Orthognathic jaw surgery is the science of correcting jaw size differences through surgery. It is usually performed by an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon. The procedure requires preparation of the teeth and this involves the wearing of braces and hence the care of an orthodontist (braces specialist).
Jaw Surgery Procedure
Patients are seen by both the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon and the Orthodontist for a detailed consultation and evaluation. The options of treatment are discussed and this usually involved the relatives of the patients as well. When a final decision is made to proceed, the patient will commence braces treatment. The first phase of braces treatment will take between nine months to one year. The next phases will the surgical phase where the surgical procedure is planned and carried out by the surgeon. This will usually involve a hospital stay of about two days. After the surgery, the patient will need to remain on medical leave for about one month for recovery. The third phase will involve the continuation of braces therapy for the next year. The surgeon will continue to review the patient even after the braces have come off, for the next five years.
Common conditions that require Jaw Surgery
Jaw protrusion: Cases of long lower jaws can be corrected by orthognathic surgery. The surgeons will evaluate the severity of the protrusion and determine if the patient needs corrective jaw surgery. Mild cases may be treated with braces alone.
Jaw retrusion: Short lower jaw or chin retrusion is another common condition treated by this method. Again, the pre-treatment evaluation is very important to determine if the patient really needs surgical correction. Only when both the surgeon and the orthodontist are satisfied that the patient will benefit from surgery, will the surgical option be chosen.
Teeth protrusion: When both upper and lower jaws are protrusive, this may give rise to the bimaxillary protrusion condition. This is where the teeth bearing portion of the jaw bone is projected forward. Such cases can be corrected surgically by jaw operation. The results of such cases are often very dramatic.
Open Bite conditions: When our teeth at the front cannot come together to bite on food, it is known as an anterior open bite condition. This can be a result of habits like tongue thrusting during our formative years, to correct such conditions, surgery is most often indicated. With the advent of newer techniques today, mild cases can be treated non surgically. The best people to differentiate between such cases will be the orthodontist and the surgeon involved.
Jaw Surgery cost in India
While jaw surgery is very expensive in countries like USA and UK, many clinics and hospitals in India offer affordable jaw surgery (about 1/4th the cost in USA and UK). Jaw Surgery is performed to achieve the aesthetic expectations besides correcting moderate to severe teeth and jaw disorders. The orthognathic procedure helps those with toothless or gummy smiles, deficient chins, protruding underbite and overbites, and other problem areas of the face. The common jaw surgery procedures that many specialists and jaw surgeons provide include Maxillary osteotomy (upper jaw surgery) that addresses receded or deficient upper jaw; Mandibular osteotomy (lower jaw surgery) for receded lower jaw is often accompanied by a deficient chin; Apertognathia for oval-shaped gap between the upper and lower teeth in the front etc.
Complications and Problems associated with Orthognathic Surgery
Orthognathic surgeries like any other surgical procedures have their own complications, although these complications are not as alarming. Fatal complications as a result of Orthognathic surgery are very rare, how ever the regular risk of undergoing any surgical procedure under general anaesthesia cannot be ruled out.