Orthognathic Surgery

Orthognathic surgery, or corrective jaw surgery, is performed to correct a wide range of skeletal and dental irregularities. Cosmetic improvements may be noticeable following orthognathic surgery, but it is primarily elected to correct functional problems of the jaw.

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM ORTHOGNATHIC SURGERY?

Misaligned jaws may be present at birth or develop over time as the result of genetics or facial trauma. Those who suffer with an improper bite may benefit from corrective procedures.

The following conditions may indicate a need for orthognathic surgery:

  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Protruding jaw
  • Unbalanced facial appearance
  • Chronic jaw pain
  • An open bite

Orthognathic surgery can reposition all or part of the upper jaw, lower jaw or chin. Following surgery, patients can benefit from an improved facial appearance and a more functional jaw. Orthognathic surgery can also reduce excessive wear on teeth that often results from misaligned jaws.

Orthognathic surgery is a corrective option for those with moderate to severe jaw problems that cannot be corrected with orthodontics alone. To find out if you’re an ideal candidate for orthognathic surgery, you will need to schedule a consultation with a qualified surgeon.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR SURGERY

Orthognathic surgery requires more preparation than many other corrective surgeries. Patients will begin treatment through orthodontic management. Most patients will need to wear braces to properly straighten their teeth prior to surgery. This process can take several months to two years. Following orthodontic treatment, jaw surgery can be performed to improve jaw function.

Orthognathic surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia and takes 3-4 hours. Once you have been sedated, your surgeon will make careful incisions inside your mouth to expose the upper and lower jaw bones. The bones will be reduced, reshaped or augmented to achieve optimal results. Once your jaw bones have been successfully realigned, your surgeon will secure them in place using wires, plates and screws.

AFTER YOUR ORTHOGNATHIC SURGERY

An overnight hospital stay is typical following surgery. The results of your surgery will be immediate. However, significant swelling and discomfort may obscure visible results for several days. Your surgeon will prescribe pain-relieving medication to manage this discomfort. You will also need to follow an all-liquid diet for up to six weeks to avoid traumatizing your healing jaw.

Most patients are able to return to work or school within three weeks of surgery. Strenuous physical activities and the use of tobacco products should be avoided for several weeks. The initial healing phase will last about four to six weeks, but complete healing of the jaws will take between 9-12 months.

UNDERSTANDING THE RISKS OF ORTHOGNATHIC SURGERY

All surgical procedures carry a degree of risk and uncertainty. These risks will be discussed in depth during your consultation. Some risks associated with orthognathic surgery may include adverse reaction to anesthesia, bleeding, infection, excessive scarring, a feeling of numbness or stiffness for several months or a shifting of the bones.

IF YOU’RE READY TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP

Contact us to schedule a consultation for orthognathic surgery. During your consultation, you will have the opportunity to review photos and discuss details such as the cost and expected recovery time.