Rhinoplasty, or a "nose job," is a procedure that is said to be used not only to improve the appearance of the nose, but also to correct functional issues such as difficulty breathing. However, many patients seeking rhinoplasty for enhanced aesthetic appearance, or because of a deviated septum, may be overlooking bigger issues within their anatomy.
Double jaw surgery, also known as maxillomandibular advancement, is a surgical procedure that involves the repositioning of the upper jaw (maxilla) and lower jaw (mandible) to correct malocclusion (bad bite) and improve facial appearance. This procedure can improve breathing, speech, and overall facial function. A more harmonious appearance is a very welcoming side effect, changing the jaw line, profile, and also, the appearance and shape of the nose.
But why does the nose shape change with jaw surgery? And, why would someone wanting a nose job likely be in need of something more? The latter is a slightly more complicated question to answer but let's dive in.
What many deem as undesirable nose shapes are largely due to a lack of support of the nasal cartilage. A prominent dorsal hump, for instance, may be caused by hypoplasia of the maxilla. The anterior nasal spine may be retruded to a point where the nose is not amply supported. This not only causes a difference of appearance, but more importantly, it can lead to difficulty breathing through the nose.
Double jaw surgery of course has been found effective for people with skeletal dysplasia in general, any condition where the bones of the face do not develop properly. In these cases, in fixing either an underbite, overbite, facial asymmetry, or even sleep apnea, the repositioning of the jaw changes the shape of the nose as it's closely related to the position of the upper jaw.
While rhinoplasty may seem like a much less invasive and easier surgery, it's important to consider how the technology in double jaw surgery has advanced. One of the key innovations in custom orthognathic surgery is the use of 3D titanium plates, which are used to reposition the jaw bones in a precise and controlled manner. Alfi Oral Surgery is a clinic that specializes in custom orthognathic surgery and has been at the forefront of using this technology to improve patient outcomes, and to better plan their facial harmony in much quicker times than the traditional method.
By repositioning the jaw bones, the shape of the noses changes due to more bony support which better increases the size of the airway. This is important since it can help to alleviate sleep apnea and other breathing disorders, and especially important for patients who have difficulty sleeping and are suffering the many symptoms that can come from sleep apnea. This use of 3D titanium plates to reposition the jaw bones and improve the airway can be a better option for the patient rather than a procedure that serves in a more superficial manner. As we continue to discuss form vs. function, it becomes increasingly apparent that they go hand in hand.