Dr. Kean discusses orthognathic, or jaw, surgery. He touches on candidates for the procedure, what it generally entails, and the planning and healing phases of treatment.
Dr. Kean: Orthognathic surgery is the reconstruction of the jaws to
correct malocclusions or deformities of the jaws or face.
Patients who need orthognathic surgery are generally
those that have significant gummy show when they smile, or
significant overbite of overbite. The patient is generally referred
to us by their general dentist for evaluation for a
significant deformity or malocclusion. Also, the
orthodontist might refer a patient for evaluation.
We'll have the patient come in, typically before any
orthodontics are performed and evaluate their bite. The
indications for orthognathic surgery are to improve
the occlusion. They can also greatly improve facial appearance, but the
main reasons for orthognathic surgery are functional.
They provide better chewing ability, better health of
the peridontium and better jaw-joint health.
Orthognathic surgery is one of the most complex surgeries
performed by the oral surgeon. It's a hospital-based surgery
where the upper and/ or lower jaw are moved to a new
position. It's all done within the mouth with no internal scars and
there's no more wiring the teeth together. It usually requires 1-2
weeks of at- home recovery, but most people can return
to work or school within 1-2 weeks. Although there are
significant cosmetic advantages to orthognathic surgery, it's
performed for medical reasons, for functional reasons, and it is
covered by medical insurance.