While braces can straighten teeth, the end result of orthodontic treatment is restricted by the foundation on which teeth rest – the jaw. The jaw, also known as the mandible, may be in the wrong position or just too narrow to accommodate a lovely large smile if you have a significant orthodontic condition. Jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, addresses the underlying cause of your face, profile, or smile not being as flawless as it may be. This treatment is becoming increasingly popular among patients since the outcomes are truly life changing.
Jaw surgery is recommended if a patient’s jaw problem cannot be treated effectively by orthodontics alone. Besides improving facial appearance, jaw surgery is usually performed to correct problems with bite, or occlusion in orthodontic terms. For people with certain orthodontic conditions, this type of treatment improves chewing or biting food, swallowing and speaking. It is also recommended as a surgical management for people with obstructive sleep apnoea.
In most cases, orthodontic treatment is started for 12 to 18 months before jaw surgery is performed. The surgery is performed under general anaesthesia and it requires a hospital stay of 1 to 3 nights. After surgery, 3 to 6 months of orthodontics is generally required to fine tune the final position of the teeth and bite.
If you are considering jaw surgery, you should speak to your dentist or orthodontist about it. Dr Vaz works closely with a number of leading oral and maxillofacial surgeons in Singapore that provides corrective jaw surgery.