associated with the word “surgery” that leads people to believe an anticipated procedure will be more severe than it actually is. In truth, a large number of Orthognathic surgeries are performed as routine, in-office procedures. For example, one type of common Orthognathic surgery is the extraction of impacted wisdom teeth (molars that don't fully protrude through the gums) – a procedure many people are familiar with and accredit as being very straightforward.
Who Performs Orthognathic Surgery?
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons perform Orthognathic surgeries. These surgeons have completed four years of dental school, and four additional years in a hospital-based residency program. There, they trained alongside other medical and surgical residents in areas such as emergency medicine, general surgery, and anesthesiology. Furthermore, as a result of their training, these surgeons are the only medical practitioners besides anesthesiologists who can administer all levels of sedation and general anesthesia.
Who Can Benefit from Orthognathic Surgery?
Many oral issues can be remedied through traditional orthodontic treatment like braces or Invisalign. Yet, while orthodontics can successfully align the teeth, sometimes the jaws themselves need to be brought in line more extensively. In those cases, after a thorough examination at either our Winter Park or Orlando office, Dr. Dann will let you know if you are a good candidate for Orthognathic surgery.
Generally, patients who have tooth misalignment, jaw issues, or facial asymmetry problems that cause difficulty chewing, talking, sleeping, or carrying on routine activities, may benefit from having Orthognathic surgery. Additionally, Orthognathic procedures can also correct aesthetic oral issues, for example: protruding jaws, congenital defects, or an unbalanced facial appearance.
Conditions that Can Be Treated with Orthognathic Surgery
- Open bite, protruding jaw or receding chin
- Congenital defects such as a cleft palate
- Malocclusions (bite problems)
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Difficulty swallowing, chewing, or biting food
- Chronic jaw or jaw joint (TMJ) pain and headache
- Unbalanced facial appearance from the front or side
- Inability to make the lips meet without straining
- Chronic mouth breathing and dry mouth
- Facial trauma
The Surgical Process
While every patient's needs are different, there are some commonalities in all Orthognathic surgery procedures. The first (and perhaps most important) of which is the careful consultation and planning period performed by members of your dental team, including the restorative or general dentist, the orthodontist, and the oral surgeon.
The overall plan our team recommends for you may involve orthodontic treatments combined with surgical procedures. Using diagnostic images, 3-D models, and advanced software, we will develop a step-by-step plan for the entire process. (In many cases, it may even be possible to show you a picture of what you'll look like when your treatment is finished.)
The surgery itself may occur at the hospital or in Dr. Dann Orthodontics’ Winter Park or Orlando office. This depends on your comfort, and what type of anesthesia is most appropriate for the procedure.
- Since the actual surgery is generally performed inside of your mouth, it often leaves no visible traces of surgical procedure.
- After the surgery, you can control minor pain and swelling with over-the-counter or prescription pain medication. A soft food or liquid diet may be recommended for a period of time following the procedure as well due to sensitivity issues.
- Following the surgery, we will closely monitor your condition and help you through each remaining phase of your treatment plan.
- In some cases, orthodontic appliances, such as braces and retainers, will be used before and after the surgical phase of treatment to ensure that you end up with an effective and aesthetically pleasing result.
You & Your Smile
The various orthodontics treatments available at Dr. Dann Orthodontics can treat a majority of oral alignment issues. However, for more severe cases of discord between your teeth and jaws, Orthognathic surgery is a great alternative option. When your procedure is complete, you can enjoy the benefits of improved functionality and an enhanced appearance, which create positive changes in many areas of your life.
Have questions about what orthodontic treatment options might be right for you? Contact the team at Dr. Dann Orthodontics. Or, book an appointment to come into our Winter Park or Orlando office and get examined by Dr. Dann today!
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