Orthognathic Surgery – Everything About this Jaw Surgery

Orthognathic surgery or jaw surgery is a corrective procedure that aligns your jaw and corrects related facial skeletal deformities that a patient may need. Orthognathic surgery can be a little expensive.

The expenses for orthognathic surgery include surgeon fees, hospital fees, orthodontics charges, charges for materials used prior to the surgery, anesthesia fees and pain medications.


Exceptional oral and maxillofacial surgeons do this treatment, and this treatment involves straightening of the jaws using surgical plates or templates, screws, and wires.

Let’s know more about this jaw surgery in later part of this article.

What is Orthognathic surgery?

Orthognathic surgery also known as corrective jaw surgery is a surgery performed to correct conditions of the jaw and face. The surgery involves the surgical manipulation of the parts of the facial skeleton to restore the proper anatomic and functional relationship. (1)

Surgery can enhance the chewing of food, speaking and breathing of the patient, while the patient’s appearance may be considerably improved as a result of the surgery.

When do you need an Orthognathic surgery?

Orthognathic surgery is necessary for some people as it can help in correcting misaligned jaw or teeth which can cause chronic jaw pain.

It can show tremendous results and also enhances your appearance. Following are some reasons that may require you to do orthognathic surgery:

  • Difficulty in chewing or biting food.
  • Difficulty in swallowing.
  • Chronic jaw pain and headaches. (2)
  • Chronic involuntary mouth breathing.
  • Open bite (space between upper and lower jaw teeth when the mouth is closed).
  • Face injury.
  • Birth defects.
  • Inability to make the lips meet without straining.
  • Sleep apnea (breathing problems while sleeping). (3)
  • Excessive wear of teeth.
  • Tumor or pathology in the jaw.
  • Protruding jaw.
  • Receding chin or lower jaw.

Cost and insurance of the surgery

In the United States, the cost of orthognathic surgery can go up to $20,000 to well over $40,000 without insurance. Besides orthodontics, there are other factors that can affect the cost of surgery including severity of misalignment of the jaw or teeth and what type of surgery is required for your condition.

Orthodontic treatment can add a lot to the overall cost of the surgery. Orthognathic surgery is generally considered as a medical procedure instead of a cosmetic procedure that’s why many health insurance policies cover at least a part of the cost for orthognathic surgery.

How orthodontics affects the cost of orthognathic surgery?

Braces sometimes can help correct a misaligned jaw. However, when braces alone cannot, corrective jaw surgery is used in combination with an orthodontic treatment to fix a misaligned jaw.

Usually, you wear braces for 10 to 15 months before the surgery. After your jaw has recovered, when all your teeth have aligned properly, your orthodontist will remove braces eventually.

The entire orthodontic process, along with the surgery, it may take one to three years including recovery time.

Orthognathic treatment can cost you a fortune when done with orthodontic treatment because orthodontic treatment alone can cost you around $5000 to $8000. Various insurance policies cover most of it so you can afford your treatment.

Is orthognathic surgery worth it?

Orthognathic surgery is really worth it, as for some people who are born with a defect or have severe problems due to misaligned jaw or teeth this treatment can really be a miracle worker.

This surgery no doubt is expensive and not everyone can afford it but getting this surgery can prevent you from more expensive medical and dental problems later in life.

Risk factors related to treatment

The surgery usually lasts for two to three hours and is aided with anesthesia. Anesthesia involves the major risk factors during the surgery.

Risks involved with the administration of anesthesia include pain, swelling, bleeding, infection, and adverse reaction. All of these risk factors may also affect the cost of the surgery.

Don’t forget to follow home care instruction by your doctor including daily brushing with a soft brush and to keep good oral hygiene. (4)


Recovering from orthognathic surgery can be a long process that will be greatly influenced by the how the patient follows the post-operative instructions recommended by the doctor.

Following are important tips that will keep you comfortable and help you speed up healing to achieve successful results:

  • Take anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers, and antibiotics as prescribed by the doctor.
  • Swelling can be reduced by rubbing with a cold compress during the first 48 hours after surgery.
  • Avoid lying in bed for long periods of time in order to reduce the risk of blood clotting in the legs or respiratory illness, like pneumonia.
  • Avoid smoking, spitting and drinking through straws.
  • Keep your mouth clean after surgery by gently brushing your teeth at least twice each day.
  • Do not eat hard or crunchy food.

Final words

Corrective jaw surgery also called orthognathic surgery is performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to correct a wide range of minor to major skeletal and dental misalignments.


This surgery can improve your bite, speaking and breathing altogether. This treatment is expensive and can cost you around $20,000 to $40,000. There are various factors affecting the cost of the entire surgery.

The price of surgery can worry you, but the final results are more than worth it. Not only you will be able to chew and breathe more easily than ever, but also the surgery can make a significant difference in your appearance.


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