Orthognathic Surgery (Jaw Surgery)

What is orthognathic surgery?

Orthognatic surgery is usually recommended when the jaws do not align correctly and/or when teeth don’t seem to fit with the jaw. Generally, this condition may have significant impact on future jaw/facial function and development. While the oral and maxillofacial surgeon repositions a misaligned jaw, the orthodontist will need to work closely with him/her to straighten the teeth. Orthognathic surgery corrects jaw position, modifies facial appearance and improves the smile for optimal aesthetic and functional results.

In a first visit with the oral and maxillofacial surgeon, he/she will review the objective of the surgery, recommended procedures, potential risks, the advantages and alternative options to orthognathic surgery. He will then send a report of his exam with his recommendations to your dentist/orthodontist. Once you have met with the orthodontist and been adequately prepared, the surgeon will then proceed to realign the maxilla/mandible. This surgical procedure is performed in a hospital setting under general anesthesia and will require overnight stay in the hospital. The anticipated recovery period varies between 2 to 4 weeks depending on the individual.

Who needs orthognathic surgery?

Patients with difficulty in the following areas could be evaluated for jaw surgery:

  • Open bite
  • Protruding jaw
  • Difficulty in chewing or biting
  • Chronic jaw or TMJ pain