People who wish to improve their bite and smile, have a more harmonious face or rest well at night are candidates for orthognathic surgery. An intervention that corrects these alterations, the origin of which lies in an unfavorable proportion of the facial bones, and for which there is an ever-increasing demand. Dr. Fernando Gómez López, head of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Unit at Hospital Quirón Salud Valencia, explains what Orthognathic Surgery consists of.
How can a person detect whether he or she is a candidate for orthognathic surgery?
Some patients present significant alterations in occlusion. Their teeth do not fit together correctly, they show too much gum when smiling or they cannot close their mouth completely. Their facial profile may be elongated with prominent chins, have a short jaw and short face or an unaesthetic facial profile and shape. In addition, in some cases they present very serious cases of nocturnal snoring or sleep disorders. If the origin of all these alterations is in the shape and position of the facial bones, orthognathic surgery is the solution.
What does orthognathic surgery consist of?
In many cases, orthodontic treatment is performed to prepare the teeth, then during the operation the jaws are moved to their ideal position and then the treatment is adjusted again with orthodontics. However, if there are no very serious alterations and we foresee that the teeth will fit in a stable way, surgery can be considered first, which is known as “Surgery First”. In addition, it leaves no external scars, they are all inside the mouth, and, contrary to what people think, it has very controllable discomfort.
It is, therefore, a multidisciplinary treatment.
Yes, this treatment requires the close and intimate collaboration of orthodontists and maxillofacial surgeons, the former as occlusion specialists and the latter as surgical specialists specifically qualified to perform these operations due to the training they receive during their training process.
How is the operation planned?
Thanks to 3D computer planning we can preview the surgery, see the exact millimeters we have to move teeth and bones, the future impact on the shape and harmony and aesthetics of the smile and face and the breathing space we are going to gain. It is a great peace of mind for the patient, for the surgeon and for the orthodontist because we can plan the whole process very accurately. In any case, the most important thing is always the experience and training of the treatment team.