Orthogantic Surgery

Orthognathic surgery is what an oral, maxillofacial or craniofacial surgeon does to reposition one or both jaws in the correction of a wide range of minor or major facial and jaw irregularities. In fact, moving the jaws also moves the teeth. Orthognathic surgery is usually done in conjunction with orthodontic treatment, so that the teeth are in proper position after surgery. In many cases, an enhanced facial appearance and a well balanced facial profile and symmetry can also result.

Today, through modern technology, a variety of surgical procedures are available to correct facial deformities. Among these facial deformities are Prognathism (prominent lower third of the face or mandibular excess) and micrognathism (retruded jaw) with associated malocclusion. A prognathic jaw occurs when the lower jaw is overdeveloped and protrudes out beyond the upper jaw. Majority of these patients have malocclusion meaning that their teeth are not properly aligned and that the bones of the upper and lower jaws are in excess of deficient to produce and aesthetic profile.

  1. Open bite (space between upper and lower front or back teeth when mouth is closed)
  2. Unbalanced facial appearance (facial asymmetry)
  3. Unequal growth of the jaws, injury or birth defects
  4. Receding chin (Micrognathism)
  5. Protruding chin (Prognathism)
  6. Facial injury- old or mismanaged jaw fractures
  7. Midfacial retrusion after surgery of Cleft Palate/Lip
  8. Sleep Apnea (breathing problems- heavy snoring and difficult breathing)
  9. Difficult chewing or biting food

In the past, these were just treated by dental surgeons by pulling out all the teeth thinking that these can be controlled by prosthetic dentures. Most of them think that this can be treated by purely orthodontic treatment mobilizing only the teeth but not the jaws. Repair of a protruding or recessed jaw is a major surgical procedure. It is performed in the hospital, under general anesthesia, and it takes anywhere from 2-6 hours. Before surgical treatment is undertaken, various work-ups are done such as Cephalometric evaluations, Panoramic x-ray of the jaws, dental model cast and cutting and photography. The cooperation between the orthodontist and maxillofacial surgeon serves as basis for the general acceptance of combined orthodontics and surgical treatment of jaw problems as the treatment of choice. In some occasions, prior to actual surgery, orthodontic treatment (pre-surgical orthodontics) is first done to facilitate actual occlusion during surgery. After surgery, final orthodontic tooth movement is usually necessary to fine-tune your bite.

Hospital stay is only for 5 - 7 days after the surgery and the patient can eat through mouth next day.