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What is orthognathic surgery?
Orthognathic comes from the Greek word “orthos,” which means straight, and “gnathos,” which means jaw. Orthognathic surgery is a set of surgical procedures used to correct jaw abnormalities resulting from skeletal problems.
Who needs orthognathic surgery?
This operation is an option for people with malocclusion (misalignment of the teeth) that cannot be fixed with orthodontics alone. Proper alignment of the teeth and jaws will improve your ability to chew and bite into foods as well as the appearance of your smile and facial profile.
Common jaw abnormalities include:
Lower jaw problems
Upper jaw problems
When is orthognathic surgery typically performed?
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons typically choose to correct these problems after your jaws have stopped growing. This usually occurs during late adolescence or early adulthood.
What causes jaw abnormalities?
Jaw abnormalities can be caused by congenital (present at birth) defects, a genetic tendency for the jaws to grow at different rates, jaw injury or fracture, or a late growth spurt.
Jaws that are not properly aligned may cause the following problems:
What is the long-term outlook?
While orthognathic surgery is quite involved and can sometimes include years of preparation, operations are successful in fixing jaw abnormalities and improving facial appearance.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”