Orthognathic surgery just means surgery related to the jaw, from the Greek word “orthos.” Orthognathic surgeries are usually necessary when your jaws don’t meet or close correctly, and your teeth don’t quite fit within the jaw. An orthognathic surgery can take care of a range of problems, including straightening the teeth in conjunction with orthodontics, and repositioning a misaligned jaw. It’s important to make sure that your jaw fits correctly not only for appearance, but so that your jaw can function properly.
Most people who require an orthognathic surgery are aware of the need before making the appointment or getting a diagnosis. It’s less common for patients to know about the full range of options available to them. As your jaw grows and matures throughout the course of normal growth and development, sometimes growth stops before completion that leaves it ill-fitting. The jaw can be left in a state where it doesn’t close or fit correctly, which can be painful, cause trouble eating, or just be aesthetically displeasing.
Disharmony in the jaw can be caused by one of several things, and determining that cause is important to prescribing a treatment plan. That could be: A genetic expression of growth History of trauma Abnormal or exuberant activity of a grown center from an unknown cause such as the TMJ region Tumors Other pathologies A simple genetic expression of normal growth is by far the most common. As such, most treatment plans are focused on returning balanced function to the jaw.
If you have difficulty in any of the following areas, you should consider an evaluation of your jaw:
A lot of these symptoms can be present from birth, and many are the result of either hereditary or environmental influences, or as a trauma to the face. We can assess your condition with a complete examination in which we’ll take some x-rays of your jaw to fully assess its condition.
Dr. Shahriari uses the latest technology to diagnose and treat jaw conditions. We use facial x-rays and computer video imaging to show a three-dimensional model of your jaw so you understand exactly how we’re going to approach the surgery. We can walk you through the treatment options, the extent of the treatment, and how an orthognathic surgery will benefit you. We use cutting edge technology that uses virtual surgical planning (VSP) to take a 3D image of the jaw and face. Surgery can be performed on the computer using the model to make sure of the correct anatomy and correct craniofacial position. Knowing the exact location of the nerve and other sensitive anatomy, as well as being able to plan out our exact cuts on the jaw leads to a smoother surgery.
Preparation for orthognathic surgery usually involves a preliminary period in which you’ll need to wear braces. Orthodontics are a key part of the treatment process. These will be removed before surgery, and may need to be changed after the surgery. Modern jaw surgeries can have you resume normal jaw movement soon after surgery, though you may need to stick to a soft diet for a period following surgery.
If you have any questions about orthognathic surgery, or would like to make an appointment for a jaw assessment, please contact us online for call us.