Corrective jaw surgery may be performed to help correct a severely misaligned bite
Corrective jaw surgery, commonly known, as orthognathic surgery is a common procedure performed to improve a person’s ability to chew and speak. In turn, corrective jaw surgery can have a number of aesthetic benefits and other functional improvements too. Some of the concerns that may be fixed with corrective jaw surgery include jaws that are too large, too small, too far forward, too far back or crooked. This may cause a significant gap between the upper and lower front teeth.
The corrective jaw surgery procedure
Your surgeon will carefully cut the bone and move the jaw or jaws as required. Where a small jaw may be lengthened, a large jaw may be shortened. Fortunately, your surgeon will place the incisions inside your mouth, so there will be no visible scars. In the case where your surgeon needs to make an incision on the face, they will be careful to hide it in the natural skin creases so that it will be minimally visible.
Once the jaws have been positioned appropriately, they will be fixed permanently with small bone plates and screws made of titanium. The duration of corrective jaw surgery can differ depending on the complexity of the case. Surgery can range from 1-4 hours.
Corrective jaw surgery recovery
You will stay in hospital for a period of time, between one and three days after your surgery. During this time you will remain on IV fluids to prevent dehydration and infection. Once you can eat and drink on your own, you will be discharged from hospital.
Dissolvable stitches will be used on the incision, which will gradually dissolve over two to three weeks. Sometimes they might fall out earlier than this, which is fine, as long as there is no persistent bleeding. Although brushing may be difficult during the first week of recovery, it is very important to keep the mouth clean and healthy top prevent infection. You should rinse your mouth with warm salt water and chlorhexidine mouthwash, as prescribed by your surgeon. Soft foods should be eaten for four to six weeks after surgery until you feel comfortable to move on to a regular diet.
If you are to receive orthodontic treatment, you will most likely be able to visit your orthodontist around two to three weeks after corrective jaw surgery. Follow-up care is essential to ensure that your jaw is healing correctly and that they are staying properly aligned.
Corrective jaw surgery at OMFS in Melbourne
If you have been referred for corrective jaw surgery, fill out our patient registration form here!