Corrective Jaw Surgery

Corrective jaw surgery, also referred to as orthognathic surgery, is performed when it is necessary to correct conditions of the jaw and face related to structure, growth, TMJ disorders, and cleft palate.

Surgery can also correct orthodontic problems that cannot be easily treated with braces alone.  Surgery is needed when the jaws do not meet properly and teeth do not seem to fit with the jaws. Teeth are straightened with orthodontics, and then orthognathic surgery repositions misaligned jaws. This ensures that teeth meet correctly and function properly and improves overall facial appearance.

Problems Resulting from Improper Alignment of the Jaws

Jaw growth is a gradual process. Sometimes the upper and lower jaws grow at different rates. The result can be a number of problems that can affect chewing function, speech, long-term oral health, and appearance.

Patients experiencing difficulty in the following areas should be evaluated:

  • Chewing, biting or swallowing
  • Speech problems
  • Chronic jaw or TMJ pain 
  • Open bite
  • Protruding jaw
  • Breathing problems

Any of these problems can exist at birth, or may be acquired after birth as a result of hereditary or environmental influences or, trauma to the face.

Technology and Corrective Jaw Surgery

Dr. Nellen and Dr. Goeckerman use advanced computer techniques and three-dimensional models to show you how your surgery will be done. Comprehensive facial radiographs and video stills can be utilized to show help you understand how your bite will be improved and even give you some idea of how you could look after surgery.