Jaw surgery or orthognathic treatments are used to straighten misaligned jaws. Often times during childhood, your upper jaw or maxilla, and your lower jaw or mandible can become misaligned which can lead to overbites, crooked teeth, and other oral health complications.
Corrective jaw surgery can improve the way your face looks and feels, enhance the functionality of your jaw, and it can lead to better breathing, eating, and chewing.
If you want to know whether you need jaw surgery or not, or about its costs, treatment options, recovery time, aftercare, and some possible risks, read this article till the very end. This information will clear your confusion about corrective jaw surgery and better prepare you to make a decision.
Symptoms That Show You Need Jaw Surgery
If you are not sure whether to have jaw surgery or not, you need to know what some of the main symptoms of having misaligned jaws are. Following are some of the main warning signs that you need to be aware of
- Difficulty bringing lips together, biting, chewing
- Using your mouth for breathing
- Jutting jaws
- Birth abnormalities and face injuries
- Retruded chin
- Facial symmetry issues
- Congenital disabilities like cleft palate
- TMJ or chronic jaw joint pain
Corrective jaw surgery is most effective for young children whose jaws have not fully developed yet. If you catch this issue early, only orthodontic procedures can be used to align your jaws.
As you grow older and your jaws develop, the treatment options become very limited. This is where invasive jaw surgery might be recommended to you by your dentist.
How Does Jaw Surgery Work?
The type of surgery you need depends on your specific jaw alignment. A team of doctors including oral surgeons, dentists, and orthodontists assess your situation and decide whether you need surgery for the upper jaw, lower jaw, or both jaws at the same time.
Jaw surgery involves repositioning your jawbone to make it shorter or longer to give your teeth a more natural placement. Recent technology has made it possible for patients to see the final results even before the surgery has been performed.
The whole alignment procedure takes about two years. There is 6-12 months of pre-operative treatment, after surgery 3 months of recovery time, and then 3-12 months of post-surgical orthodontic treatment.
The surgery itself is finished in 1.5 to 6 hours based on the number of surgical procedures that are needed.
Jaw Surgery Cost in London
Jaw Surgery in London can cost you anywhere between £8,000 to £15,000 for everything from pre-surgery treatment to hospital bills and aftercare.
There are many factors that determine the cost of the jaw surgery. These include the location of the hospital, type of surgery, complexity of the jaw disorder, fees charged by the surgeon, anaesthetic provider, and the hospital, and the follow-up treatment.
Effective Jaw Surgery Procedures
Based on the severity of misalignment and jaw positioning, you can choose any one of the following jaw surgery options
This is also known as upper jaw surgery where the oral surgeon makes an incision in your gums and then by cutting, and breaking, moves the upper jaw to its right position. After that, they place a plastic wafer on the teeth for more accurate alignment.
Finally, the jaw is fixed in its place using metal plates and titanium screws. This type of surgery can be used to treat overbite, open bite, and crossbite.
Sometimes also referred to as lower jaw surgery, this treatment is extremely effective in fixing underbites. In this surgery, the doctor will correct the position of your lower jaw by moving the lower jawbone a little.
This is also known as chin surgery which is used to correct receded chin lines, chin excess, or chin misalignment. The chin is reshaped either by using chin implants or by repositioning the bone that supports your chin.
In this procedure, the dentist makes a small incision under your chin or inside the lower lip. After that, they can either adjust the positioning of the chin bone or they can insert an implant through this opening.
If you have severe pain in your jaws and muscles that move your jaws, you might have TMD. Open-joint arthroplasty is among the most common treatments to correct TMD.
During the treatment, a small camera or arthroscope is inserted into a small incision in front of your year, and scar tissue around this joint is removed carefully.
This is another effective way to treat TMD where a sterile fluid washes out your temporomandibular joint. This removes debris and other harmful elements from this joint thus relieving pain.
Recovery and Aftercare
You can go home after one day of having this surgery. The recovery usually takes about 6-8 weeks which is the time required for your bones to fully heal.
Following is the recovery timeline for this surgery
- You feel soreness for two to three weeks which is normal. The swelling usually lasts for about 3 weeks.
- Make sure to drink plenty of water and fluids and sleep well for better recovery.
- Take your antibiotics and painkillers regularly as advised by your doctor.
Jaw Surgery Risks and Possible Complications
Though jaw surgery is mostly safe, still there can be some complications that you need to be aware of.
Here are a few risks of invasive jaw surgery
- Jaw fracture
- Recurring jaw pain
- Surgical site infection
- Poor bite post-surgery
- Numbness of face and lips
- Temporary nerve damage
Having a jaw surgery is not an easy decision to make. You need to consider a lot of factors like its cost, recovery time, aftercare plans, and recovery duration before you make your decision. If you conduct thorough research and consult an expert dentist or surgeon about your jaw misalignment issue, you will soon find the best possible treatment for yourself.
You need to weigh all the benefits and risks of this surgery and then decide accordingly. This will help you figure out what to expect before, during, and after your surgery which will lessen the stress to some extent.
Get in touch with Specialist Dental Services for expert insights and consultation about Jaw Surgery in London, UK.