Orthognathic Surgery

When a smile cannot be treated with braces (or Invisalign) alone, sometimes in non-growing adults a surgical approach is required…

Orthognathic surgery, also known as corrective jaw surgery, is typically used to correct conditions of the jaw that are related to structure, growth and other factors such as malocclusion.

Orthognathic treatment at MYORTHODONTIST…

If Dr Rapaport examines the condition of your smile and finds that your jaws are too narrow, wide or misaligned for orthodontic treatment then he may recommend orthognathic surgery. He will ensure you are fully informed of what you need and the process he will take to realign or resolve any issues with your jaw.

No treatment will be conducted at MYORTHODONTIST without your informed consent, and we are always happy to answer any and all questions you may have pertaining to orthognathic surgery.

The improvement can be very dramatic…

Don’t worry, it is not often necessary and we reserve it for cases that quite obviously have a jaw or profile issue, not just to an orthodontist, but even to the person looking across from the adjacent car at the traffic lights. In our practice it is usually only 2 or 3 cases a year but when it is recommended, the improvement can be very dramatic and make such a positive difference to a person’s life.

Following diagnosis, the process is usually 6-9 months of pre-surgery orthodontics, then 2-3 days in hospital in the care of experienced jaw surgeons, followed by a further 6-9 months of post-surgery orthodontics, before routine retention. There are obviously extra surgeon’s fees and hospital costs, but if you have private health cover, it’s usually quite affordable.

In the pre-surgery orthodontic phase we straighten the teeth, open deep bites and widen narrow dental arches. What we are trying to ensure is that the upper and lower sets of teeth will intermesh closely in the new jaw relationship that the surgeons will soon provide. We are often making the malocclusion worse temporarily before the surgery.

We aim to get the best facial balance…

Sometimes only one jaw will be operated upon. Other times a two jaw procedure is necessary to get the best facial balance. Routinely, orthognathic surgery patients are discharged from hospital after two days and jaw movements are restricted by elastic bands between the top and the bottom orthodontic appliances. A soft diet is necessary. Previously, the jaws had to be wired completely shut while the bones were healing but no longer. Ten to fourteen days recuperating at home follows. Someone to offer chicken soup and tender loving care (TLC) is most desirable and the two of you can admire the new you as the swelling goes down.

Now the last phase of orthodontic treatment commences. The new bite is made to fit as best as possible for function and appearance before active tooth movement stops and the appliances are removed and retainers are issued.

Dr Morris Rapaport

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