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Dr Lance West - Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon

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Orthognathic Surgery

Orthognathic surgery corrects malpositioning of the upper and or lower jaws. This is usually done in combination with orthodontic treatment carried out with a specialist orthodontist. Surgery is usually carried out through an incision inside the mouth. The bones are cut and the jaws mobilised and following repositioning are held with titanium plates and screws which maintain the position of the bones while they heal.

Common deformities suitable for orthognathic surgical correction are:

  • Mandibular retrognathia (lower jaw too short)
  • Mandibular prognathism (lower jaw too far forward)
  • Maxillary retrognathia (upper jaw too far back)
  • Vertical maxillary excess (upper jaw too tall, often resulting in a gummy smile or difficulty getting the upper and lower lips together)
  • Transverse maxillary deficiency (upper jaw too narrow, often resulting in cross bite)
  • Anterior open bite (vertical gap between upper and lower front teeth)
  • Jaw and facial asymmetries

Orthognathic surgery will help restore a normal occlusion and may improve a person's ability to chew and speak. Breathing may become easier for some people. The surgery may also improve facial appearance. 

This page was last updated at 10:12AM on December 3, 2019.