Orthognathic Surgery - Corrective Jaw Surgery | MedStar Health

Corrective jaw surgery, also called orthognathic surgery, is a surgical procedure performed by our oral surgeons to correct problems with the form and function of the jaw.

Reconstructive jaw surgery

This surgery can be performed on:

  • The lower jaw (mandible)
  • The upper jaw (maxilla)
  • Surrounding facial structures

Correcting major jaw problems requires consultation with both a facial plastic reconstructive surgeon and an orthodontist, who can help correct problems with the teeth. One of the benefits of oral surgery treatment at MedStar Health is the excellent interdisciplinary team of oral/maxillofacial and plastic surgeons on staff, as well as experienced and qualified orthodontists and other dental professionals.

Jaw conditions that require orthognathic surgery

Jaw problems that may require reconstructive jaw surgery include:

  • Congenital or developmental jaw problems
  • Cleft lip/palate conditions
  • Severe over-or under-bite
  • Traumatic facial injuries to the jawbones

Symptoms and signs of jaw problems

Reconstructive jaw surgery can benefit people who experience pain and disability because of jaw problems. People with serious jaw problems may experience:

  • Difficulty chewing and eating
  • Early loss of teeth
  • Difficulty with speech
  • Pain in the jaw, teeth, and/or mouth
  • Periodontal and gum problems

Do I need to stay in the hospital?

Reconstructive jaw surgery is normally performed under general anesthesia on an inpatient basis, meaning you will have a short stay at the Hospital Center following the surgery. Our surgeons use the most advanced anesthesia and pain control techniques, including local anesthesia, inhalation analgesia, intravenous sedation, and general anesthesia.

How is the surgery performed?

Your oral surgeon will perform corrective jaw surgery by cutting the jawbone(s) and permanently repositioning the structure of the jaws. Bones are held in place to heal with titanium plates, wires, and screws.

Will I need a bone graft?

A bone graft might be necessary for people with infections or weakness in bone structure. Bones from the ribs, hips, and skull can be grafted to create new jawbone structure during corrective jaw surgery. Your oral surgeon may elect to use other kinds of graft material during reconstructive jaw surgery.

How long will it take to recover?

As with any medical procedure, everyone is different. Your oral surgeon will explain and give to you in writing all post-operative instructions. We will monitor your healing progress during several office visits after the procedure.

What are the risks and benefits of reconstructive jaw surgery?

There are risks and benefits of reconstructive jaw surgery that you should discuss with your surgeon before the procedure. Your oral surgeon will discuss each of these benefits and risks with you to make sure you fully understand them.

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