Corrective Jaw Surgery

What is orthognathic surgery (jaw surgery)?


Orthognathic surgery is more commonly known as “jaw surgery.” It is the process of realigning severely misaligned jaws. Most jaw problems are caused by genetics and growth abnormalities, but can also be caused by trauma. An orthodontist can treat crooked teeth, but a serious jaw-alignment issue such as the upper and lower jaws not meeting correctly must be addressed by an oral surgeon.

Symptoms of Jaw Problems

The most common symptoms of a misaligned jaw are:

  • Problems with biting, chewing or swallowing
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
  • Uneven wear on teeth
  • Speech and breathing difficulties
  • Inability to close the mouth
  • Dry mouth
  • TMJ or headaches
  • Protruding jaw
  • Facial imbalance

Improving the Process with Technology

As with many medical procedures, jaw surgery has benefitted greatly from advancements in technology and improved techniques over the years. Better imaging has given us a more precise and personalized picture of our patients’ jaws, leading to minimized recovery times and better results. We can even predict what your jaw will look like after treatment with specialized software and imaging tools.

About Jaw Surgery: What to Know

  • Surgery takes 1-4 hours and is performed in our surgical center (or a hospital) under anesthesia.
  • Many patients return home the same day, while some must remain in the hospital for 1-2 days.

Recovering from Jaw Surgery

  • Recovery often lasts several months following surgery while your jaw heals completely and you return slowly to everyday activities.
  • Most patients take 3 weeks off from school and work.
  • You may be fitted with an appliance or braces to wear during your recovery.
  • Regular checkups in our office are an important part of recovery.
  • The jaw can take 9-12 months to heal completely.

Orthognathic surgery is a very significant event that involves months of preparation and healing. We are here to answer your questions and help you decide if it is a good option for you. Please call the Center for Oral Facial & Implant Surgery today at Chattanooga Office Phone Number (423) 893-3333.