Corrective Jaw Surgery (Orthognathic Surgery)

Orthognathic Surgery (Corrective Jaw Surgery) involves moving the bones of the upper or lower jaw or both. The jaws are lengthened or shortened, moved up or down, in or out, resulting in a more harmonious bite and facial appearance.

Orthognathic surgery is needed when jaws and teeth don’t meet correctly. Repositioning the jaws so that the teeth meet (occlude) correctly improves jaw joint function and chewing (mastication) ability, and can also improve speech, breathing, sleep apnea, periodontal (gum) health and facial aesthetics.

Orthognathic Surgery (Corrective Jaw Surgery) is a complex surgery and because of the intricacies of occlusion (the way the teeth bite) and the combined effect on the facial appearance when moving the teeth and jaws, orthognathic surgery must be carefully planned. Because of its complexity, a team approach is used. The team consists of your orthodontist and oral surgeon and occasionally your general dentist and other dental specialists including periodontists and endodontists.

Orthognathic Jaw Surgery Presentation

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.

Orthognathic Surgery Presentation

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 not match at the end of growth. Injury to the jaw during growth may be a cause for the incongruent growth of the jaws. The result can cause a host of problems that can affect chewing function, speech, long-term oral health, and appearance. Some bite problems can be corrected by orthodontics alone.

Orthodontics alone can correct bite problems when only the teeth are involved. If the jaw bones (maxilla and mandible) are not aligned then Orthognathic surgery should be considered.

To compensate for mismatched jaws by moving just the teeth can lead to periodontal problems, relapse of orthodontic movements, jaw joint problems, and poor or even disastrous facial aesthetics.

Orthognathic Surgery Overview

Difficulty in the following areas should be evaluated for the possible need for corrective jaw surgery:

  • Difficulty in Chewing, Biting or Swallowing
  • Speech Problems
  • Chronic Jaw or TMJ Pain
  • Open Bite (teeth don’t touch together)
  • Protruding Jaw
  • Breathing Problems
  • Underbite
  • Overbite
  • Small Chin/Retruded Jaw
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Snoring
  • Jaw, chin, and nose misaligned

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 visit will be held to perform a complete examination with x-rays, and models. We will usually obtain your pre-orthodontic models from your orthodontist.

Our practice uses modern computer 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 treatment prescribed. Our goal is to help you understand the benefits of orthognathic surgery.

In some cases, our doctors use medical modeling to help plan your surgery. Medical modeling produces highly accurate physical models derived from medical imaging modalities such as CT and MRI. Sophisticated software is used to view and extract information to create a 3D model of a patient’s bone structure (anatomical model fabricated by Materialise). Dr. Reynolds uses these models along with advanced computer programs (Dolphin Cephalometrics) to plan the exact movement of the jaws.


Anatomical model of Dr. Reynolds’ patient used for Orthognathic surgery. Made by Materialise®

If you are a candidate for Orthognathic Surgery, our team will work closely with your dentist and orthodontist during your treatment. The surgery can move your teeth and jaws into a new position that results in a more attractive, functional, and healthy dental-facial relationship.

The surgery requires pre-surgical orthodontics to align the teeth independently in each jaw. When the surgery is done and the jaws are aligned, then post-surgical orthodontics finishes the alignment of the teeth into the optimal occlusion (bite).

Orthodontics is an essential part of the overall plan.

In the past, patients who underwent orthognathic (corrective jaw) surgery had to have their jaws wired together to hold the bones in place. Now, small Titanium plates and screws hold the bones in place while they are healing so most patients wake up from the surgery being able to move their mouth normally.

Orthognathic Surgery Pictures and Case Studies

All cases are patients at Reynolds Oral & Facial Surgery and have given the express consent to present their cosmetic and/or orthognathic procedures. 


Jaw Surgery Case Study Before & After Photos

Jaw Surgery Case Study Before & After Photos

Diagnosis: Class III Malocclusion, maxillary anterior-posterior hypoplasia, mandibular hyperplasia
Comments: Note lip incompetence (lips don’t touch in a relaxed position)
Surgical Plan: Maxillary advancement (3 piece LeFort I), mandibular setback (BSSO)


Jaw Surgery Case Study Before & After Photos


Jaw Surgery Case Study Before & After Photos

Diagnosis: Class II malocclusion, maxillary vertical hyperplasia (maxillary vertical excess VME), maxillary transverse hypoplasia, mandibular hypoplasia, nasal dorsal hump
Comments: Note lip incompetence (lips don’t touch in a relaxed position)
Surgical Plan: Maxillary advancement (3 piece LeFort I vertical impaction), transverse widening of the maxilla, mandibular advancement (BSSO), rhinoplasty

Jaw Surgery Case Study Before & After Photos

Jaw Surgery Case Study Before & After Photos

Diagnosis: Class III malocclusion, maxillary vertical and transverse hypoplasia, mandibular hyperplasia, nasal dorsal hump
Comments: This patient also exhibited asymmetries in the vertical and transverse dimensions
Surgical Plan: Maxillary advancement (3 piece LeFort I), mandibular setback (BSSO), rhinoplasty

To see if you are a candidate for orthognathic surgery, schedule an appointment with our team for a comprehensive evaluation.

WHY Reynolds oral and facial surgery?

Reynolds Oral and Facial Surgery is one of the best oral and facial surgery teams around. With more than 20 years of experience and extensive training, we know what it takes to make sure your procedure runs smoothly. Dr. Reynolds and Dr. Gresehover have a keen eye for detail and strive to make sure to answer any questions you may have. Our team understands that medical procedures can be very nerve-racking experiences which is why we make sure you are comfortable and have the best experience possible. We also invest heavily in the most advanced surgical technology available ensuring you get the best results possible.