Corrective jaw, or orthognathic, surgery is performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS) to correct a wide range of minor and major skeletal and dental irregularities, including the misalignment of jaws and teeth, open bite, underbite, and overbite. Surgery 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.
- avg. recovery
About the Procedure
During an orthognathic surgery to correct an open bite, the orthognathic surgery performed will always be bimaxillary, to correctly position both the mandibular and the maxillary arch, usually by making rotational and orbital movements. Some of the bone in the upper tooth bearing portion of the jaw is removed. The upper jaw is then secured in position with plates and screws.
The goal or orthognathic surgery is to address both aesthetic and functional issues caused by the misalignment of the jaw.
What to Expect
Corrective jaw, or orthognathic, surgery can correct a wide range of skeletal and dental irregularities, including the misalignment of jaws and teeth, open bite, underbite, and overbite. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after jaw surgery.
- Braces for 12-18 months before surgery
- X-rays, pictures and models made of teeth
Surgery will vary based on what irregularity is being addressed but will typically include partial removal of the jaw bone which is is then secured in position with plates and screws.
Initial jaw healing typically takes about six weeks after surgery, but complete healing can take up to 12 weeks. After initial jaw healing at about six weeks your orthodontist finishes aligning your teeth with braces. The entire orthodontic process, including surgery and braces, may take several years. Once the braces are removed, retainers to hold tooth position may be used.
The ideal candidate for orthognathic surgery has an open bite, overbite, or underbite, difficulty chewing, difficulty swallowing, chronic jaw or jaw joint (TMJ) pain and headache, excessive wear of the teeth, unbalanced facial appearance, facial injury, birth defects, inability to make the lips meet without straining, chronic mouth breathing, and/or sleep apnea.
Not Recommended For
Orthognathic surgery is not recommended for patients who can achieve their orthodontic goals with conventional treatment such as braces or headgear.
The most common short-term complications of orthognathic surgery include temporary numbness, excessive bleeding, infection at incision sites, tooth damage, nausea and vomiting. Possible long-term complications of orthognathic surgery include TMJ disorders, poor cosmetic outcome, or relapse of original jaw disorder.