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Jaw Surgery and Dental Implants in Singapore Blog

Corrective jaw surgery- orthodontics or jaw surgery?

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Most medical problems have at least two possible solutions; surgical and non-surgical. Given that most people do not like to be cut, non-surgical options are by far the preferred option for most patients. For example, if you have some clogged-up arteries in your heart, do you go to a cardiologist or a heart surgeon. From what I understand from my heart surgeon friends, the first stop tend to be cardiologists these days. This is understandable as cutting open your chest to do a by-pass graft scares the living daylights out of most people. Compare this to someone inserting a wire from you thigh up to the heart to unblock the artery. Jaw deformities like an underbite or overbite, within certain limits, can be moderated with non-surgical treatment like orthodontics. But the key is knowing the limitations.

 

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A little bit of orthognathic surgery but not too much

 

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It is quite common in my practice to have patients coming in to ask for jaw surgery to correct what they feel are minor deformities. They often say that they are not seeking major changes and only want a bit of surgery but not too much. Every often, such requests are harder to fulfill than requests for extreme makeovers. Jaw surgery can achieve dramatic changes in facial appearance especially in cases of gross discrepancies of facial bone proportions and symmetry. However, for the patient who says she does not want major changes, is orthognathic surgery suitable?

 

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Medical tourism for corrective jaw surgery in Singapore

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Singapore has a long history as a medical tourism destination. The high standard of healthcare, comparable to the best of America and Europe, has attracted many patients from Asia. Some of the most commonly sort after procedures by medical tourists are cardiology and oncology. Corrective jaw surgery http://www.aestheticjawsurgery.com/orthognathic-surgery-singapore-corrective-jaw-surgery is slowly increasing in demand as well. What is the process of a medical tourist seeking corrective jaw surgery in Singapore?

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Corrective jaw surgery for the middle-age patient

 

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Most patients for corrective jaw surgery are teenagers or young adults. It is often at this age that the patient is aware of the problem and seeks treatment. The motivation for seeking surgery is usually a combination of functional problems and aesthetics. However, increasingly, I am seeing more middle-aged patients. Are these “older” patients suitable for such surgery?

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Do I need to remove the fixation plates after corrective jaw surgery?

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Corrective jaw surgeryis a procedure whereby the jaw bone is cut, detached, moved to a different position and held there with some sort of fixation device. In the past, the fixation device comprised mainly stainless steel wires to tie the jaws in the new position. Today, this is achieved by using plates and screws placed internally to provide a rigid fixation. Some patients are concern about the possibility of setting off metal detectors at the airport while others wonder whether having the metal plates and screws in their body affects their health in the long run. Can these fixation plates and screws be removed? Should they be removed?

 

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Who calls the shots in orthognathic surgery- orthodontist or surgeon?

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Many conditions require multi-disciplinary management. For example, ischemic heart disease may require the expertise of the cardiologist and the cardiothoracic surgeon. In the same, way, dentofacial deformities require the expertise of the orthodontist and the maxillofacial surgeon. The best outcome is achieved when surgical and non-surgical options are considered, balancing the treatment objectives and the risks involved. However, very often, the treatment plan depends on who is primarily in charge of the treatment planning.

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Is orthognathic surgery considered as plastic surgery in Singapore?

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Orthognathic surgeryis the surgical correction of dentofacial deformities. Orthognathic is derived from two words, “ortho”, which means to straighten and “gnathic”, which means jaw. It refers to the “straightening” of the jaws, i.e. changing the form of the jaws. Plastic surgery, contrary to popular perception, does not necessarily mean cosmetic surgery. “Plastic” means changing the form. And so it is any surgery that changes the appearance/shape or a part of the body. With such a definition, corrective jaw surgery in Singapore be considered as plastic surgery. But is it cosmetic surgery?

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Maxillo-mandibular advancement surgery for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

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 This is NOT a post about mixed martial arts. MMA in this post refers to maxillo-mandibular advancement. This is a surgical procedure of bring the upper jaw (maxilla) and the lower jaw (mandible) into a more forward position so as to open up the airway for breathing. Just as cosmetic jaw surgery is known as orthognathic surgery, “ortho” referring to “straightening” and “gnathic” meaning “jaws”, MMA is sometimes referred to as telegnathic surgery, with “tele” meaning “advancing”. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition whereby breathing is blocked during sleep due to some anatomical structures obstructing the flow of air from the nose or mouth into the lungs. So, how does MMA solve the problem of OSA.

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Corrective Jaw Surgery in Singapore– public or private hospital?

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Last week, after a rather lengthy consultation, a patient asked me whether it is better for her to do her corrective jaw surgery in a public or private hospital. This is not an uncommon question but every time I hear that, I will pause for a while before answering. The critical issue here is of course what your definition of “better” is. 

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Is orthognathic surgery medically necessary?

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It is not uncommon for insurance companies to question the medical necessity of orthognathic surgery. Certainly, the most noticeable benefit of orthognathic surgery is the cosmetic improvement. However, the objective of the surgery is not always cosmetic enhancement but a functional restoration. Sure, there are some that are more cosmetic than functional. Dentofacial deformities, which orthognathic surgery seeks to correct, constitute a spectrum rather than specific disorders. Can we draw a line separating the functional from the cosmetic?

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