Jaw surgery and braces often work together if a person is experiencing jaw problems. Well, in some cases, braces alone will do. However, there are still jaw problems that orthodontic treatment can’t correct alone. A maxillofacial surgeon may require their patient to wear braces before and after the corrective jaw surgery. In some cases, before the orthodontist can fit your braces to your teeth, you might need to undergo surgery first.
Jaw surgery and braces
Jaw surgery and braces often work together to correct mouth issues. Corrective jaw surgery or orthognathic surgery is the solution to fix jawbone irregularities. These are the cases that braces alone cannot work out if they concern the jawbone’s structure.
In general, jaw surgery aims to improve teeth and jaw function. Aside from that, it will also make a difference to the patient’s facial appearance. The orthodontist may require the resetting of the jawbone before they can proceed with the orthodontic treatment.
On the other hand, jaw surgery is not appropriate for individuals who do not have complete bone growth. They still have to wait for the right age before they can undergo surgery. An orthodontist works with a surgeon in developing a treatment plan for the patient.
They have to consider every detail about the patient’s overall condition. There are several reasons why a patient will need surgery, which this article will discuss next.
Reasons why you need a jaw surgery
An orthodontist will require medical surgery in preparation for an orthodontic procedure for the following reasons.
- The surgery can help reduce excessive teeth wear.
- It also works out jaw closure difficulties.
- Additionally, it is an excellent option to relieve chronic mouth breathing.
- Jaw surgery can also correct the problems relative to swallowing or speech.
- Moreover, a patient will need it if they have a facial imbalance (asymmetry).
- Another reason is the pain from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
- A patient may also require surgery if they have facial injury or birth disorders.
- Surgery may also be the solution to relieve obstructive sleep apnea.
There could be more reasons why an orthodontist will require you to undergo jaw surgery. An orthodontic treatment, like braces, may not be enough to work these oral issues fully. In this case, corrective jaw surgery is necessary before the orthodontist can do their part.
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon performs corrective jaw surgery. They have enough knowledge and training to treat problems involving the face, mouth, and jaw. Overall, the surgeon and orthodontist will discuss your treatment plan together.
These medical professionals aim to provide the patients with excellent results and tremendous facial and oral improvements in the end.
Application of braces
Braces will become necessary after the surgery to further perfect the patient’s bite. For this reason, the patient will wear braces for a couple of months to a year. The length of time that patients will need to wear braces depend on their oral condition.
The orthodontist will explain this matter to their patient. They will give initial information of how long a patient will need to wear them. Furthermore, the length will also depend on how quickly the teeth will react over the treatment.
In actuality, braces do not serve as a corrective action only. Dental professionals can use them as an anchor during surgery and recovery. Here are the details about the function of braces in the different phases of surgery.
- Before surgery: Both the orthodontist and oral surgeon will determine between teeth and jaws cause the misalignment. In this case, the orthodontists will use braces to align the teeth before the surgery takes place. Once the teeth are in place, the maxillofacial surgeon will then proceed with the jaw placement.
- During surgery: In this phase, the oral surgeon will be using several elastic bands to the braces. In effect, the jaw will remain in its place while it is healing.
- After surgery: At this period, the braces will be necessary until patients completely heal their jaw and the teeth become aligned. After braces removal, the patient still has to wear a retainer to keep the teeth in their positions.
In this case, we can say that braces and jaw surgery work together in addressing jaw and teeth irregularities.
Like any other procedure, surgery can involve risks that every patient should be aware of beforehand. The surgery may include the following hazards.
- Excessive bleeding
- Dental damage
- Facial numbness
- Anesthesia reactions
- Nerve damage
- Poor cosmetic results
- Jaw issue recurrence
- Pain and swelling
- Need for further surgery
On the other hand, jaw surgery is safe as long as you are working with an experienced surgeon, with the collaboration of an orthodontist.
After the surgery, the patient should be well aware that things will not be the same immediately. They have to focus on their recovery. In this case, they have to follow the aftercare instructions from the surgeon.
These aftercare instructions will help the patient recover quickly. It includes the following.
- Your surgeon will provide pain medications. Take them as prescribed to prevent infection and relieve discomfort.
- After your surgery, your diet will initially involve full liquids. Your surgeon will recommend the proper diet you have to follow to recover quickly. Moreover, your surgeon will tell you when you can begin to chew food again.
- Oral hygiene will also become difficult at first after the surgery. Gently brush your teeth when you get home. Frequently rinsing your mouth using water, salt water, or mouthwash will help maintain the cleanliness in your mouth.
- During your recovery period, it would be best to focus on healing first. Avoiding strenuous activity is necessary.
- Additionally, it would also help if you don’t use tobacco products during this time. Tobacco products can hinder the healing process.
Generally speaking, the complete healing process may take up to 12 weeks. However, the braces may take several years to achieve the final results entirely.
Expectations after surgery
Jaw surgery will allow you to correct the alignment of your jaws and teeth. As a result, it can give you the following outcomes.
- The patient’s lower face will have a balanced appearance.
- Additionally, their teeth’ function will significantly improve.
- Furthermore, it can also improve the patient’s sleep, breathing, chewing, and swallowing.
- Besides that, it can also help work out speech impairments.
- Overall, the patient will have an improvement in their appearance. In effect, it can heighten up their self-esteem.
In the final analysis, the patient will welcome various changes in their facial and oral condition. Given these points, undergoing jaw surgery and braces will be an excellent option to correct jaw and teeth irregularities. Sooner or later, the perfect smile is within reach.