Orthognathic surgery is a subspecialty of maxillofacial surgery that is combined with orthodontics to correct malformations of the jaws providing good masticatory function and correct facial aesthetics.
Dentofacial deformities appear when one or more bones that make up the face do not correspond to each other in size, shape and/or position, providing abnormal growth, possible facial asymmetries and poor dental fit, which affects the masticatory function and can even cause muscle and joint pain.
Many of these alterations take place during the age of growth and usually stabilize in adulthood.
Any facial bone can be affected by these alterations, resulting in a lack of functional and aesthetic harmony of the face that can condition the personality, even influencing the character and self-esteem of the person.
Cases in which this technique is used
Orthognathic surgery is aimed at adult patients, who have completely finished growing, with severe skeletal problems that prevent them from chewing well or wish to improve their facial appearance. The objective of orthognathic surgery is to place the bones in their proper position, restore masticatory function and improve facial aesthetics after the initial orthodontic or pre-surgical treatment performed by the orthodontist. There are conditions that may indicate the need for orthognathic surgery, such as difficulty chewing, chronic TMJ pain, chronic mouth breathing and dry mouth, sleep apnea, prognathism of the jaw, or disproportion between the facial thirds and facial imbalance.
Benefits and risks
Orthognathic surgery moves the teeth and jaws into more balanced, functional and healthier positions than other techniques. In addition to improved function and bite, many patients achieve improved facial appearance, breathing and speech. The results of surgery can have a very positive effect on many aspects of life, and self-esteem and confidence are likely to increase considerably. Risks of surgery may include swelling, temporary numbness or tingling sensation, or a risk of infection common to any operation. Limitation of jaw movement is another possible problem, so it is very important to follow the exercises proposed by the orthodontist after surgery.