Orthognathic surgery refers to a procedure that results in a repositioning of one or both jaws to correct a facial or dental deformity.
Orthognathic surgery is prescribed when the top and bottom teeth do not meet properly and the difference between them is greater than can be corrected by orthodontic treatment alone (braces).
When there is a significant malocclusion that cannot be corrected by braces alone then there is often a significant functional difficulty experienced by the patient. This may include pain or restricted movement at the jaw joints (TMJ’s), difficulty chewing certain foods, uneven wear and damage to the teeth and gums.
There is also often a significant cosmetic imbalance that will also be addressed by the surgery. This may include a very prominent or very retrusive chin, a very “gummy” smile and an “open bite” where the front teeth don’t meet. Less commonly significant facial asymmetry will also require orthognathic surgery to correct the facial harmony.