What is Orthognathic / Jaw Surgery?
Orthognathic surgery is the broad term used to describe surgeries of the jaw. These procedures can include a wide variety of surgeries of the facial bones, the jaw or a combination of both, lefort 1 or leftor 2. The aim of orthognathic surgery can be summarized in three goals:
- The first is to provide ideal alignment of the upper and lower teeth. By providing an ideal alignment, a correct long term wear a comfortable bite should ensure.
- The second goal is to provide ideal facial proportions. The patients may have asymmetric faces with angle jaws and under bites, demeaning the overall facial feature. While manipulating the position of the jaws, the proper dental facial relationships can be established resulting in better facial harmony and aesthetics. Orthognathic surgery can also provide improved function. The jaws serve as an entry of air to the body. When the jaws are malpositioned, the patients may be left with difficult breathing.
- Finally, an adequate function of the jaw joint, namely the temporomandibular joint, is essential to the overall harmony, where improper position or accommodation of this joint can be the consequence of dental abnormalities.
Current technologies in the field of imaging and tridimensional modeling allow for much more accurate reconstruction and delineation of the different aspects of the jaw and the surrounding regions. Ideal facial relationships can be first established and these can be worked backwards to the current state, allowing for the surgery thereby to be performed according to a level of precision that was not possible before. Tridimensional models of the asymmetries and abnormalities can be taken into account, allowing the surgeon to establish excellent relationship of the jaws and teeth.
Due to the precision that can be obtained through current surgical trends, patients are able to open and close their mouth immediately after surgery, allowing them to eat normally and return to normal functions in a faster fashion, as opposed to antique techniques with bulky and hindering metal wires.
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