What is jaw (orthognathic) surgery?
Jaw surgery, also called orthognathic surgery, is surgery that helps align your upper jaw (maxilla) and lower jaw (mandible). If your jaws don’t line up, it can affect your bite and make it hard for you to eat and speak.
Orthognathic (“ortho nathic”) surgery isn’t a single event. It’s a process that includes orthodontic treatment to prepare your teeth for your jaw surgery, the surgery itself, recovering from surgery and then more orthodontic treatment for up to a year after your surgery. All told, the jaw surgery process can take between two and three years.
What are the different types of jaw surgery?
Jaw surgery corrects problems that make your jaws stick out too much or too little, making your facial features appear unbalanced. There are three types of jaw surgery:
- Maxillary osteotomy. This surgery is done when your upper jaw sticks out too much or too little. Maxillary osteotomy also treats an open bite and cross bite.
- Mandibular osteotomy. This surgery is done when your lower jaw sticks out too much or too little.
- Double jaw surgery. This surgery is done if you have a problem that affects both jaws.