Sometimes the jaw can grow asymmetrically or be too small or too large. This can result in a problem with the way the teeth bite together. Orthognathic surgery is the term given to the procedure used to correct any discrepancy between the jaws. Usually treatment is provided by a Consultant Orthodontist and a Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeon with support from other health care professionals as required. The aim of treatment is to improve both oral function as well as dental and facial appearance.
At consultation a full history and assessment is undertaken. Clinical photographs are taken and further investigations such as x-rays and CT scans are arranged. Impressions will be taken of the teeth by the orthodontist and these are cast into models. This information is then used to plan treatment.
The treatment phase consists of an initial 12-18 month period of orthodontic treatment with braces prior to the surgery. Sometimes extractions of teeth are required to create space to move and straighten the teeth within the jaws. Once the teeth are in the correct position a final surgical plan is made to straighten and align the jaws. This involves a further appointment with the orthodontist and surgeon and new x-rays and models of the teeth are taken.
Following surgery a further period of 4-6 months of orthodontic treatment with braces is usually needed to achieve the final position of the teeth.