Orthodontia combined with jaw surgery

Par Dr. Normand Bach 10/10/2018

When they hear the word “surgery”, many people feel like running in the opposite direction as fast as they can. However, not all cases can be treated through braces alone. For some patients whose skeletal development is complete, surgery is necessary in addition to wearing braces or undergoing an Invisalign treatment for adults. Over time, some adults may find themselves with significant misalignment of the jaw, which can only be corrected through surgery. If you suspect that you need jaw surgery (called “orthognathic surgery”), before you head for the hills, consult an orthodontist. He or she can make an assessment and let you know what treatment is the most appropriate one in your specific situation.

How do I know if I need surgery?

There are a number of reasons why surgery might be indicated or why a patient might want to learn more about the possibility. Gums that are too apparent, a lower jaw that’s too weak, a lower jaw that’s too prominent, trouble swallowing or chronic jaw pain are just a few examples. If you feel like one of these examples applies to you, it might be recommendable that you have surgery on your jaw in addition to braces or an Invisalign treatment.

Advantages of orthodontic treatment combined with surgery

The purpose of jaw surgery isn’t simply esthetic. While it’s true that it improves the patient’s appearance in many cases, there are other benefits, as well. This type of surgery notably improves the ability to chew, which has a direct impact on the patient’s general health, in addition to helping ensure that the patient’s teeth remain in good long-term condition. In some cases, these surgeries can even help open up the patient’s airways. Many people are surprised to learn that certain cases of sleep apnea can be resolved through jaw surgery.

How much do these types of procedures cost?

It’s nice to know that certain major surgeries are covered by the Quebec Health Insurance Board (RAMQ). However, in most cases, the patient will be responsible for the fees related to the dental appliance. A private insurance plan might reduce these costs. It’s also a good idea to ask your orthodontist if there are any payment agreements that might apply to your situation. Most orthodontists offer good payment plans to help ease the financial burden associated with this kind of treatment.

Finally, if it’s the operation, itself, that’s making you hesitant, it’s important to know that this type of surgery—which surgeons have been doing for years—is performed under general anesthesia. These days, thanks to technological advances, it’s a routine operation. So there’s no reason to hesitate! Patients who have taken advantage of these types of procedures have seen vast improvements in their quality of life. If you have questions or concerns, consult your orthodontist. This is the person who is in the best position to steer you in the right direction.

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