Orthognatic Surgery - Face Profil
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Orthognatic Surgery

Orthognatic Surgery

What is orthognathic surgery?

When there are problems of imbalance of the jaws that cannot be solved solely by an orthodontic treatment, surgery that corrects alignment of the jaws and teeth may be needed to restore function and aesthetics.

This surgery is performed when the growth of the jaws is completed (from the age of 17) and is used, among other things, to change the position and/or the morphology of the mandible, maxilla or chin.

Who needs orthognathic surgery?

This proven and safe procedure can solve the following issues:

  • Chewing problems;
  • Facial asymmetry;
  • Protruding jaws,
  • Receding lower jaw and chin;
  • Tooth wear;
  • Breathing problems when sleeping (sleep apnea);
  • “Gummy smile”(excessive gingival exposure when smiling);
  • Open bite (space between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed);
  • Anomalies caused by an injury (accident) or a birth defect.

Treatment steps

Pre-surgical orthodontics:

The orthodontist places fixed appliances (e.g.: braces) on the teeth in order to align them and prepare them for surgery.  These devices are usually left in place for 12 to 24 months before the surgery.


Subsequently, a maxillofacial surgeon is in charge of the surgery that is performed under general anesthesia and during which he or she realigns the maxilla and/or mandible by making cuts into the bone and repositioning the jaws in the desired position. The bones are then secured in their new position with the help of screws and plates.

A bone graft to the jaw is sometimes necessary.

Orthognathic surgery requires a stay of one or two days in the hospital.

After the surgery

Post-surgical orthodontics:

  • During the few months following the surgery, the Orthodontist will complete the dental corrections (alignment of teeth) and ensure their stabilization before removing the appliances (braces).


  • After orthognathic surgery, patients must typically adopt a liquid diet during the first week and a soft diet for the subsequent 2 to 4 weeks. After some time, solid food is added. Following the recommended diet is very important.
  • Hydration is also important because it helps the healing process. For an average adult, it is therefore suggested to drink 3 litres of fluid every 24 hours.

Pain control and infection prevention:

  • Postoperative pain is usually adequately controlled by analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed by the surgeon. Antibiotics are also prescribed to prevent the risk of infection.


  • There is often a large amount of swelling in the jaw area, sometimes accompanied by bruising.
  • Most of the swelling disappears in the first weeks.
  • To help minimize swelling, it is advisable to sleep with your head elevated at an angle of 45 degrees (with two pillows) for the first two weeks after surgery.

Return to normal life:

  • The return to work or school can normally be carried out within a period of 1 to 4 weeks after the surgery, depending on the speed of healing.

A proven procedure

Orthognathic surgeries are now practised on a regular basis and offer effective and stable results.

Ask for a consultation to find out if you are a good candidate for orthognathic surgery.