Orthognathic (Jaw) Surgery

What is Orthognathic Surgery?

Surgical orthodontics, also known as orthognathic surgery, is jaw surgery performed to correct a wide range of facial and jaw irregularities.

How We Can Help

While we don’t perform jaw correction surgery at our office, if your family dentist has recommended you have jaw realignment surgery, or, if, during one of our examinations, Dr. Stadiem has determined you would benefit from jaw surgery, we can refer you to an oral surgeon and provide the necessary prep and follow up to ensure a successful and lasting outcome.

Woman admiring her teeth in a mirror

Conditions Treated with Jaw Surgery

  • Difficulty chewing or biting food
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chronic jaw or jaw joint (TMJ) pain and headache
  • Excessive wear of the teeth
  • Open bite (space between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed)
  • Unbalanced facial appearance from the front, or side
  • Facial injury or birth defects
  • Receding chin
  • Protruding jaw
  • Inability to make the lips meet without straining
  • Chronic mouth breathing and dry mouth
  • Sleep apnea (breathing problems when sleeping, including snoring)

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The Steps to Jaw Correction


Before surgery, you will have to wear braces for about 6-18 months so your teeth will fit together correctly when your jaws are repositioned. Dr. Stadiem and his team can help prepare you for surgery with the appropriate orthodontic treatment.

Your Bite

Before surgery, your bite may seem to be getting worse rather than better. However, when the oral surgeon moves your jaws into proper alignment during surgery, your teeth will be moved into the proper position.


Orthognathic surgical procedures last anywhere from one to several hours, depending on the amount and type of jaw surgery needed. In most cases, incisions are made inside the mouth and there will be no visible external scars. Most people return to their usual activities within 2 weeks.


The initial healing phase will take approximately 6 weeks, but completion of the healing process will take 9 to 12 months. Your appearance may have changed somewhat due to jaw realignment and associated swelling, so you should be prepared for signs of surprise from your family and friends.

Two women smiling into camera


Dr. Stadiem and his team will usually begin the post-surgical phase of orthodontic treatment 4 to 8 weeks after surgery to “fine-tune” your bite. In most cases, braces are removed within 6 to 12 months following jaw realignment surgery.