Everything You Need to Know About Orthognathic Surgery

If you're experiencing difficulties with chewing or speaking, you may need orthodontic treatment to address issues with your teeth and jaw. In some cases, more severe problems require corrective jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery. This surgical intervention becomes necessary when non-invasive treatments alone cannot resolve the underlying concerns.

Orthognathic surgery is employed when patients face persistent issues present since birth, problems that have developed as their jaw grew, or complications arising from external trauma or disease. These conditions often impact the alignment of teeth and jaw, affecting one's ability to eat, speak, and maintain overall oral health.

Orthodontic options such as braces and Invisalign are typically the initial steps to address misalignment or bite problems. However, for more complex cases, corrective jaw surgery may be the most effective solution to alleviate discomfort and improve functionality. This surgical procedure is a crucial option in the realm of orthodontics, especially when it comes to resolving TMJ pain and related issues.

Read on to learn more about   orthognathic surgery , what it is, who needs it, symptoms associated with needing orthognathic surgery, and answers to frequently asked questions.

WHAT IS  Orthognathic Surgery

What is

Orthognathic Surgery?

orthognathic surgery , also known as jaw surgery, is performed when a patient’s jaws are in an improper position. To perform   orthognathic surgery , the doctor carefully cuts the bone and moves the jaw into the right position.

To determine the correct position for orthognathic surgery, your doctor will utilize various diagnostic methods such as photos, x-rays, and 3D scans of your jaw, mouth, and face. These tools help precisely measure the necessary adjustments to achieve a perfect bite.

Typically, incisions are made inside the mouth to avoid visible scars on the patient's face. If facial cuts are necessary, they are usually performed along natural skin creases. Once the doctor has determined the correct jaw position, small bone plates will be securely attached to the patient's jaw.

Orthognathic surgery is an effective method for correcting open bite with orthognathic surgery and TMJ pain addressing in the long term. Depending on your specific needs, your orthodontist may also recommend lingual braces or other types of braces to aid in the alignment of your temporomandibular joints (jaw joints) and move the teeth into their correct positions. This comprehensive approach ensures that your bite is not only functionally improved but also aesthetically enhanced.

HOW DOES   Orthognathic Surgery Work

How Does 

Orthognathic Surgery Work?

Orthognathic surgery   is designed to correct improper jaw alignment that cannot be treated by orthodontic appliances alone. However, even severe cases will require orthodontic intervention prior to and following jaw surgery.

When undergoing orthodontic treatment, you will first visit an orthodontist for a duration typically ranging from 12 to 24 months. During this time, the orthodontist will work on aligning your teeth and correcting any dental issues you may have. Treatment options such as tooth-colored ceramic braces may be recommended to achieve the desired results.

Following this initial phase, you will undergo jaw surgery to correct any jaw problems that may be present, ensuring that your bite is properly aligned. This surgery is performed under general anesthesia, ensuring you do not experience any pain during the procedure. After the surgery, you will need to stay at a hospital for a period of time to ensure your recovery progresses smoothly.

Once the jaw surgery is complete, you will return to orthodontic treatment for a few additional months. This phase is essential for fine-tuning your bite and ensuring that your teeth and jaw alignment are in perfect harmony. It's worth noting that orthodontic treatment can also help address issues like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems and obstructive sleep apnea, improving your overall oral health.

In summary, your orthodontic journey involves an initial treatment phase, followed by jaw surgery, and then a final phase to perfect your bite. Throughout this process, various treatment options, including tooth-colored ceramic braces, may be considered to achieve the best possible results and address specific oral health concerns.

WHO NEEDS   Orthognathic Surgery

Who Needs 

Orthognathic Surgery?

Patients with the following signs and symptoms are candidates for orthognathic surgery:

  • Difficulty chewing, biting, or swallowing food
  • Difficulty speaking or pronouncing certain words
  • Inability to close mouth and meet lips together
  • Receding or protruding jaw
  • Severe case of open bite
  • Sleep apnea
  • Unbalanced face

If your dentist or orthodontist notices one of these issues, they may recommend you to an oral surgeon for jaw surgery. They will try to correct your issues using orthodontic treatment first, but if your case cannot be corrected using orthodontics alone, they will recommend   orthognathic surgery .

More than likely, though, you will have to undergo orthodontic treatment and   orthognathic surgery . The entire process can take multiple years, but your straight healthy smile will be worth the wait.


How Long Does 

Orthognathic Surgery Take?

Your actual surgery will take between 2-4 hours, depending on the case. If your surgeon is only working on one jaw, it will take less time than a procedure that involves work on both your upper and lower jaws.

Once your actual surgery is finished, you will stay 1-2 nights in the hospital, where you will receive routine care like IV fluids and medication to help you through the early stages of recovery.

HOW MUCH DOES   Orthognathic Surgery Cost

How Much Does 

Orthognathic Surgery Cost?

Treatment costs may vary based on a variety of factors, but jaw surgery will likely run you between $10,000-$50,000 without insurance. However, many insurance companies will cover at least a portion of jaw surgery that is deemed medically necessary.

RISKS OF  Orthognathic Surgery

Risks of

Orthognathic Surgery

All surgeries have risks, but major complications resulting from jaw surgery are low. There can be some risks associated with   orthognathic surgery , which include, but are not limited to:

  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Hardware failure
  • Infection
  • Need for additional surgery
  • Pain
  • Poor bone healing
  • Sensory changes to the lower parts of the face
  • Swelling
  • Teeth/bite relapse
  • TMJ pain