Orthognathic Surgery


Corrective jaw, or orthognathic, surgery is performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS) to correct a wide range of minor and major skeletal and dental irregularities, including the misalignment of jaws and teeth. Surgery can improve chewing, speech, and breathing. While the patient's appearance may be dramatically enhanced because of their surgery, orthognathic surgery is performed to correct functional problems.


Jaw surgery can have a dramatic effect on many aspects of life.


Following are some of the conditions that may indicate the need for corrective jaw surgery:


Difficulty chewing or biting food

Difficulty swallowing

Chronic jaw or jaw joint (TMJ) pain and headache

Excessive wear of the teeth

Open bite (space between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed)

Unbalanced facial appearance from the front or side

Facial injury

Birth defects

Receding lower jaw and chin

Protruding jaw

Inability to make the lips meet without straining

Chronic mouth breathing

Sleep apnea (breathing problems when sleeping, including snoring)

Your dentist, orthodontist, and OMS will work together to determine whether you are a candidate for corrective jaw, or orthognathic, surgery. The OMS determines which corrective jaw surgical procedure is appropriate and performs the actual surgery. It is important to understand that your treatment, which will probably include orthodontics before and after surgery, may take several years to complete. Your OMS and orthodontist understand that this is a long-term commitment to you and your family and will try to realistically estimate the time required for your treatment.

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