Surgical Orthodontics

What Is Orthognathic Surgery?

Orthognathic surgery (corrective jaw surgery) is used to correct severe cases of jaw or teeth discrepancies that may include, bad bites, jaw abnormalities and malocclusion. Often, these abnormalities cause difficulty associated with chewing, talking, sleeping and other routine activities. Orthognathic surgery corrects these problems and, in conjunction with orthodontic treatment, will improve the overall appearance of the facial profile. If you need oral surgery, we will work closely with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to make sure you get the best care possible. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons specialize in treating complex craniofacial cases that involve the mouth, jaw, face, and skull. Orthognathic surgery will help properly align the jaw, and then orthodontic braces are used to move the teeth into their proper place.

Do I Need Orthognathic Surgery?

Your orthodontist or oral surgeon will let you know if orthognathic surgery is needed as part of your treatment plan. The severity of your case and alignment of your jaw will help determine if surgery is necessary.

Orthognathic surgery may be an option for you if you have speech problems, chronic jaw pain, an open bite, protruding jaw, breathing problems, or difficulty chewing or swallowing. Any of these symptoms can exist at birth, be acquired as a result of hereditary or environmental influences, or as a result of a traumatic injury to the face. Typically, jaw growth stops by the age of 16 in females and 18 in males. In order to receive orthognathic surgery, the jaw must be done growing.

Before any treatment is recommended, a consultation will be held to perform a complete examination with digital x-rays. Your doctor will discuss all of your options as well as answer any questions you may have.

Orthognathic Surgery May Help To:

  • Achieve a beautiful and healthy smile
  • Make biting and chewing food easier
  • Improve speaking and breathing
  • Minimize wear and breakdown of the teeth
  • Improve the appearance of the face by correcting issues such as deficient chins, underbites, overbites, crossbites and other facial imbalances
  • Restore the symmetry to facial features
  • Improve “gummy” smiles
  • Improve smiles that do not show the teeth
  • Reduce the risk of TMJ disorder
  • Provide relief for sleep apnea
  • Repair post-traumatic facial injuries

Orthognathic surgery may be unnecessary if orthodontic treatment can correct the problem. With the latest advances in orthodontics, this is sometimes the case. We will determine if orthognathic surgery is the correct treatment option for you.