Orthognathic surgery, also known as jaw surgery, involves repositioning the jaws to repair skeletal irregularities and enhance the appearance and functionality of the face. Individuals with significant malocclusions or jaw deformities that cannot be treated by non-surgical methods often receive the surgery recommendation. Although orthognathic surgery has many advantages, some people might prefer other alternatives because of its intrusiveness and associated risks.
Non-surgical procedures like orthodontic treatment (Invisalign, braces, etc.), as well as orthodontic camouflage techniques, dental restorations, and face fillers, are all alternatives to orthognathic surgery. These alternatives might be preferred by people who are apprehensive about undergoing surgery or who have less severe jaw discrepancies that can be fixed without surgery.
In this article, we will discuss alternative options to orthognatic surgery, along with their advantages, disadvantages, and considerations. We will also go through Class II orthognathic surgery, orthognathic surgery insurance coverage, and finance advice. Whether you’re considering jaw surgery or other alternative options, it’s worth knowing all of the possibilities available to make an informed decision that best meets your specific needs.
Orthognathic Surgery Alternatives (Non-Surgical Options)
Orthognathic surgery is frequently performed to address skeletal irregularities and enhance jaw function and appearance. However, there are a few solutions accessible for people looking for non-surgical options or who are dealing with limitations.
One option is the orthodontic camouflage technique, which uses braces to conceal skeletal abnormalities. While this technique can enhance the smile’s aesthetics, it does not solve jaw or facial profile functional problems.
Another option is dental restorations like crowns or veneers. These operations concentrate on enhancing the teeth’s aesthetics but do not address underlying skeletal issues or functional problems.
Non-surgical treatments for jaw correction such as chin implants or fillers attempt to improve face proportion and profile without changing the skeletal structure. These techniques are unable to address significant skeletal discrepancies.
It’s crucial to remember that alternative solutions have concerns and restrictions. Dental restorations and orthodontic camouflage methods might only offer temporary improvements that don’t solve functional problems. While chin implants and fillers can improve look, they cannot correct major jaw misalignment. Consulting with a skilled dental professional is necessary to choose the best course of action depending on each patient’s needs and objectives.
Other Exceptional Options
In a small group of patients, there may be more options available such as using TADs (Temporary Anchorage Devices). This option will be discussed with you at your consultation visit if this method is suitable to the treatment of your malocclusion.
Orthodontic Camouflage Treatment with Tooth Extractions:
As long as the jaw alignment/size discrepancy is mild enough, the malocclusion may be corrected by Orthodontic Camouflage Treatment. As the name implies, this method of treatment only hides the underlying problem rather than treating it. This is achieved by removing one or more teeth and moving the rest in place to correct the way the upper and lower teeth meet.
Although the jaw problem is not rectified, you will have a good bite with aligned teeth. You should not expect significant improvements in your profile without orthognathic surgery. It is also important to stress that changing the treatment plan from this option to the surgical option will be very difficult and may increase the treatment time significantly.
Class III and Class II Orthognathic Surgery
Class III and Class II malocclusions are types of dental misalignments that affect the relationship between the upper and lower jaws. When the lower jaw projects forward in front of the upper jaw, it is classified as a Class III malocclusion and is also referred to as an underbite. This kind of malocclusion can lead to issues with chewing and speaking as well as facial asymmetry and a sunken appearance. It can also influence facial aesthetics and function.
A Class II malocclusion sometimes referred to as an overbite, is when the upper jaw protrudes forward in front of the lower jaw. This kind of malocclusion can result in both aesthetic issues like a receding chin and functional issues like trouble speaking and chewing.
Traditional orthognathic surgery is a surgical approach that involves repositioning the upper and lower jaws to correct the misalignment. The jawbone is often sliced during this treatment, moved into the correct position, and then fixed in place with screws and plates so that it can recover. Although somewhat invasive and necessitating a lengthy recovery period, this method is quite efficient for treating severe malocclusions.
Non-surgical methods including orthodontic treatment and the use of functional appliances like headgear and braces are alternative options for Class II and III correction. These non-surgical methods can be successful in realigning teeth for patients with mild to moderate malocclusions.
In addition, less invasive surgical techniques can be utilized to treat severe malocclusions, such as distraction osteogenesis, which gradually lengthens the jawbone with the aid of a distractor. The severity of the malocclusion, the patient’s particular requirements and preferences, and the advice of the treating orthodontist and oral surgeon will ultimately determine the course of therapy.
Insurance Coverage for Orthognathic Surgery
Depending on the patient’s insurance plan and the particulars of their case, insurance coverage for orthognathic surgery may vary. If the misalignment of the jaws is causing severe aesthetic concerns or functional issues, such as difficulty speaking or chewing, insurance companies will frequently view orthognathic surgery as a medical necessity. However, insurance companies could want specific documentation, including X-rays and medical records, to verify the surgical necessity.
It might be difficult to navigate the insurance procedure for orthognathic surgery, but there are a few strategies that can help optimize coverage. First and foremost, it’s critical to comprehend the precise conditions of the insurance plan, including any prerequisites for pre-authorization or supporting papers.
