How to Get Your Jaw Fixed in Singapore
The position of our jaw can greatly influence how our face looks aesthetically. Aside from this, it can also affect our body’s health when it comes to how it works. Our head’s skeletal feature may not be perfect. One such imperfection is easily noticeable when it concerns the jaw.
Misalignment is the common problem patients have when it comes to their jaw. This can pose challenges relating to our teeth, the way we eat and even speak.
Jaw problems can be addressed and you can have it fixed here in Singapore. This article will tell you how.
Why you need jaw surgery
A jaw surgery is done to correct the aesthetic or functional feature of the jaw. Having it corrected may improve the patient’s condition in the following ways:
- Adjust jaw closure issues or bite fit (open bite)
- Adjust extremely short lower jaw (hypoplastic)
- Adjust extremely long lower jaw (hyperplastic)
- Correct difficulties with swallowing
- Fix problems with speech
- Improve facial asymmetry
- Repair birth defects
- Repair damage to the face caused by injury
- Relieve difficulties caused by sleep apnea
Benefits of jaw surgery
Patients can reap several benefits concerning both their jaws and teeth
- Better sleeping conditions
- Ease in chewing and swallowing
- Facial symmetry
- Improved oral care and function for teeth and mouth
- Improved speech
Corrections done to a specific part of the jaw
The jaw is composed of two parts: upper and lower jaw. Both can be operated on simultaneously or separately, says Dr Seah Te, an oral & maxillofacial surgeon at TES Clinic for Face & Jaw in Singapore, depending on the assessment of your surgeon and the problems that you have.
Surgery done to the upper jaw is called a maxillary osteotomy. This can address problems, like a crossbite, open bite, and midfacial hypoplasia. Opposite to this, a mandibular osteotomy is done to the lower jaw. This addresses a receding or protruding lower jaw.
Jaw surgery expectations
Jaw surgery is a lengthy process. A treatment may be carried out between two to three years, depending on the severity of the patient’s condition. A patient will be subject to some tests (e.g. chest x-ray, ECG, blood tests) to ensure that they are fit to undergo the procedure. The process also involves orthodontic treatments. An orthodontic treatment takes most of the time in a patient’s jaw surgery journey.
Following the orthodontic treatment, a patient will be evaluated according to their readiness for jaw surgery. As soon as you receive a green light, your jaw surgery can be scheduled.
On the day of the surgery, a patient will be placed under general anaesthesia. You will not need to worry about experiencing pain or discomfort as you will be asleep from the beginning until the end of the surgery.
Jaw surgery is normally performed inside the mouth, with occasional tiny incisions done to the outer part of the mouth when required. The surgery may involve the use of screws, rubber bands, titanium plates, and wires to do the adjustments.
To correct your jaw’s placement, your doctor will cut the jaw bones and relocate them to the right position. Your doctor may also reshape the bone or make additions to the jaw bone if needed. Additional bone is usually harvested from your leg, hip or rib.
Scarring won’t be a problem if there are no incisions done outside of the mouth.
A patient will need hospital admission for this type of surgery. A stay of 2 to 4 days is usually required. Your jaw is expected to heal in 3 months’ time.
After a procedure, a patient is advised regarding diet and things that should be avoided during the healing period. Some if these tasks include:
- Avoid smoking
- Proper care of teeth and mouth
- Refraining from doing activities that needs to exert physical effort
- Taking of prescribed medications to reduce pain
Your doctor will also advise when you can return to work or school.
Short and long term side effects following a jaw surgery
Since jaw surgery is major surgery, there may be accompanying side effects following the operation.
Short-term side effects that are commonly encountered by patients are:
- Challenges with eating
- Lip abrasions
- Nose bleed
- Swelling in the parts where the surgery was done
Long-term side effects that can happen, although rare:
- Bite fit problems
- Infection of the plates inserted due to smoking
- Jaw fracture
- Jaw joint pain
- Numbness caused by damage to the nerves
- Recurring of the jaw’s misalignment
When this happens, a patient may need additional surgery.
Costs of jaw surgery in Singapore
An estimated cost of jaw surgery in Singapore starts at $10,000. This cost is for the surgery alone. Additional costs will include:
- Anaesthesia fees
- Hospital admission
- Orthodontic treatments
- Orthodontist’s fees
- Surgical room fees
Fortunately, jaw surgery is Medisave claimable. The maximum amount that Medisave can cover for this type of operation starts at $5,000. The amount claimed is always subject to Medisave approval and may or may not be according to the requested amount. The complexity of the procedure will also affect this.