Corrective Jaw Surgery


What is Corrective Jaw Surgery?

Orthognathic Surgery, known as Corrective Jaw Surgery corrects minor and major dental and skeletal abnormalities. Corrective jaw surgery includes the correction of misaligned jaws and teeth, which will improve speaking, chewing, and breathing. The primary goal is to correct your functional problems, with potentially the added benefit of dramatically enhancing your appearance.

What Conditions May Require Corrective Jaw Surgery?
  • Chronic jaw joint or jaw pain and headaches
  • Open bite
  • Birth defects or facial injury
  • Unable to make lips touch without strain
  • Difficulty biting and chewing food
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sleep apnea (unable to breathe properly while sleeping, including snoring)
  • Facial appearance
  • Chronic dry mouth and mouth breathing
  • Excessive teeth wear
  • Protruding jaw (See Figure 1)
  • Receding chin (See Figure 2)

Jaw is protruding out causing an underbite.

The bone in the rear portion of the jaw is separated and the front is repositioned back.

What Causes Jaw Misalignment?

Sometimes, the upper and lower jaws grow at different rates. Also, birth defects and injuries can also cause jaw misalignment. Orthodontics correct bite problems when your teeth are not aligned. Corrective jaw surgery is necessary to correct jaw misalignment.

How Do I Know if I Need Corrective Jaw Surgery?

Dr. Schmitz will work with your Dentist and Orthodontist to determine whether you need corrective jaw surgery. We will determine which procedure will correct your problem and your treatment will likely include orthodontics before and after corrective jaw surgery, which can take several years to finish. Dr. Schmitz, along with your Orthodontist and Dentist will determine the course of treatment that best suits your needs.

What is the Treatment Plan for Corrective Jaw Surgery?

Orthodontic Braces:

Prior to surgery, you will need to wear braces that will move your teeth into a new position. Since your bite is being prepared so that your teeth fit together after surgery, it may feel like your teeth don’t fit together properly and your mouth is getting worse. However, when Dr. Schmitz positions your jaw, your teeth should fit well together.

Closer to surgery, we will take additional x-rays and models of your teeth to ensure that your teeth will be properly aligned during surgery.

Corrective Jaw Surgery:

This procedure can be performed under general anesthesia and can take anywhere from one to several hours to finish. Dr. Schmitz will reposition your jaw to suit your specific needs. Bone may be added, reshaped, or taken away. You also may require screws, surgical plates, rubber bands and wires to secure your jaws in their new locations. Usually, incisions are made inside your mouth to reduce noticeable scarring. Some cases require some small incisions on the outside of the mouth. We will minimize the appearance if these incisions are necessary.

After Surgery:

Dr. Schmitz will instruct you to modify your diet, which may include liquids and solids and with a schedule for changing over to a normal diet. You should also avoid using tobacco products and engaging in strenuous physical activity.

Pain after your corrective jaw surgery can be easily managed with medication and you will be able to return to school or work between one and three weeks after surgery. Initial healing takes about six weeks; however, total healing of the jaw bears nine to 12 months.

What are the Benefits of Corrective Jaw Surgery?

Corrective jaw surgery, will position your teeth in a more functional, balanced and healthy manner. Some patients experience drastic enhancements to their appearance and speech.

Before Upper and Lower Jaw Surgery
After Upper and Lower Jaw Surgery

Dr. Schmitz practices the following Oral and Maxillofacial Procedures in San Antonio, Texas: Facial Cosmetic Surgery, Dental Implants, Wisdom Teeth, All-On-4 Technique and Corrective Jaw Surgery.