Oral disability is a very frequent problem among people over 65 years of age in Spain. It is estimated that one in five people in this age group is totally edentulous. For these cases, dental implant surgery has achieved spectacular advances, being possible today to replace dentures with fixed teeth in just one day.
One of the latest technological advances in this field is minimally invasive guided implantology, a technique that allows – using sophisticated computer programs with 3D technology – to place the implants practically without surgery and in a very precise manner, which, in addition to good results, reduces inflammation and pain considerably.
The most complicated cases are still those in which there is no bone to anchor the implants. Although you can choose to place bone grafts today it is possible to avoid it thanks to a new technique based on placing the implant in the bone that exists under the cheekbones are called “zygomatic implants”. This would allow us to place fixed teeth even in cases where the bone has been almost completely lost.
Orthognathic surgery consists of operating on the bones of the face to achieve an improvement in appearance and smile. Usually, these interventions are performed in patients who present a bad occlusion, that is to say, a bad fit of the teeth, but, apart from achieving a perfect smile, the benefits in the face are very important since it seeks to recover the harmony between the different areas of the face.
To obtain the best results, pre-surgery analyses are performed using photographs and 3D images of the patient, obtained with modern low-radiation scanners. These tests are introduced into the computer, where they are analyzed by means of specific programs based on 3D technology, which allow us to determine precisely how the bones are positioned and how they affect the different parts of the face.
The same program allows us to modify the position of the bones of the face until the normal values are established. In this way, we can make an approximation of how the new face will look after the operation.
Benefits of new technologies
This technology applied to surgery has managed to reduce the duration of operations, simplify procedures and shorten hospital stays, making these types of operations more and more common.
How orthognathic surgery is performed
A standard operation is performed under general anesthesia, lasts between 2 and 4 hours and requires a hospital stay of about 24-48 hours. The greatest benefit for the patient is that the postoperative period is painless and with variable swelling that disappears within 7 to 10 days.
The patient will have no visible scars -they are all inside the mouth- and will be able to start eating a soft diet after 2 weeks. In the case of our clinic, we have the added advantage of having a plastic and aesthetic surgeon, which allows us to combine these procedures with others such as cosmetic rhinoplasty, cervical liposuction or cheekbone prosthesis.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a serious problem and severe cases have a mortality four times higher than people without apnea. The solution is to sleep connected to a machine called CPAP that introduces pressure into the airway, but there are people who do not tolerate it well and others who simply do not want to sleep all their lives plugged into a machine.
In these cases, orthognathic surgery is an effective technique to solve almost all situations. The most serious cases are solved by moving the bones of the face forward to widen the airway, taking advantage of 3D planning that calculates how much we can move these bones without damaging the physical aspect.