Corrective jaw surgery – also called orthognathic surgery – is done to correct jaws that are misaligned or have grown unevenly, causing problems with oral function and/or appearance. It is generally a collaborative process, involving a Singapore oral and maxillofacial surgeon, an orthodontist and other dental professionals, and typically includes orthodontic treatment both before and after surgery. Among the most frequent questions patients ask as they begin to learn about the treatment process is this: Can I have corrective jaw surgery without orthodontic treatment? The short answer is, generally not, and here we'll explain why orthodontic care is typically essential to the process.
Why Orthodontic Care Is Important To Your Corrective Jaw Surgery Results
Corrective jaw surgery is a treatment that is done in adult patients. While the need for surgical correction of poor jaw alignment or uneven jaw growth may be evident earlier, best long-term results are achieved if surgery is delayed until jaw growth and development is complete. In the meantime, teeth tend to move into less than optimal positions as the body tries to compensate for the malocclusion – or incorrect bite. For example, in patients with a significant overbite, the upper teeth may tip inwards and the lower teeth tip outwards, while in patients with a substantial underbite, the lower teeth tend to tip inwards, and the upper ones outward.
In either of these common situations, correcting the positioning of the jaw without addressing the abnormal tooth alignment that poor jaw alignment has caused generally results in upper and lower teeth failing to fit together properly. This leaves the patient with unresolved functional and aesthetic issues, as well as the same risk of long-term complications that was present before surgery – which can include jaw pain, headaches and abnormal tooth wear that can eventually lead to serious dental problems.
Orthodontic treatment before surgery reverses the damage that poor jaw alignment has done in terms of tooth positioning. To prepare your mouth for optimal oral function, comfort and appearance after surgery, your orthodontist will move your teeth back into proper position, ensuring that they will fit together correctly after your Singapore oral and maxillofacial surgeon has resized, reshaped or repositioned your jaws as necessary to correct poor positioning and/or alignment.
While months of orthodontic treatment before corrective jaw surgery may seem like a hassle, in the end, it is well worth the time and trouble. Forgoing that care means leaving the job half done – which means that you won't get optimal results in correcting the difficulties that your poorly aligned jaws have caused, whether those are functional issues, like poor biting and chewing efficiency or impaired speech, aesthetic ones that affect your self-esteem and self confidence, or some combination of both. The bottom line is this: When it comes to corrective jaw surgery, it just makes sense to do everything possible to make sure it's done right the first time.