A dazzling and naturally beautiful smile is among nature’s most valuable blessings. A survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found that people with straight teeth and charming smiles were perceived as more attractive than those with bad or crooked teeth. So, having straight, perfectly aligned teeth is a crucial requirement for having a dazzling smile.
But what about those who don’t have straight teeth? Thanks to modern dentistry, there are several ways in which damaged teeth can be fixed to restore one’s smile and personality. Among them, cosmetic dentistry is widely used for rejuvenating flawed smiles. However, there are certain cases when crooked teeth cannot be treated with cosmetic dentistry or orthodontic treatment alone. In such cases, dentists perform jaw surgery to fix the underlying issue.
If this is the first time you have heard about jaw surgery, there is no need to worry; this blog will explain everything you need to know about orthognathic surgery and when it is required.
Is Jaw Surgery Worth It?
Jaw surgery is usually the last resort for dentists when cosmetic dentistry procedures are insufficient to treat the underlying issue. For example, a mismatch between the size of the upper and lower jaws can only be fixed through surgery. But yes, when indicated, jaw surgery proves beneficial in restoring one’s smile and dental function.
How Do Oral Surgeons And Orthodontists Differ?
Oral surgeons and orthodontists are both dentists. However, they specialise in different fields. An oral surgeon is a specialist dentist trained to treat problems involving surgical procedures in the oral region. For example, oral surgeons routinely perform tooth extractions, wisdom tooth impactions and other minor surgical procedures. On the other hand, an orthodontist specialises in treating problems involving the growth and alignment of the jaws and teeth. For many patients orthodontists and oral surgeons work together to achieve the best results.
Is Jaw Surgery Complicated Or Risky?
Jaw or orthognathic surgery typically involves realigning the jaws or adjusting their size relative to the other counterpart. So, this type of surgery is relatively simple and safe. However, the risk of adverse effects or complications is always there in the case of surgical treatment. But no need to worry; with an experienced and qualified oral surgeon performing your treatment, you can rest assured that you are safe.
Will You Need Braces After Jaw Surgery?
The purpose of orthognathic surgery is to fix very complex or complicated orthodontic issues. Once the surgery has been performed, dentists typically prescribe braces or aligners to their patients to perform fine-tuning. Moreover, jaw surgery is mainly to fix jaw alignment or size mismatch. So, even if that is fixed after the surgery, many patients still need braces to get their teeth realigned.
Can You Fix Jaw Alignment Without Surgery?
Not every jaw alignment issue requires surgery. In some cases, when jaw misalignment is detected early, orthodontists use functional appliances to correct the problem. The idea behind functional appliances is to use the growth spurt during puberty and redirect jaw growth towards optimal alignment. However, jaw alignment issues diagnosed after puberty almost always require surgery followed by orthodontic treatment with braces or aligners.
What Is Orthognathic Surgery? Is It Better Than Braces?
Orthognathic surgery refers to any surgical procedure performed in the oral, head, or neck region to optimise the alignment and size of the facial and jaw bones. This procedure is only performed when traditional orthodontic treatment braces or aligners are insufficient to treat the issue. So, braces and jaw surgery cannot be compared per se. Although both these procedures aim to improve tooth and jaw alignment, they work differently.
Can I Talk After Jaw Surgery?
After jaw surgery, dentists usually immobilise the mouth using wires. This procedure, called fixation, ensures that the bones re-aligned during the surgery do not move unnecessarily, and their reunion occurs optimally. During this period, patients cannot speak and can only communicate using sign language. Furthermore, they mostly remain on a liquid diet using straws. The fixation wires are removed when optimal healing has taken place.
I Have An Uneven Jaw. Will Surgery Or Braces Help?
After a clinical examination, your dentist will determine whether you need braces or jaw surgery to fix the misalignment of your jaws. During the examination, your dentist will also look at the digital X-rays and study models of your teeth to diagnose the underlying issue. Afterwards, based on the severity of the issue, your dentist will recommend a treatment option, such as braces, aligners, removable orthodontic appliances, or jaw surgery.
When Is Surgery Required Instead Of Braces?
Orthodontic appliances are typically the first line of treatment for orthodontic issues. Orthodontic appliances are beneficial in treating problems related to the misalignment of the teeth. Although braces or aligners can also fix minor jaw misalignment, jaw surgery is needed for extensive misalignment or size mismatch between the jaws. Your orthodontist will recommend the most suitable treatment option after a thorough clinical examination.
Jaw surgery is a specialised procedure performed by qualified and experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeons. If your dentist has informed you that you need orthognathic surgery and you’re looking for the best oral surgeon in Ely, your best option is Ely Smiles. We have a team of highly qualified dentists trained to treat all general and specialised dental issues.
Contact us for more information. We would love to hear from you!