corrective JAW surgery / Orthognathic Surgery

What to Expect with Jaw Surgery / Orthognathic Surgery

  • Significant advances in orthognathic surgery have improved accuracy and decreased surgical time
  • Virtual Surgical Planning allows for precise fabrication of titanium fixation plates that are custom fit to each individual patient
  • Orthognathic Surgery is in coordination with orthodontic treatment, which in most cases can be performed with invisalign, avoiding the uncomfortable and unsightly need for braces
  • Surgery was traditionally performed in the hospital setting with a 1-2 night hospital stay. Select cases are now possible to be performed in our outpatient surgery center as ambulatory surgery where patients go home the same day
  • Weekly follow-up appointments are standard for the first month, followed by less frequent appointments to monitor healing
  • Time out of work is between 2-4 weeks
  • Patients are on a pureed diet for the first month, a soft diet for months 2-3, and return to normal chewing by the third month
  • Expedited total treatment time of surgery and orthodontics is often possible with a “surgery first” approach
  • Depending on the individual anatomy, patients can expect improvements in breathing and chewing function with a decrease in headache and TMJ symptoms as a result of harmonization of the upper and lower jaw positions and alignment of the teeth

Corrective Jaw Surgery

Orthognathic surgery is needed when the top and bottom jaws don’t meet correctly and/or teeth don’t adequately fit within the jaw. Teeth are straightened with orthodontics, and corrective jaw surgery repositions a misaligned jaw. This not only improves facial appearance, but also ensures that teeth meet correctly and function properly.

Orthognathic Surgery Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of orthognathic surgery, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to orthognathic surgery are discussed.

Who needs orthognathic surgery?

People who can benefit from orthognathic surgery include those with an improper bite, or jaws that are positioned incorrectly. Jaw growth is a gradual process and in some instances, the upper and lower jaws may grow at different rates. The result can be a host of problems that may affect chewing function, speech, or long-term oral health and appearance. Injury to the jaw and birth defects can also affect jaw alignment. Orthodontics alone can correct bite problems when only the teeth are involved. Orthognathic surgery may be required for the jaws when repositioning is necessary.

Difficulty in the following areas should be evaluated:

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

Any of these symptoms can exist at birth, be acquired after birth as a result of hereditary or environmental influences, or as a result of trauma to the face. Before any treatment begins, a consultation will be held to perform a complete examination with x-rays. During the pre-treatment consultation process, feel free to ask any questions that you have regarding your treatment. When you are fully informed about the aspects of your care, you and your dental team can make the decision to proceed with treatment together.

Technology & Orthognathic Surgery

Dr. Korban and Dr. Clark use modern computer-aided techniques and three-dimensional models to show you exactly how your surgery will be approached. Using comprehensive facial x-rays and computer video imaging, we can show you how your bite will be improved and even give you an idea of how you’ll look after surgery. This helps you understand the surgical process and the extent of the proposed treatment.

If you are a candidate for corrective jaw surgery, Drs. Korban or Clark will work closely with your dentist and orthodontist during your treatment. The actual surgery can move your teeth and jaws into a new position that results in a more attractive, functional, and healthy dental-facial relationship.


A patient getting a panoramic x-ray of her jaw

What to Expect

  • Corrective jaw surgery sometimes requires months of preparation to coordinate with your orthodontist and primary care team.
  • The surgery is performed in our outpatient ambulatory surgical center or in the hospital and can last between two to five hours on average.
  • Patients sometimes require hospital stays of one to three days.
  • Braces or Invisalign are sometimes maintained during surgery and may need to be removed six to twelve months after surgery.
  • The greatest impact of orthognathic surgery is the recovery phase.
  • Patients typically may be off work/school from two weeks to one month after surgery.
  • Return to normal chewing function may take 2 months and full function may take one year.
  • Our goal is to ensure you are well taken care of during and after surgery.
  • Weekly appointments are required for up to two months after surgery.

Patient with hypoplastic upper and lower jaw and receded chin

Immediate post-op result with improvement of appearance and function and adequate proportions


Videos from Facial and Oral Surgery Specialists


Airway: Corrective Jaw Surgery or Jaw Repositioning Surgery can have drastic benefits for the airway. In addition to producing dramatic changes to the person’s appearance and overall function, the airway changes are immediate. In this video, two scans taken about 2 weeks apart show that the Posterior Airway Space (PAS) has more then doubled ! The patient still has some post-operative swelling therefore the PAS is expected to improve even more.

Some Benefits of Treating OSA :
Decreased Sleepiness (more energy)
Improved Quality of Life
Decreased cardiovascular risk (better heart function)
Improved neurocognitive performance (better brain function)

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