Jaw Surgery (Orthognathic surgery)

Orthognathic surgery is needed when jaws don't meet correctly and/or teeth don't seem to fit with jaws. Teeth are straightened with orthodontics (braces) and corrective jaw surgery repositions misaligned jaws. This not only improves facial appearance, but also ensures that teeth, jaws, lips and jaw joints meet correctly and function properly.


Orthognathic Surgery Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of orthognathic surgery, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to orthognathic surgery are discussed.

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Who Needs Orthognathic Surgery?

People who can benefit from orthognathic surgery include those with an improper bite or jaws that are positioned incorrectly. Jaw growth is a gradual process and in some instances, the upper and lower jaws may grow at different rates. The result can be a host of problems that can affect chewing function, teeth, speech, long-term oral health and appearance. Injury to the jaw and birth defects can also affect jaw alignment and growth. Orthodontics alone can correct bite problems when only the teeth are involved, however Orthognathic surgery may be required to realign the jaws, teeth and face.

Difficulty in the following areas should be evaluated to see if orthognathic surgery is necessary:

  • difficulty in chewing, biting or swallowing
  • speech problems
  • chronic jaw or TMJ pain
  • open bite
  • abnormal tooth wear and bite
  • poor jaw alignment and facial asymmetry
  • protruding jaw
  • breathing problems

Any of these symptoms can exist at birth or be acquired after birth. These symptoms can be a result of hereditary or environmental influences or as a result of trauma to the face. Before any treatment begins, a consultation will be held to perform a complete examination with x-rays and dental models.

During the pre-treatment consultation process, feel free to ask any questions that you have regarding your treatment. When you are fully informed about the aspects of your care, you and your dental team will make the decision to proceed with treatment together.


Orthognathic Surgery Overview

For a brief narrated overview of the orthognathic surgery process, please click the image on the right. It will launch our flash educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about orthognathic surgery.

Having trouble? Please make sure you have version 7 of the Flash browser plugin in order to correctly view this presentation. This software is available as a free download.


If you are a candidate for Corrective Jaw Surgery, Dr. Freimuth will work closely with your dentist and orthodontist during your treatment. The actual surgery can move your teeth and jaws into a new position that results in a more attractive, functional and healthy dental-facial relationship.