Orthognathic Surgery (Jaw Surgery)

Corrective jaw surgery, or orthognathic surgery, is needed when jaws don’t meet correctly and/or teeth don’t seem to fit with jaws. Teeth are straightened with orthodontics and corrective jaw surgery repositions a misaligned jaw. This ensures that teeth and jaws meet correctly and function properly, and will generally create a more balanced and pleasing appearance.

Who Needs Orthognathic Surgery?

Corrective jaw surgery, or orthognathic surgery, is performed to correct a wide range of major and minor dental and skeletal irregularities, including the misalignment of jaws and teeth, which, it turn, can improve chewing, speaking, and breathing.  While the patient’s appearance may be dramatically enhanced as a result of their surgery, orthognathic surgery is performed to correct functional problems.

Difficulty in the following areas should be evaluated:

  • Difficulty in chewing, biting or swallowing
  • Speech problems
  • Chronic jaw or TMJ pain
  • Open bite
  • Protruding jaw
  • Breathing or sleep problems

People who may benefit from corrective jaw surgery include those with an improper bite resulting from  misaligned teeth and/or jaws.  In some cases, the upper and lower jaws may grow at different rates. In some cases, the upper and lower jaws may grow at different rates.  Injuries and birth defects may also affect jaw alignment.  While orthodontics alone can usually correct bite (occlusion) problems only when the teeth are misaligned, corrective jaw surgery may be necessary to correct misalignment of the jaws.

Orthognathic Surgery Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of orthognathic surgery, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to orthognathic surgery are discussed.

Orthognathic Surgery Presentation

Technology & Orthognathic Surgery

Drs. Hughes and Bays use state-of-the-art imaging techniques and radiographic analysis along with evaluation of photographs and models of the patient’s mouth/jaws to determine what surgical procedure will best address the specific skeletal and bite issue. These can ultimately help you understand the surgical process and the extent of the treatment prescribed. Our goal is to help you fully understand the benefits of orthognathic surgery.

If you are a candidate for corrective jaw surgery, Drs. Hughes and Bays will work closely with your family dentist and orthodontist during your entire treatment course. It is important to understand that your treatment, which will include orthodontics before and after your surgery, may take several years to complete.  Drs. Hughes and Bays, as well as your orthodontist, understand that this is a long term commitment for you and your family.

This movie below demonstrates how we can correct mandibular prognathism. The lower jaw is cut on an angle and the front slides back over the rear piece. The jaw is kept in place for healing with bone screws in the jaw as well as braces on both the top and bottom arches.