How jaw surgery can improve your life
You may not know it, but you probably have certain health conditions that are caused by your jaw’s misalignment. If you have been experiencing discomforts with the area around your mouth while eating or sleeping, then it is time that you visit TES Clinic for Face & Jaw and get a consultation. Chances are, you may need to undergo jaw surgery to improve your condition. Read more about this surgical procedure in this article.
Jaw Surgery: What it is and why is it done?
First off, let us discuss what exactly is jaw surgery and the reasons behind why it is done.
Jaw surgery, likewise known as orthognathic surgery, is a surgical procedure that addresses problems concerning the jaw which orthodontics solely cannot fix. The operation mainly adjusts the jaw’s misalignment as well as any other conditions that affect its ability to function correctly. Aside from improving its function, jaw surgery can also make the appearance of your face more symmetrical and enhance your look.
There are different reasons why jaw surgery is needed. Here are some:
- Alleviating any discomfort felt when eating or swallowing
- Correcting facial conditions caused by birth defects (e.g. cleft palate) or damage due to an injury
- Fixing your bite
- Improving the symmetrical aspect of your face
- Improving speech difficulties
- Keeping the oral health in excellent health
- Lessening aches and pains caused by temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
- Relieving problems encountered when sleeping, such as obstructive sleep apnea and breathing through the mouth
Who are the best candidates for jaw surgery?
Individuals who exhibit the any of the symptoms mentioned above are good candidates to undergo jaw surgery. However, do note that the surgery cannot be done when the body has not stopped growing yet. Males over the age of 21 and females over the age of 16 can undergo jaw surgery, but it is best that a doctor assesses a patient’s condition to be sure.
Who can perform jaw surgery?
A jaw surgery is performed by surgeons specializing in the field of oral and maxillofacial surgery. There may be instances that an oral and maxillofacial surgeon partners with an orthodontist to do this operation. This occurs when an orthodontic procedure is unable to address a patient’s condition, such as teeth alignment with the use of braces.
What are the types of jaw surgery?
There are three types of surgery that address problems in the different areas of the jaw and face. These are:
- Mandibular Osteotomy
- Maxillary Osteotomy
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) Surgery – Arthrocentesis, Arthroscopy, Open joint surgery
Genioplasty. Chin surgery or Genioplasty is done to the upper and lower jaws. Its aim is to fix the alignment of a receding chin.
Mandibular Osteotomy. A mandibular osteotomy addresses conditions that affect the lower jaw (mandible) to correct either its significant regress or protrusion.
Maxillary Osteotomy. This type of jaw surgery is performed on the upper jaw (maxilla) to address a crossbite or open bite, adjust an upper jaw that protrudes, lessen midfacial hypoplasia.
Temporomandibular joing (TMJ) Surgery. This surgery is done to correct a disorder which disrupts the optimum functionality of your jaw and causes pain or stiffness in the area. There are three types of TMJ Surgery:
- Arthrocentesis – This is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a fluid that is injected into your jaw’s joint. The fluid works to clear out the factors that cause inflammation in the joint to ease the pain and improve its mobility.
- Arthroscopy – This surgery uses a technique that uses an arthroscope—a tool that is equipped with a light and camera—that is inserted into small holes made to the skin covering the joint of the jaw. Using the arthroscope and mini surgical tools, different procedures can be performed to administer medication, remove scar tissue, decrease the inflammation and pain, or reform the joint.
- Open-joint Surgery – This procedure is done to repair TMJ disorders that are severe. To do this, your surgeon will create a cut over the joint to make an opening and directly operate on the joint. Excess tissues or bone growths will be removed. Damages to or misalignment of the disc will also be fixed.
Are there risks involved in jaw surgery?
Jaw surgery, just like other surgical procedures, is not without risks, despite being usually safe. Your surgeon should discuss the possible risks of the surgery prior to scheduling one.
There are the risks to look out for:
- Adverse reaction to anaesthesia
- Complications with alignment or bite after the surgery
- Jaw relapsing to its original position.
- Jawbone fracture
- Loss of blood
- Nerve injury in the jaw area
- Too much bleeding
How do you prepare for jaw surgery?
Prior to your scheduled jaw surgery, inform your doctor about the medications that you are currently taking. Likewise, let your surgeon know about allergies that you may have. This is to allow your medical provider to take precautions and ensure your safety during your surgical procedure.
Your surgeon should let you know if you need to avoid eating or drinking before your surgery. If you need to take any medication, remember to take little sips of water.
If you are working, it is best to request for at least five days of leave from work for you to rest and recover from the surgery.
At least two days before your surgery, do your grocery shopping. Chewing will be a challenge during the recovery, so store up foods that you can liquefy and nutritious beverages. Include broths, soups, fruit and vegetable juices, milkshakes, and protein powders to your grocery list. A blender is needed to make your liquefied food. Be sure to have one in hand before the surgery.
Ask someone close to you to assist you during and after your surgery. You are going to need help to get home following the surgery. It is best that you have a friend or family member beside you to give assistance as you will experience discomfort and may be unable to do chores on your own while you are recovering from your jaw surgery.
TES Clinic – Dr Seah TE
304 Orchard Road, Lucky Plaza Suites
#05-42, Medical Specialists
+65 6737 0552
+65 9735 9930