Orthognathic Surgery Basics
Orthognathic surgery is more commonly known as jaw surgery. This surgery is used to realign the jaw and correct problems associated with a cleft palate.
The three common types of jaw surgery include:
- Upper jaw (maxillary osteotomy)
- Lower jaw (mandibular osteotomy)
- Chin surgery (genioplasty)
Who can benefit from this surgery?
Jaw surgery is often used to correct issues connected with a cleft palate, but it is also used to correct misalignment that causes daily problems talking, eating, sleeping and more. It can become necessary because of improper growth or an injury.
Problems with the jaw can cause difficulty with chewing, swallowing, speaking, breathing and more. These problems can also cause serious pain and detract from someone’s appearance.
People who can benefit from the surgery include people with an improper bite, or offset jaw. Usually the surgery needs to be performed after growth stops. This is usually at least after age 13, but varies from patient to patient.
What are the benefits?
Jaw surgery can balance out facial features, relieve chronic pain, and make everyday life easier. It can correct crossbites and underbites, make it easier to eat, help people who suffer from sleep apnea, and prevent dental and oral health problems that come from having a misaligned bite.
What should you expect?
The surgery will vary from patient to patient depending on individual needs, but cuts are usually made inside the mouth whenever possible to avoid creating visible scars on the face. In some cases the jawbone will be cut and realigned and in other cases, bones may need to be added to correct the problem. Your surgeon can help you understand exactly what will happen during your procedure. Patients undergoing surgery may need to stay in the hospital for 1-2 days and complete recovery takes about 3-6 weeks. You may need to wear a brace after the surgery to keep things aligned properly.
Orthognathic surgery (jaw surgery) can solve many problems and make everyday life easier. If you’d like to learn more about this treatment and other treatments that can correct issues associated with a cleft palate, contact The Cleft & Facial Cosmetic Surgery Center.