Orthognathic Surgery
Mount Kisco

3D-rendered side of a human face showing the jaw in red color.

What Exactly is Orthognathic Surgery?

Orthognathic surgery is also referred to as jaw surgery and includes both the upper jaw, the maxilla, and the lower jaw, the mandible. The purpose of orthognathic surgery is to surgically correct any irregularities in the jawbones as well as realign the jaw and teeth. This type of surgery will not only improve the function of your mouth, it may also improve your overall facial appearance. You may be recommended orthognathic surgery if you experience any jaw problems that cannot be fixed with regular orthodontics. Our experienced staff at New York Oral, Maxillofacial, and Implant Surgery can help fix any misalignments or jaw problems you may be experiencing.

The Process of Orthognathic Surgery

There are five types of jaw surgeries available for correcting jawbone and misalignment issues. The type of surgery required will vary on the severity of the misalignment and the position of your jaw. Our team will closely examine your mouth to determine which will work ideally to give you the best results.

Mandibular Osteotomy

If you suffer from a severe underbite or receded lower jaw, a mandibular osteotomy will likely be suggested. This procedure requires our surgeons to move the jawbone forward or backward, depending on the bite alignment. This is a relatively simple procedure for most.

Maxillary Osteotomy

A maxillary osteotomy is often recommended for those who suffer from an open bite, crossbite, or overbite. This surgery requires our staff to make an incision in gums above the teeth in your upper jaw. We will then cut and break the upper jaw to move it into its proper placement. A small plastic wafer is attached to the teeth to align the jaw and a set of metal plates and titanium screws are used to keep it there. This procedure can be rather intensive and can require a few hours on the operating table.


Genioplasty is often used in conjunction with mandibular osteotomy and involves surgery of the chin. Since your chin and lower jaw need to be in proper alignment, it may be necessary to undergo this type of surgery if you suffer from a severe underbite that requires restructuring your entire lower jaw.

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Surgery

If you suffer from severe and chronic pain from temporomandibular joint dysfunction, TMD, you may have to undergo either arthroplasty or arthrocentesis surgery. It may even be necessary for both to be performed, depending on your condition. An arthroplasty operation requires a small cut be made in front of the ear. We then place an arthroscope camera in, which allows us to see any scar tissue surrounding the joint. We will then remove this scar tissue to help alleviate the pain it causes to the joint.

During an arthrocentesis surgery, our team will reposition your jaw and realign the cartilage disc inside of it. We will then place a sterile fluid inside the joint to help remove any debris that may be causing you pain. A steroid drug is then administered into the joint to help strengthen the area. This is not used as often as arthroplasty but is often used in extreme cases of TMD.

How Long Can I Expect My Orthognathic Surgery to Take?

How long your orthognathic jaw surgery takes, will depend on the type of surgery you undergo. As stated above, it can take from one hour to several hours. It is best to talk with your surgeon to find out how long your particular procedure will take.

How Do I Know if I'm a Good Candidate for Orthognathic Surgery?

Orthognathic surgery will only be recommended to anyone who's jaw has fully developed. The purpose of orthognathic surgery is to address any jawbone issues in both the maxilla and mandible that cannot be fixed with simple orthodontic procedures. Several common issues require orthognathic surgery. An overbite can be corrected, which is when the upper jaw protrudes over the lower jaw. An underbite, which involves the lower jaw protruding over the upper jaw, can be fixed. Lastly, an open bite, which is when the upper and lower teeth do not meet when the mouth is closed, is also fixable through this surgery.

There are several other less common issues where we might recommend orthognathic surgery. If you experience chronic jaw or jaw joint pain, referred to as TMJ, suffer from severe headaches from jaw pain, certain birth defects, facial injuries, breathing problems from sleep apnea, or lower chin and jaw recession, orthognathic surgery is recommended. Failure to get these problems fixed can result in lasting and persistent health issues.

What is the Ideal Age to Undergo Orthognathic Surgery?

For females, this can be between the ages of 14 and 16, and for males, it is between ages 17 and 21.

What is the Success Rate of Orthognathic Surgery?

Jaw surgery is vital in guaranteeing that all of the middle and lower face features are perfectly balanced.

Apart from jaw alignment, the procedure has proven effective in helping patients who are experiencing problems with the function of the jaw. This could either be in terms of speech, feeding and the general movement of the jaw. Whether it is the lower or upper jaw, orthognathic surgery can target the specific area to be rectified.

What is the Recovery Time After Orthognathic Surgery?

Bruising and swelling after your surgery are common, which may be alleviated by applying ice packs to the affected area. After a few days, the swelling should start to go down, but it may take several weeks before it has disappeared completely.

It will take around six weeks for the initial healing after jaw surgery, but up to three months to be fully healed.

What Side Effects Can I Expect After Orthognathic Surgery?

You will not be able to open your mouth for several weeks, and stiffness is common. A blocked nose is normal after your surgery, and you may see bleeding from the nose and mouth. It is important to refrain from blowing your nose as this could dislodge blood clots that have formed to heal the wounds in your mouth.

What Foods Are Best to Eat After Orthognathic Surgery?

All of your food will be liquidized as you will not be able to eat solid foods. You may find using a straw helpful.

Schedule an Appointment Today!

If you believe a jaw alignment surgery may be necessary, our team at New York Oral, Maxillofacial, and Implant Surgery can help provide any necessary orthognathic surgery. Give us a call today at (914) 768-8220 to schedule an appointment so we can examine the area and provide you with a treatment plan that works.
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