Orthognathic surgery: solution for jaw displacement

What kind of functional problems can a chin deformity or displacement cause?

Displacement or deformity of the jaw can cause various functional problems. If the teeth do not fit together properly, chewing is impaired. This lack of dental meshing decreases the possibility of crushing food correctly and can make it difficult to swallow.

When the jaw has not experienced adequate growth or is in a more retracted position, it can favor the appearance of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, in which there is a decrease in the entry of air into the upper airway. In this disease, cardiac, respiratory and neurological disorders develop. The pronunciation of various sounds is sometimes hindered by poor positioning of the teeth.

Finally, the jaw, with an alteration in its position, can influence the appearance of pain in the region of the temporomandibular joint and cause dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint.

What does orthognathic surgery consist of?

Orthognathic surgery comprises a group of interventions whose purpose is to correctly position the maxilla and mandible, seeking to improve the esthetics of the face and correct functional alterations caused by a bad position of the maxilla and mandible, trying to normalize the bite or dental occlusion.

This surgery requires a previous study of the aesthetics of the face and the disposition of the teeth. After this, a treatment planning is performed in which the new position of the maxilla and mandible is calculated to produce the best possible aesthetic and functional result for the patient.

The procedure is performed through incisions inside the mouth and does not leave scars on the skin.

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The maxilla and mandible are mobilized after osteotomies or cuts in the bone. The bones are placed in the position previously planned in the preoperative study. These bones are stabilized thanks to small titanium fixations and this allows the patient to return to normality in the shortest possible time.

Is the operation painful and how will the patient feel after the operation?

Treatment with analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics is necessary after the operation. They control the pain that may occur and reduce the possibility of infection. There is a facial swelling that resolves in a few days. Normal chewing is difficult during the first two weeks, returning progressively to normal in a short time.

Should the patient have any kind of postoperative care? Will he/she have to undergo any kind of rehabilitation?

For a few days it is usual to wear rubber bands between the teeth that prevent the mouth from opening completely and help to settle the operated areas. The inflammation will subside in the following days. During this time the specialist in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery instructs the patient in the jaw movements to be performed, these being simple and painless.

The first day after the operation the patient starts with a liquid diet. The following days the patient continues with purées. Approximately 10 days after the surgery, soft feeding is started.

Will there be scar marks after the surgery?

It is an intervention that is done inside the mouth, so there is no external scar. An operation of this type can be performed completely through the oral cavity, with the advantage that this entails in terms of physical recovery and the absence of external signs.