In order to make sure that the insurance company receives the essential data, patients should also coordinate with their orthodontist and oral surgeon. Patients may also think about appealing a denied claim because some insurance companies may initially deny coverage but later approve it.
There are still ways to pay for orthognathic surgery if your insurance does not cover it. Many oral surgeons provide financing solutions that let patients stretch out the cost of the procedure over time, like payment plans or medical credit cards.
Other sources of funding, such as personal loans or healthcare finance firms, are also available to patients. Before committing to a financing plan, it is crucial to carefully weigh all available financing choices, comprehend the costs involved, and take into account the repayment conditions.
In order to successfully manage the insurance process and discover the best financing choices for their particular needs, patients should collaborate closely with their orthodontist, oral surgeon, and insurance provider.
What is orthognathic surgery?
Orthognathic surgery, also known as corrective jaw surgery, is a surgical procedure that is used to correct a wide range of skeletal and dental irregularities of the jaw and face. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon often performs this kind of surgery, which may be combined with orthodontic treatment.
Repositioning the upper and/or lower jaw during orthognathic surgery helps the jaw and teeth to be more evenly spaced out. Using specialist tools and methods, the jawbones may be cut and repositioned. Screws and plates may also be used to maintain the jaw in its new place while it heals.
Malocclusions (misaligned teeth or jaws), facial asymmetry, and respiratory issues brought on by structural abnormalities of the jaw and face can all be treated by orthognathic surgery. The operation can enhance a patient’s ability to chew, speak, and breathe while also enhancing the jaw and face’s function and aesthetics.
Orthognathic surgery is frequently carried out under general anesthesia, and patients must adhere to a rigorous postoperative regimen that includes a modified diet and limited physical activity. The length of the recovery period will vary depending on the complexity of the procedure and how quickly each patient heals.
How to know if you need jaw surgery?
A full evaluation by an orthodontist and/or oral and maxillofacial surgeon is necessary to determine whether you require jaw surgery. However, there are some signs and symptoms that may indicate the need for jaw surgery, including:
- Difficulty biting, chewing, or speaking
- Chronic jaw pain or joint pain
- Chronic headaches or migraines
- Breathing problems, such as sleep apnea or snoring
- Esthetic concerns, such as a receding chin or asymmetrical facial features
- Inability to fully close or open the mouth
- Excessive wear or damage to teeth due to a misaligned bite
It is crucial to seek advice from an orthodontist or oral and maxillofacial surgeon for a thorough evaluation if you are exhibiting any of these symptoms. They can evaluate the alignment of your jaw and bite and decide whether jaw surgery is required to address any underlying structural problems. Depending on the severity of the disease, they may also suggest non-surgical therapy options like orthodontic treatment or the use of functional appliances.
How to get jaw surgery covered by insurance?
Although obtaining insurance coverage for jaw surgery can be challenging, there are a few actions you can take to improve your chances:
- Check your insurance policy: Review your insurance policy to determine if jaw surgery is covered and to see if there are any exceptions or restrictions. Pre-authorization or particular documentation may be required by some plans to prove the procedure’s medical necessity.
- Obtain a referral: Ask your primary care physician or dentist for a referral to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who has experience in performing jaw surgery. A referral from a healthcare provider can also help demonstrate the medical necessity of the procedure to your insurance provider.
- Provide documentation: Provide supporting paperwork, such as X-rays or medical records, to show that the procedure is medically necessary. This should be done by your oral and maxillofacial surgeon. This supporting documentation can be used to show how serious your disease is and why surgery is necessary.
- Submit a claim: Submit a claim to your insurance provider after the procedure has been completed. Be sure to include all necessary documentation and follow up with the insurance provider if there are any questions or concerns.
- Appeal a denied claim: If your claim is rejected, you may be entitled to challenge the ruling. To learn about the appeals method and whether there are any other actions you may take to prove the surgery’s medical necessity, get in touch with your insurance carrier.
It’s crucial to remember that insurance coverage for jaw surgery can vary based on the specific circumstances of the procedure and the individual policy. You may improve your chances of being covered and guarantee that you get the essential care for your condition by collaborating closely with your oral and maxillofacial surgeon and your insurance provider.
In conclusion, non-surgical methods including orthodontic treatment and the use of functional appliances, as well as modified surgical techniques such as distraction osteogenesis, are alternatives to orthognathic surgery. Correcting mild to moderate malocclusions and other structural issues with the jaw and face can be accomplished with the help of these treatments.
However, orthognathic surgery may be the best solution for patients with severe malocclusions or complex structural abnormalities to rectify the condition and enhance overall function and appearance.
It is crucial to speak with a skilled orthodontist to identify the best course of action for your unique needs whether you’re thinking about jaw surgery or other orthodontic treatment choices. To produce the greatest outcomes possible, they can offer a thorough review and suggest the finest available treatment alternatives.
Deciding whether to have jaw surgery or pursue other orthodontic solutions is a personal choice that should be discussed with a reputable orthodontist, like Dr. Mir at York Orthodontics. Patients can attain the best results and enhance their general oral health and well-being by collaborating closely with a skilled orthodontist.