American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

Orthognathic Surgery

Jaw Straightening

Orthognathic surgery, or jaw straightening surgery, uses a spectrum of surgical procedures for the jaw and chin to improve both form and function.

What are the steps of a jaw surgery procedure?

An orthognathic surgery procedure includes the following steps:

Step 1 – Consultation

Not only with the surgeon but also with a skilled orthodontist who is familiar with surgical-orthodontic cases.

Step 2 – The preoperative appointment

All orthognathic surgery procedures start with an appointment to gather information. Your surgeon will obtain x-rays, often CT scans, take photographs and take impressions of or scan your teeth to fabricate dental models, all of which will be used to plan and execute the surgery.

Step 3 – Anesthesia

General anesthesia (you will be put completely to sleep) is employed with a breathing tube that is typically placed through the nose.

Step 4 – The surgery

All incisions are made in the mouth and sometimes additional very small incisions are made on the cheeks. The bones will be mobilized into the planned positions and fixed with plates and screws. Your surgeon may keep a splint (a mouth guard that is fixed to your teeth) in place after surgery.

Step 5 – See the results

The results of jaw surgery are usually apparent immediately but will reveal themselves fully as swelling and bruising subside over a period of a month or two.


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