Corrective jaw surgery – or orthognathic surgery – is done to correct problems with oral function and/or appearance issues caused by jaws that are poorly aligned. Poor jaw alignment can be caused by jaws that are mismatched in size due to uneven jaw growth, or jaws that are shaped or positioned abnormally, causing malocclusions – conditions in which the teeth cannot meet properly. Among the most frequent questions asked by patients who are considering jaw surgery is whether it will be necessary to have both braces and surgery. In most cases, the answer is yes, since both are typically needed to correct the issues caused by poor jaw alignment.
Orthognathic surgery is a treatment process in which a Singapore oral and maxillofacial surgeon and orthodontic specialist work in cooperation to correct malocclusions. The reason that orthodontic care is part of the process is that when jaws are not aligned properly, the body will do its best to compensate for that defect by moving the teeth into positions that work somewhat better – as far as biting and chewing – in the misaligned jaw.
Of course, those teeth will then be very poorly positioned once the jaw is moved into proper alignment by corrective jaw surgery. Leaving the teeth in those improper positions will typically, rather than correcting the malocclusion, create an entirely new one. This leaves the patient with a better looking jaw, but poorly aligned teeth that still cause functional and/or aesthetic issues, and are still at risk for the potential long-term complications of malocclusion – jaw pain, headaches and abnormal tooth wear that can lead to decay, tooth loosening and infections, as well as increased risk of gum disease.
So, if you're having corrective jaw surgery in Singapore, you can expect to be told that you'll need braces. After all, good surgeons and orthodontists aren't likely to agree to leaving the job half done. Your orthodontist will likely use braces and other orthodontic techniques before surgery to move your teeth into a good position for your soon-to-be well-aligned jaws, a process that generally takes between 6 and 9 months.
Then, your Singapore oral and maxillofacial surgeon will perform the surgical portion of your treatment, resizing, reshaping or repositioning one or both of your jaws as necessary to ensure proper alignment. After a healing period – typically about 8 weeks – you will probably need more orthodontic work to fine tune your teeth, putting the final touches on your newly corrected bite. In the end, doing the job properly will pay off in terms of your oral health and appearance, results that will be well worth the time and discomfort of being treated with both braces and corrective jaw surgery.