Orthognathic Surgery

Corrective Jaw Surgery

Orthognathic surgery is indicated when the upper and lower jaws do not meet correctly and/or teeth do not adequately fit within the jaws. In performing both orthognathic surgery and orthodontics, malaligned teeth are straightened with orthodontics (braces) and corrective jaw surgery repositions the misaligned jaw(s). This treatment not only ensures that the teeth meet correctly and function properly, but also improves facial appearance.

Who needs orthognathic surgery?

Orthognathic surgery benefits those having an improper bite and jaws that are positioned poorly in relation to one another. As one grows and develops through early childhood  to the teenage years, the jaws also grow gradually. In some instances, the upper and lower jaws grow at different rates and in a manner in which they do not relate well to one another. This may compromise chewing function, speech, long-term oral health and appearance. Injury to the jaw(s) and birth defects may also affect jaw alignment. Orthodontics alone may correct bite problems when only the teeth are involved. However, in more significant cases, tooth movement alone is not enough to correct a problem that originates with an upper and lower jaw that do not complement one another. In such circumstances, not only is orthodontics required, but orthognathic surgery is indicated as well to reposition the jaws as necessary.

Assessment of the following parameters will enable a determination to be made:

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

Some of the above conditions may be congenital (existing at birth) or may develop after birth as a result of hereditary or environmental influences, or as a result of trauma to the face. Dr. Özcan will evaluate these possibilities at a consultation appointment, at which time a complete clinical and radiographic examination is performed. During the consultation process, you will be encouraged to ask any questions you may have regarding treatment possibilities. When fully informed about the aspects of your care and the treatment indicated, you will be able to make the best decision for your circumstances, supported throughout your treatment by your dental team.

Technology & Orthognathic Surgery

Dr. Özcan utilizes modern computer-aided techniques and three-dimensional models to demonstrate how your surgery will be approached. Using comprehensive facial x-rays and computer video imaging, it is possible for you to see how your bite will be improved, as well as how esthetics will be improved with surgery. This aids in your understanding of the surgical process and the extent of the proposed treatment.

If you are a candidate for corrective jaw surgery, Dr. Özcan will work closely with your Dentist and Orthodontist throughout your treatment. In combination with orthodontics, the actual surgery will move your teeth and jaws into a new position that results in a more functional, attractive and healthy dental-facial relationship.

A patient getting a panoramic x-ray of her jaw

What to Expect

  • Corrective jaw surgery is a significant intervention requiring many months of preparation.
  • The surgery is completed in the hospital and may require several hours to perform.
  • Hospital stays of one to three days are to be expected.
  • Braces are maintained during surgery and six to twelve months or more of additional orthodontic treatment may be required after surgery.
  • The greatest impact of orthognathic surgery is apparent in the recovery phase.
  • Patients generally require two – four weeks to recover from surgery before resuming regular school/work activities.
  • Return to normal chewing function may require  two months of recovery, with a return to full
    function possibly requiring  twelve months.
  • Weekly appointments are required for up to two months after surgery.
  • Our greatest priority is to ensure you are well taken care of before, during and after your surgery.