Orthognathic Jaw Surgery

The purpose of orthognathic surgery is to reposition a misaligned jaw to ensure that teeth meet properly and the jaw functions effectively. In addition to its functional purposes, orthognathic surgery can also help improve a patient’s appearance by correcting facial imbalances like a receding chin or protruding jaw.

Woman smiling with braces

What is Orthognathic Surgery?

Orthognathic surgery, also known as corrective jaw surgery, is a type of surgical procedure performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons in conjunction with orthodontists to correct a wide range of skeletal and dental irregularities in the jaw and face. Jaws that are imbalanced or in the wrong position can lead to a number of problems that can affect chewing, swallowing, breathing, and overall facial appearance. Problems with jaw alignment can be caused by injury, birth defect, or different growth rates between the upper and lower jaws. 

Staten Island Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery offers the most advanced treatment options to correct major and minor skeletal and dental deformities in the jaw. Proper detection and treatment of jaw deformities can help manage chronic jaw pain, biting and chewing difficulties, or any other jaw related problems. The goal of orthognathic surgery is to improve the patient’s ability to chew, speak, and breathe while also enhancing facial aesthetics. This procedure is typically considered when other orthodontic treatments, such as braces, cannot fully address the underlying structural issues of the jaw.

Skull showing teeth with braces

Before & After Orthognathic Jaw Surgery

There are several symptoms that indicate you may have misaligned jaws. Possible symptoms include:

  • Difficulty chewing, biting, or swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Speech problems
  • Chronic jaw pain (TMJ pain)
  • Chronic dry mouth
  • Open space in bite
  • Inability to fully close mouth
  • Facial imbalance (protruding jaw, receding chin)
  • Sleep apnea

Orthognathic surgery may be recommended for conditions such as:

  1. Malocclusions: This refers to improper alignment of the teeth and/or jaws, leading to bite problems such as overbite (protruding upper jaw), underbite (protruding lower jaw), crossbite, open bite, or other forms of dental misalignment.
  2. Facial asymmetry: When there are significant imbalances in the size or position of the jaws, it can result in facial asymmetry.
  3. Jaw growth abnormalities: In cases where the upper or lower jaw has not developed properly, orthognathic surgery can help correct the growth discrepancy.
  4. Breathing difficulties: Some jaw discrepancies can lead to obstructive sleep apnea or other breathing problems, which may be improved through surgical realignment of the jaws.

The correction of jaw deformities often requires a united effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and an orthodontist. Before the surgery, the patient wears braces to align the teeth properly. Once the teeth are in their ideal positions, the surgeon will perform the jaw repositioning procedure. Typically, corrective jaw surgery includes the repositioning of all or part of your upper jaw, lower jaw, or chin. The surgery is typically conducted inside the mouth so there are no visible facial scars. After the surgery, the patient may need to wear elastics or other orthodontic appliances for further fine tuning of the bite. The overall treatment process can take several months to complete.

When you visit Staten Island Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, our oral surgeons will collaborate with your orthodontist to evaluate your condition and determine the right treatment option for your case.

Staten Island Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery uses a sophisticated 3-D computer modeling system to show you how your corrective jaw surgery will proceed and what you can expect your face to look like once your surgery is completed. Our office provides patients with the latest imaging systems and computer software to simulate orthognathic surgery. Utilizing CAT scans and patient photos as well as medical models, we can both diagnose and plan a patient’s individual surgery. By performing virtual surgical planning beforehand, we can simulate a patient’s surgery to obtain a general prediction of the surgical outcome. Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons will outline the details of the procedure and expected results using this imaging technology with you during your consultation.

How Can I Find Out More About Orthognathic Surgery?

For more information on orthognathic surgery, please contact Staten Island Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery to schedule an appointment with oral and maxillofacial surgeons David Hoffman, D.D.S., F.A.C.S., Lydia J. Lam, D.D.S., Emad Abdou, D.D.S., and Mark Goodenough, D.D.S., M.D. by calling +1 (718-226-1251).

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Unlocking The Jaw Part 1

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Unlocking The Jaw Part 2