Dr John Fisher, Maxillofacial & Oral Surgeon

Orthognathic Surgery

What is orthognathic surgery?

Orthognathic surgery refers to procedures to the jaw that help to correct functional malocclusions in cases where the teeth do not meet in the normal way. This type of corrective jaw surgery is able to treat abnormalities such as incorrect bite and facial disharmony. Jaw realignment surgery assists in correcting dental occlusion as well as preventing further complications such as temporomandibular disorders, periodontal disease, premature loss of permanent teeth and severe facial pain.

What types of procedures are there?

The surgery can be conducted on various parts of the jaw, including the upper, the lower, or in some cases, both. Surgery in the upper jaw is performed to correct a cross bite, a receded upper jaw and an open bite. Surgery in the lower jaw is performed to correct a receded or protruding lower jaw . These procedures are known as osteotomies.

What can you expect from the surgery?

The surgery is typically performed inside the mouth – your oral and maxillofacial surgeon will cut the jawbones and move them into the correct position, after which they secured in place with screws and plates. Depending on your unique needs, it might be necessary to add additional bone to the jaw. It is important to take time to recover properly after surgery, as the healing process can take up to six weeks.

What are the benefits of undergoing orthognathic surgery?

After undergoing jaw surgery, patients typically find that they can bite and chew more easily than before, and that wear and tear on teeth is reduced. The procedure also corrects imbalance in the face and reestablishes symmetry to the facial features. Another benefit of surgery is the relief it provides for patients suffering from sleep apnea.