Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Treatment for Malocclusion
Orthognathic surgery treats
malocclusion ("poor bite") by restructuring the jaw
through cutting the bone and repositioning the bone segments.
Adults who have jaw-related malocclusion are sometimes offered a
choice between simple
orthodontic treatment and orthodontic treatment
combined with orthognathic surgery. Adults who have severe jaw problems may
need surgery to improve their looks and how the jaw works. Severe jaw problems
can include upper jaws that don't match with the lower jaws.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons or plastic surgeons perform this
surgery using general anesthesia. Recovery takes several weeks. While the bone
slowly heals, the jaw is held in place with wires or plates and screws.
The most common problem after this surgery is numbness of the upper
or lower lip (paresthesia). Other risks include infection, bleeding
(hemorrhage), swelling, muscle spasm, and
For most people, orthognathic surgery is elective, based on personal
choice. Because orthognathic surgery requires a long and difficult recovery
period, you should carefully weigh the benefits against the hardship and
expense of the surgery.
For those few people who also have serious functional problems, such
as problems with chewing or closing the mouth, orthognathic surgery may be a
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerWilliam F. Hohlt, DDS - Orthodontics
Current as ofAugust 9, 2016
Current as of:
August 9, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & William F. Hohlt, DDS - Orthodontics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.