Myths about corrective jaw surgery debunked
Celebrities have recently been speaking out about the painful recovery following corrective jaw surgery on reality television shows, heightening the myths surrounding this popular procedure.
Corrective jaw surgery, medically referred to as orthognathic surgery, is performed to correct a wide range of minor and major skeletal and dental irregularities, including the misalignment of jaws and teeth which, in turn, can improve chewing, speaking and breathing.
With the start of the summer, consultations for jaw surgery have increased three-fold, especially for aesthetic reasons, said ID Hospital in Seoul, which specializes in facial bone reconstructure.
According officials at the hospital, the myth about patients being unable to open their mouths after surgery is no longer true with the new software program that determines the jaw bone’s range of movement. A pin is inserted to keep the bone in place instead of tying the upper and lower teeth with a wire or rubber bands.
Patients often confuse corrective jaw surgery with facial contouring surgery, they said. Corrective jaw surgery realigns jaws and teeth, unlike facial contouring surgery that cuts the chinbone and cheekbones.
The most common misconception is that orthognathic surgery results in immediate aesthetic improvement. The recovery time is as important as the surgery, since the patient needs constant personalized treatment for a month until the final facial shape is set, they said.
Jaw surgery is recommended for patients with jutting chin, facial asymmetry and abnormally long faces. The surgical approach differs on a case-by-case basis, depending on the patient’s jaw and teeth position.
Doctors say adolescents are discouraged from this procedure since their facial bones are still developing.