The Process of a BSSO Procedure
Before surgery, you will likely undergo orthodontic therapy in the form of braces. This therapy can take several months to perform, and it is an important part of your treatment plan. The orthodontist will straighten and position your teeth in preparation for surgery. Positioning your teeth in preparation for surgery can take some time however it is a required step that helps make your surgery successful.
Once you are asleep, the anesthesiologist will put a small tube inside your nose which will provide oxygen during the surgery. An opening is made inside the mouth on the jaw just behind and to the side of your last teeth of your lower jaw. This opening will be about 3 inches long and the resulting scar will be entirely within the mouth.
The back part of the jaw, which is behind and under the rearmost teeth, will be accessed through this opening. This is the part of the jaw which will be separated. A cut is made along the top and side edges of the jaw. The purpose of these cuts is to separate the jaw in such a way that will create a broad overlap of bone between the cut surfaces.
Through the cut bone edges, bone separators called “osteotomes” are used to split the jaw. Once the bones are separated on both sides, the lower jaw can be moved into its new position. If the lower jaw is set back, a small strip of bone may have to be removed. The lower jaw is securely fixed into its new position using screws or a combination of plates and screws. In certain cases, the teeth may be wired together to help secure the lower jaw into place. The openings within the mouth are then closed with stitches that will slowly dissolve.