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Complex orthodontic cases may require the use of surgical orthodontics, also known as orthognathic surgery, to deliver the desired orthodontic outcome. “Orthognathic” literally means “straight jaws,” and orthognathic surgery is surgery to bring the jaws into a correct relationship. It is used to treat a variety of facial and jaw abnormalities in which the facial bones and teeth do not meet correctly. These abnormalities can result in difficulties eating and speaking, sleep apnoea and pain. In many cases, facial appearance is affected by this problem. Abnormal jaw and facial development can be genetic or acquired due to injury.

Using sophisticated surgical techniques, the facial bones in the maxilla, mandible and chin can be repositioned in order to achieve proper function and facial appearance. The surgery is carried out in conjunction with orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontist will place braces to align the teeth in preparation for jaw surgery. Braces remain on throughout the duration of the treatment, including surgery, and for approximately 6 months post-surgery.

Who needs orthognathic surgery? Patients with a severe skeletal problem or a very severe dentoalveolar problem, too severe for correction with orthodontics alone. The second major indication for orthognathic surgery is a condition in which a jaw discrepancy is beyond orthodontic camouflage. Camouflage is defined as displacement of the teeth to correct a malocclusion even though the underlying jaw discrepancy is not corrected. The term implies, correctly, that the jaw discrepancy is no longer is noticed and is not a problem.

Dr Siva has received advanced training in performing coordinated surgical orthodontic care, and has conducted research and published in this area: Harvard University / Boston Children’s Hospital Orthognathic Surgery Research and The Annals of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons.

Orthognathic surgery is performed at St John of God Hospital under General anaesthesia.

Will I need orthognathics?

Orthognathic surgery may be recommended where the discrepancy between the jaws is so material that orthodontic treatment needs to be combined with surgery to deliver the optimal facial profile. It may also be necessary to resolve difficulties with chewing, talking, sleeping and other routine activities.

This approach is more commonly required for adult patients where there is no adolescent growth and development left to guide movement of the bone and jaw. Sometimes orthognathics may also be required for an adolescent to achieve the optimal orthodontic outcome.

Dr. Siva will advise you if orthognathic surgery is required as part of your orthodontic treatment plan. Depending on the complexity of your case and the alignment of your jaw, you may or may not need surgery.

Our approach to orthognathics

Dr Siva has completed extensive training in caring for patients with dentofacial deformities in Australia, Boston, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and North Carolina.  He coordinated cares between multiple specialist dental and medical providers including surgeons, prosthodontists, anaesthetists, and periodontists.

Dr Siva works exclusively with a leading Specialist Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon to ensure to ensure you receive the best outcome possible.

Using the latest in digital imaging technology, we can demonstrate the overall functional and aesthetic benefits you may achieve by undergoing orthognathic surgery. Computerised treatment planning and digital smile design minimises treatment times, recovery periods and the overall efficacy of your surgery. State-of-the-art materials such as customized and 3d printed titanium plates provide stability, strength and predictability to your treatment. These advances in technology reduce operating time, post-surgical recovery time, thus allowing patients to return to their normal routine soon after the surgery.

What’s involved in orthognathic surgery?

Orthognathic surgery is performed in a hospital by the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. Orthognathic surgery can take several hours depending on each individual case. Since orthognathic surgery is a major medical procedure, we recommend you schedule some time away from work and school during the recovery period. After your jaw has healed, your braces will remain in place for between 6 to 12 months as we detail your occlusion. After your braces are removed, you will wear retainers to help maintain your new smile.

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with having orthognathic surgery. However, orthognathics has been performed for many years in practices and hospitals around the world. If you’re concerned about an upcoming treatment with orthognathic surgery, please contact our practice and let us know. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have, and provide you with any additional information you need.

Benefits of orthognathic surgery

For many patients, the most important reward of having orthognathic surgery is achieving a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. Whether you need orthodontic treatment to correct a bad bite, malocclusion, or jaw abnormality, orthognathic surgery can help restore your confidence and may leave you smiling with confidence for many years to come.

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"Complex cases may require surgery to achieve optimal facial harmony."