Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Nitty-Gritty

You might have read words like maxillary impaction in my previous post that went right over your head and left you wondering, "Wait, what on earth are they doing to your jaw?" So, let me sum it up and get down to the nitty-gritty for you by defining a few key terms and further explaining my orthognathic surgery.


  • Maxilla: upper jaw. The jaw that they'll be operating on.
    • Maxillary: referring to the upper jaw
  • Mandible: lower jaw. The jaw they won't be operating on.
    • Mandibular: referring to the lower jaw
  • Orthognathic: functional relationship of maxilla and mandible. Orthognathic surgery is what makes a disfunctional bite a funtional bite.
  • Maxillofacial: of or relating to the jaws and face. Yep, it's just a fancy word for the jaw/face area.
  • Malocclusion: a misalignment of teeth or incorrect relation between the teeth of the two dental arches. My malocclusion is called an 'open bite.'
    a classic open bite
  • Open Bite: a malocclusion in which the front teeth, both upper and lower are forced outwards to an extent that the teeth of the upper and the lower jaw do not touch each other, even when the mouth is closed. Basically, my molars touch, but my front teeth do not.
  • Impaction: the condition of being or process of becoming impacted. Okay, duh. But what this means in terms of orthognathic surgery is the fracturing/cutting of the jaw bone and pushing the two parts back together in a new way.
  • Segmentation: division into separate parts or sections. My maxilla will be segmented into three different parts.
 My Surgery
What I'm having done is a maxillary impaction and segmentation. This means a few things in my case: (1) they'll be taking a few millimeters off of my top jaw, shortening it so that my lower jaw can come up and forward to better meet the upper teeth; (2) they'll be moving the top jaw forward a bit to account for this new upswing of the lower jaw; and (3) they'll be trisecting it—cutting the maxilla into three pieces so as to better maneuver correct occlusion.

Here is a photo of the projected changes the surgeon will make.
 (Sorry, it's hard to see. But the light grey lines are traced from my current face, 
and the dark grey lines are where the bones will be moved to during the surgery.)

To get a better idea, here are two quick videos that provide a visual of what I'll be having done:

 (unlike this video, I did not have any teeth removed, but rather small gaps created at the incisor teeth)

No comments:

Post a Comment