Orthognathic Surgery or Jaw surgery

Orthognathic Surgery – Have Questions?

Sometimes bite discrepancies are too large to fix via tooth movement alone. There is often an incompatibility of the jawbones with one another or the jawbone’s relationship to the cranial base.  In order to fix these issues, orthodontics is utilized to prepare the jaws for a surgical procedure or procedures that will help to establish both jawbone compatibility and bite correction.  Both pre-surgical orthodontic preparation and post-surgical orthodontic finishing are essential to the long-term stability and success of treatment.  Dr. Danielle works closely with the patient’s dental team to develop the most appropriate surgical & orthodontic treatment plan.

Jaw discrepancies can happen to anyone, both adolescents and adults. In adolescents, if we are able to correct the bite discrepancy early on (age 7-9), orthognathic surgery may be avoided.  Sometimes, however, the discrepancy of the bones/skeleton is just too much to correct without surgery.  In adults, since we lack growth, a jawbone discrepancy will warrant surgery. This will be discussed in detail at your consultation appointment.

Here is an example of before & after jaw surgery to harmonize both the jawbones & the bite:

orthognathic surgery before and after

As you can see the jaw surgery has a major impact on the esthetics of the individual’s face.

The prep work for orthognathic surgery

Before surgery can take place, the teeth are moved into optimal position with orthodontic appliances.  The entire plan is discussed between Dr. Danielle and your surgeon.  Excellent team work allows Dr. Danielle to work hand-in-hand with the appropriate surgeon to develop a treatment plan that will improve the placement of the jaws and alignment of the teeth.

The benefits of orthognathic surgery

Once the patient has healed, Dr. Danielle continues to guide the teeth with braces.  She continues to work on getting the ideal teeth relationship.  The goal is to establish a stable, comfortable, and functionally correct position.  Optimizing esthetics is also a top priority.   The final result is a beautiful and balanced bite and smile.

Some common problems that may warrant Surgical Intervention:

Mandibular (Lower) Jaw deficiency:

mandibular advancement jaw surgery

Mandibular (Lower) Jaw excess:

mandibular set back jaw surgery

Open bite (front teeth don’t bite together):

jaw surgery


Healing time from orthognathic surgery

Fortunately modern surgical techniques are being used that reduce healing time.  The also allow for less complications.  Things like piezosurgery are beneficial.