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A number of patients have asked us about orthognathic surgery and if it's a good option for them. Let's take a moment to consider the topic in a bit more detail.
Orthognathic surgery refers to surgery performed on the jaw. It can sometimes combine oral surgery with orthodontic care in order to address malocclusion. This procedure involves the careful surgery on the upper and/or lower jaw in combination with the use of carefully applied pressure in order to shift the bones into a more ideal position, enhancing overall alignment in the process.
Traditional orthodontics does not involve the use of oral surgery in the vast majority of cases, relying instead on the carefully applied pressure to the teeth via brackets, wires, and bands. (In the case of Invisalign, the pressure is the result of custom dental aligner trays.) When performed for teeth alignment needs, orthognathic surgery brings surgery and orthodontics together in order to achieve better overall dental alignment in a much faster time than traditional orthodontics.
The benefits of orthognathic surgery include exceptional treatment for TMJ disorders, sleep apnea, jaw deformities, and jaw injuries. The treatment is also faster for addressing malocclusion and improved dental health overall once the patient's teeth are straightened.
Since surgery is involved, the primary risks of orthognathic care include infection, poor recovery and healing times, and other factors related to the nature of the surgery. It should be noted that patients often experience pain and discomfort after surgery given the amount of changes made to the jawbone structure, and that a diet of soft foods is required for several weeks as a part of treatment.
The main advantage of orthognathic surgery over traditional orthodontics is that it can completed in a much faster time than the use of braces or Invisalign. In some instances, full improvement of the dental alignment takes as little as three or four months. Treatments times are often cut in half when compared to traditional orthodontic methods.
Orthognathic surgery is particularly ideal for patients with severe malocclusion issues that cannot be addressed through traditional orthodontic care, patients who suffer from serious sleep apnea, patients who have major issues with their TMJ, or who suffer from jaw deformities of different kinds.
Apart from the discomfort associated with the oral surgery, the primary disadvantage of orthognathic treatment is its cost. The procedure is much more expensive than traditional orthodontics, and it is rarely if ever covered by a patient's insurance for that particular need. Insurance coverage may be available for treating sleep apnea, TMJ disorders, and jaw deformities and injuries, however.
There is no one answer to this since the overall quality of treatment and the needs of each patient will vary. During a consultation at our practice, we can discuss orthognathic surgery in greater detail and help you make the best possible decision when it comes to your dental health needs and options.
For more information about orthognathic surgery and how it can help your smile be straight and healthy, it's important that you contact our advanced oral surgery center today. Dr. Andrew Glenn and the entire team here will go over the various advantages and disadvantage of care.
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