Our Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery office is one of the top orthognathic surgery practices in the nation, treating patients from all over Los Angeles, Southern California, and beyond. Orthognathic surgery (also called corrective jaw surgery) is an umbrella term that refers to any procedure that corrects a bite problem or skeletal issue with the upper or lower jaw. We have performed thousands of orthognathic surgical procedures working as partners for almost 10 years. The goal is to improve the alignment of a person’s bite, facial balance, and increase the size of the airway.
From the time of your initial consultation, we have designed a treatment model that tries to make the best possible patient experience. We have a staff of multiple orthognathic specialized assistants and skilled treatment coordinators to make your experience a good one. If treatment is performed in our office, you should know that it has Joint Commission accreditation, which means that our practice and staff meet the highest standards of care.
Patients who suffer from bite alignment problems, discomfort, or other issues can experience a range of benefits.
Below are a few reasons we encourage patients to consider jaw surgery:
- Prevents dental problems. Alignment problems can cause excessive tooth wear, which can lead to more dental health problems. Orthognathic procedures can prevent this wear.
- Better eating function. Bite problems can make it difficult to chew or digest certain foods. After treatment, many patients find that they can enjoy a more varied diet.
- Improves breathing/sleep apnea symptoms. It can be difficult for some patients to close their lips fully, causing issues with mouth breathing. Sleep apnea can also develop when the position of the jaw restricts the airway. Jaw surgery can correct or improve these types of breathing problems.
- Improvements in facial balance and symmetry. Oral surgeons understand the importance of preserving your appearance during treatment. This treatment can improve the balance of the facial features.
This treatment has helped many patients become healthier and happier, and our practice specializes in jaw procedures. Our unique specialists can do many things to tailor your treatment to your needs. In some cases, we can even perform orthognathic surgery using Invisalign® instead of traditional braces. Contact our office to learn more about the benefits of seeing jaw specialists like our staff.
Corrective Jaw Surgery Procedure
The treatment process involves three major stages: consultation with pre-surgical preparation, the surgical procedure, and the recovery period. Usually, your oral surgeon and your orthodontist will work as a team throughout the treatment process.
The consultation is the time to discuss your condition and goals for treatment. Our surgeons will thoroughly review your records and tailor a treatment plan to your needs. All necessary imaging will be taken during this appointment. These digital 3D scans allow your surgeon to plan your treatment more accurately. The surgeon will take the time to discuss the recommended procedure, risks, benefits, and alternatives. After the surgeon is finished, a treatment coordinator will discuss how to maximize your insurance benefits. The entire consultation appointment takes roughly two hours to complete.
After your consultation, we will be in communication with your orthodontist to discuss our findings and present our recommendations. Working together, we will develop a customized treatment plan for you. Once a treatment plan has been established, our office will obtain authorization from your insurance carrier and discuss the financial arrangements with you.
Before your surgery can be done, your orthodontist will align your teeth with braces or Invisalign®. This often takes 9–18 months, but in some cases, surgery can be done first. When your orthodontist feels that you are almost ready, you will come to our office for a return visit, and your surgical appointment will be scheduled.
After your teeth are aligned, you will be scheduled for a surgical planning appointment, which will need to be two weeks before your surgery. At this appointment, very precise records will be taken for the planning of your treatment. A virtual model of your teeth and facial skeleton will be created, and virtual surgery will be performed. From this technology, positioners will be 3D printed to ensure that your surgery is accurate and precise.
Your surgery will be performed at either a local hospital or at our accredited surgery center. We only work with experienced anesthesiologists who are familiar with orthognathic procedures. Your comfort and safety are our top priorities. After anesthesia is administered, your surgeon will position the jaws and secure them using tiny biocompatible plates and screws. Your teeth will not be wired together after the procedure. The latest advancements have virtually eliminated the need to do this. You will then spend one night in the hospital or in an aftercare facility.
Facial swelling usually will increase for the first two to three days. Most of the swelling will resolve within the first few weeks; however, healing will continue for four to six months. Apply ice packs (20 minutes on/20 minutes off) and keep your head elevated (extra pillow or recliner). Bruising may occur after a few days. In some cases, the bruising may extend onto your upper chest. You will be on a liquid diet for the first week and then a soft diet until around eight weeks. While you are on a liquid diet, meals may include juice, broth, and milk products. Liquid supplements can also be used such as Boost® and Ensure®. You should try to have four to six liquid meals a day to be sure that you are receiving ample nutrition and hydrations. No smoking is allowed in the post-operative period. You will be brushing your teeth gently with a child-size toothbrush.
Usually, we recommend taking between one and three weeks off work or school, depending on the extent of the surgery and the type of work you do. Your surgeons will prescribe liquid pain medication and monitor your progress closely during the first few weeks of healing. Once you can open your mouth wide enough, your orthodontist will make the last few adjustments to your braces. Usually, this is just fine tuning, and the amount of time you have braces after surgery will be much shorter than the period before.
Orthognathic Surgery at Los Angeles Center for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Orthognathic surgeries are some of the most common procedures we perform, making our surgeons some of the most experienced jaw experts in California. Jaw surgery can be a lengthy process, and our staff will work with you and your orthodontist to produce the best possible results from your treatment. If you are interested in learning more, we will be happy to schedule your consultation with one of our surgeons. Contact our office in Los Angeles, CA, for more information.