Orthognatic Surgery
Orthognatic Surgery

Orthognatic Surgery

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If you are wondering what is orthognathic surgery, then you should know that it is a type of corrective jaw surgery that is used to improve the alignment of the jaws and teeth. It can also be used to correct other facial skeletal deformities such as the nose. This surgery is often performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, which is a dentist who specializes in these procedures. It is not a single procedure. It involves a process that begins with orthodontic treatment, followed by surgical correction of the bones of the jaws, and finally, postoperative orthodontic treatment. The entire orthognathic jaw procedure can take up to two years to complete.

According to the jaw's position and seriousness of misalignment,  the treatment will be determined by the oral and maxillofacial surgeon. They will also consider the patient's age, habits (such as gum chewing), and skeletal growth remaining.

Orthognathic jaw surgery is classified into five types and they are as follows:

Upper Jaw Surgery or Maxillary Osteotomy:  This type of surgery is done to correct an upper jaw that is too far back or protrudes too much. It can also be done to correct a mid-face that appears sunken in, which is also called a "sunken mid-face" or "flat mid-face." To correct the upper jaw, the surgeon attaches a plastic wafer to the bone and moves it into the correct position. The surgeon will then secure the bone with screws, wire, or plates. Upper Jaw Surgery or Maxillary Osteotomy is effective in fixing crossbite, open bite, and overbite.

Lower Jaw Surgery: Lower jaw surgery, also called a mandibular osteotomy, is performed to correct a wide variety of problems like underbite that can occur with the lower jaw. These problems can be due to congenital defects, trauma, or disease. Lower jaw surgery involves moving the lower jaw bone or repositioning it into the correct position. The surgeon will then secure the bone in place with screws, plates, or wires.

Arthrocentesis: It is performed to correct joint problems in the TMJ (temporomandibular joint). It is also performed to relieve pain and clicking in the jaw joint. The surgeon will make a small incision in the skin over the joint and remove any debris that may be causing the problem. The surgeon may also need to repair or replace the joint.

Arthroplasty: This type of surgery is done to correct a deformity in the TMJ. It is also used to treat TMJ disorders that cause pain. In this procedure, the surgeon inserts an arthroscope or small camera through a tiny incision. The surgeon then uses this camera to look inside the joint and make any necessary repairs.

Double jaw surgery: This surgery is performed when both the upper and lower jaws need to be corrected. It is also called a "two-stage" or "simultaneous surgery". 

During the procedure: 

The patient is given general anesthesia and is asleep during the surgery. Orthognathic jaw surgery usually takes several hours, depending on the extent of the surgery. The patient will stay in the hospital overnight for observation. They will be monitored for bleeding, swelling, and pain. 


Orthognathic jaw surgery is typically performed to correct one or more of the following conditions:

  • Open bite
  • Underbite
  • Overbite
  • Cleft lip and palate
  • Facial injury
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Receding chin (retrognathia)
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders
  • Cysts and tumors
  • Difficulty swallowing, chewing, and biting
  • Receding jaw
  • Facial symmetry problems