The growth of a person's jaw is a steady process, and sometimes the growth of the upper and lower jaw can occur at different rates, causing a discrepancy in size and function. Often, these abnormalities cause difficulty associated with chewing, talking, sleeping, breathing and other routine activities. Corrective jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery) treats and corrects abnormalities of the facial bones, specifically the jaws and the teeth. Orthodontic treatment may also be used in conjunction with corrective jaw surgery to align the teeth appropriately. Although jaw surgery can dramatically improve a patient's appearance, the goal is to correct functional problems.
Orthognathic surgery may be unnecessary if orthodontic treatment can correct the problem. With the latest advances in orthodontics, this is sometimes the case. Your orthodontist will determine if orthognathic surgery is the appropriate treatment option for you.