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Orthognathic surgery, otherwise known as jaw surgery, is required when the jaws do not meet correctly and/or teeth do not seem to fit with jaws. Once teeth are straightened with orthodontics, corrective jaw surgery will be performed to reposition the jaws.
Jaw surgery improves facial appearance and allows the teeth to meet, so patients can properly bite, chew and swallow.
The procedure involves a cut being made through the gum, behind the back teeth. The lower jaw is cut with a small saw so the surgeon can break it in a controlled manner. Once the jaw is moved into the correct alignment, it is held in place with metal plates and screws.
It may be necessary to make a small incision on the face to allow the tiny screws to be inserted. If so, the gum inside the mouth will be sutured and should heal within a fortnight or so.
After jaw surgery, patients will feel like their jaws are stiff and their face is swollen. A patient’s throat may also feel uncomfortable; swallowing can be difficult following surgery. Swelling and bruising will be most noticeable on the second or third day after surgery, however, this is all completely normal