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, with the aid of radiographs of your jaw he will review the object 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. 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 anaesthesia 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