If your dentist has recently told you that you might need a mandibular osteotomy, you may be wondering what the surgery involves and what problems it can correct.
In this article, find out everything you need to know about mandibular osteotomy.
The purpose of mandibular osteotomy
Mandibular osteotomy is an orthognathic surgery technique that is used to readjust the position of the lower jaw, or mandible. This operation is one of the most common procedures performed by maxillofacial surgery specialists.
Often preceded by orthodontic treatment, this surgical procedure involves cutting through the mandible behind the teeth in order to move it forward or backward, depending on the patient’s needs. It is used to treat facial skeletal anomalies of the lower jaw, such as retrognathism and prognathism.
Reasons to have jaw surgery
Mandibular osteotomy offers many health benefits:
- Improves dental occlusion and masticatory function, and helps to reduce the risk of developing more serious problems in the long term
- Corrects speech and swallowing problems
- Corrects facial asymmetry that helps with confidence and self-esteem
Mandibular osteotomy procedure
There are steps that must be taken before proceeding with a mandibular osteotomy.
Some patients will need orthodontic treatment before undergoing surgery. When orthodontiste decides that you are ready for the surgery, he places braces that can be modified to wire the jaws together and keep them in the correct position during surgery.
If the patient does not require orthodontic treatment, the maxillofacial surgeon, in some cases, can install an archwire to keep the jaws properly positioned during surgery.
The surgeon will take 3D x-rays of the patient’s facial structure in order to create a detailed surgical plan for optimal jaw placement.
Mandibular osteotomy is a major surgery that is done in the hospital center under a general anesthetic. The entire surgery is performed inside the mouth to prevent any visible scarring.
The surgeon begins with the osteotomy, cutting through the bone of the lower jaw. Two incisions are made, one on each side, so that the dental arch can be separated from the rest of the jaw and repositioned without affecting the teeth.
During the planning stage, the surgeon determines the jaw position that will result in the best possible dental arch alignment. Once the ideal lower jaw placement has been achieved, the surgeon wires the teeth together to keep the jaws in position.
Finally, the surgeon reattaches the jaw in its new position with titanium plates and screws and closes the incisions made in the gums.
The surgery generally takes one to two hours, depending on the severity of the anomaly.
What to expect after surgery
It is normal for the cheeks and lips to swell after a mandibular osteotomy. The edema usually peaks on the second day following surgery and then decreases slowly over the following weeks. Bruises on the jaw and the neck are also common and will disappear at the same timeframe as the swelling.
The jaw will be extremely sensitive in the days following surgery, so the patient will need to start with a liquid diet and switch to soft foods if the surgeon recommends.
Maintaining good oral hygiene is very important to prevent infections at the surgical site. The surgeon will provide the patient with clear instructions for taking care of their dental health without pain after the operation.
Finally, the maxillofacial surgeon may prescribe analgesics to minimize pain during the healing process. They will also provide guidelines for optimal recovery.
For more information, take a look at our guide to preparing for maxillofacial surgery.
Orthognathic surgery at Clinique Evoro
Mandibular osteotomy is an orthognathic surgery technique that is used to reposition the lower jaw and correct facial asymmetry or dental malocclusion.
Looking for a clinic in Gatineau that specializes in oral and maxillofacial surgery? Want to learn more about mandibular osteotomy and orthognathic surgery? Contact Clinique Evoro today.