Orthognathic Surgery

Corrective Jaw Surgery

What is Corrective Jaw Surgery?

Corrective jaw surgery, also know as “Orthognathic” surgery, is used to correct a wide range of minor and major skeletal and dental irregularities. Jaw growth is usually a gradual process; however in some cases, the upper and lower jaws may grow at different rates, potentially causing a variety of difficulties. Orthognathic surgery is performed by Dr. Owsley and Dr. McDaniel to realign the jaws and teeth, and to improve such functions as chewing, speaking and breathing. While the patient’s appearance may be dramatically enhanced as a result of this type of surgery, corrective jaw surgery is performed to correct functional problems.

What is Involved in Corrective Jaw Surgery?

Your orthodontist and our surgeons will work together to determine whether you are a candidate for corrective jaw surgery. Once you have been examined and consulted by both specialist, and you are fully informed about your treatment options, Dr. Owsley or Dr. McDaniel and your orthodontist will determine the course of treatment that is best for you. Before your surgery, the orthodontist will move your teeth into a new position with braces. Once the teeth are aligned, Dr. Owsley and Dr. McDaniel determine and perform the appropriate corrective jaw surgery procedure. The appropriate procedure may involve repositioning the upper jaw, the lower jaw or a combination of both. Corrective jaw surgery is typically an outpatient procedure completed either at the hospital or within our surgical suite. The procedure is completed under general anesthesia and patients can typically return home that same evening. Occasionally, an overnight stay in the hospital is necessary depending on factors such as the length of the procedure and the patient’s overall health. After surgery, Dr. Owsley and Dr. McDaniel will monitor your healing. Initial healing is approximately six to 8 weeks with complete healing taking nine to 12 months. Once Dr. Owsley and Dr. McDaniel determine your initial healing phase is complete you will return to your orthodontist to complete your orthodontic treatment. It is important to understand that your treatment, from the initial stage to the final stage, may take several years to complete.

A patient getting a panoramic x-ray of her jaw

What to Expect

  • Corrective jaw surgery is a significant intervention requiring many months of preparation.
  • The surgery is performed in the hospital and can last between one to four hours.
  • Hospital stays of one to three days are normal.
  • Braces are 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.