Orthognathic surgery is a procedure that combines the orthodontic and surgical aspects to correct dental and jaw abnormalities. Jaw abnormalities are often a result of genetics or caused by developmental or facial trauma. Apart from affecting your physical facial appearance, it can lead to functional problems of speech, chewing and bite.

The upper and lower jaws are bases that align your teeth. Braces can only correct dental abnormalities such as crooked teeth or poor bite. Therefore, orthognathic surgery is necessary to correct the disproportions of the size, shape and position of your jaw.

Common problems that can be corrected with Orthognathic Surgery include:

  • Long jaw (protruded chin) or short jaw (retruded chin)
  • Excessive gum tissue (gummy smiles)
  • Overall facial asymmetry
  • Elongation of face

The orthognathic surgery is a procedure led by a multi-disciplinary team of dental specialists. The treatment is carried out in 4 stages:

Stage 1: Treatment Plan
Our orthodontist and oral and maxillofacial surgeon work closely together to assess your condition. In preparation for surgery, our orthodontist first determines how the braces will align your teeth. The oral and maxillofacial surgeon then evaluates the jaw deformity and decide upon the most appropriate surgery for you. Phase 1 includes consultations with our doctors, record-taking and discussions of the treatment plan.

Stage 2: Pre-Surgery Orthodontic Treatment
Most patients have to go through a stage of pre-surgical orthodontic treatment that can take from 9 to 18 months. The actual time required for this stage is dependent on the patient’s condition, age, cooperation and other factors. Our doctors will see patients during this stage at every 4 to 6-week intervals. The purpose of this stage is to help align your teeth to ensure a good bite after surgery.

Stage 3: Surgery
After the pre-surgery orthodontic phase has ended, surgery with the oral and maxillofacial surgeon can then be scheduled. Braces that were used to align the teeth before surgery is kept during surgery as they can help in stabilising the teeth and jaw bones after surgery.

Stage 4: Post-Surgery Orthodontic Treatment
Post-surgery orthodontic treatment is continued to help with the final alignment and retaining of the teeth in its new position.

For patients who are still growing, early orthodontic intervention can prevent worsening of jaw abnormalities. Special braces can be used to alter bone development, and hence, reduce and remove the necessity of surgery. For patients who have stopped growing, some jaw corrections cannot be done with braces. Therefore, the recommended form of treatment is the combined approach of braces and surgery.

Orthognathic surgery is carried out under general anaesthesia and requires about 3 to 5 days of hospitalisation. Speak to your dental surgeon to better understand your risks and recovery process.

Orthognathic surgery is a predictable procedure for complicated dental and facial problems. It provides long-term correction to your jaw, facial proportions and facial symmetry. Apart from aesthetics, it restores the functional aspects of speech, chewing function and bite.