What’s a corrective jaw surgery?

A beautiful, symmetrical face is defined by well proportioned, harmonious features. Many times, when a person is growing up the upper and lower jaw develop in a different pace while, in other cases, the asymmetry in the jaws is due to an accident. Whatever the case the result remains the same: jaws and teeth don’t meet together causing aesthetic as well as functional problems that can affect speech, chewing or breathing. The surgery that corrects the upper and/or the lower jaw so that they meet correctly is known as orthognathic or corrective jaw surgery.

Who’s a good candidate?

A corrective jaw surgery concerns patients whose jaw is not positioned correctly, either because of an accident, either because they were born like this or because their jaws did not fully grow. The ideal candidate should be an adult, healthy person with realistic expectations. The procedure of correcting the jaws takes a long time and needs careful planning. It is most probable that patients will need dental and orthodontic treatments before and after the orthognathic surgery in order to achieve the best result and the perfect jaw function.

Facts I need to know

This particular surgery is performed in an organised clinic, under general anesthesia and patients usually are required to spend 1 to 2 nights in the hosmpital. The procedure needs careful planning and is completely personalised and customised to the patient’s needs. Depending on the case the doctor will decide to correct the upper, the lower or both jaws. When the doctor corrects the upper jaw she will reposition the bones above the teeth in order to move the whole jaw as well as the upper teeth in a new position where they meet with the lower jaw and teeth. A similar procedure can be performed on the lower jaw if necessary. The surgery is performed in the inner part of the mouth and there are no visible marks from the incisions. In order to have the perfect result there may be a combined surgery on the chin, when it is too small and causes a dysmorphy of the faces’s profile or affects the lower jaw’s function.

Recovery Time

After a correcctive jaw surgery patients experience pain that is treated with common medication and, depending on the procedure’s extend, they may return to their work in the next 1 to 3 weeks. Moreover, they notice swelling that gradually subsides. Patients should follow a liquid diet for a short time and they should avoid strenuous physical exercise. Results are immediately visible but they continue to improve for the next 6 weeks, once patients have completely recovered. A corrective jaw surgery’s result is permanent and becomes even better once the necessary orthodontic corrective treatments are completed.