Orthognathic treatment is a combination of orthodontics and jaw surgery. Orthognathic surgery is required more often with adults because we don’t have the option of moving the bone as it develops as we do with children. As an orthodontist, it is my job to line the teeth up straight, and then the surgeon will proceed to move the top and bottom jaws so the teeth match. Orthognathic treatment involves extensive planning, including measuring, evaluating x-rays, making models, and taking photographs. Once the plan is finalized, the treatment begins. From the data taken from the CBCT 3D scanner, we can actually do a virtual surgery to see how to move things and how everything will look after the procedure is done.
Though this treatment takes time, the benefits that you can gain from it are numerous. Orthognathic treatment will improve your bite, making it easier to chew and eat, correct swallowing and speech problems, relieve pain caused by TMJ, provide relief for deficient breathing and sleep conditions, and correct facial imbalances. In many cases there is an obvious change and improvement in facial appearance; in others it may not be as apparent. By aligning your jaw, you are not only caring for your oral health but giving yourself a better quality of life and protecting your overall health.
With all of that said, I like to let my patients know that when considering orthognathic treatment, it is essential to be aware that often the patient will look different to family and friends once the procedure is completed. For instance, if before surgery they had a protruding jaw, that will no longer be the case after surgery. Still, in the hundreds of orthognathic instances I’ve seen over the years, only one patient regretted doing it. Regrets are so few because even though the patient may look different, the results are always an improvement.