Orthognathic Jaw Reconstruction



Corrective jaw surgery will reshape or reposition the jaw bones. The surgery may be done on the upper jaw, lower jaw, or both. This surgery may also be called:

  • Maxillary osteotomy—upper jaw
  • Mandibular osteotomy—lower jaw

The bone should heal in about 6 weeks. It will take about 9 to 12 months before the jaw fully heals.

The Upper and Lower Jaw Bones
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Possible Complications

Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review problems that could happen such as:

  • Numbness or pain in sinuses, ears, or teeth
  • Excess bleeding
  • No improvement in symptoms
  • Poor cosmetic outcome
  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia, such as lightheadedness, low blood pressure, and wheezing
  • Infection
  • Nausea and vomiting

Factors that may increase the risk of problems include:

  • Smoking
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Chronic health conditions, such as heart disease

Talk to your doctor about these risks before the procedure.



This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

a (Orthognathic Surgery; Maxillofacial Surgery; Maxillary Osteotomy; Mandibular Osteotomy)


American Academy of Periodontology http://www.perio.org 

American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons http://www.aaoms.org 


Canadian Dental Association http://www.cda-adc.ca 

Dental Hygiene Canada http://www.dentalhygienecanada.ca 


Corrective jaw surgery. American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons website. Available at: http://myoms.org/procedures/corrective-jaw-surgery. Accessed May 27, 2018.

Home care after surgery. Fallon Oral Surgery of Syracuse. Available at: http://www.fallonoralsurgery.com/forms/Home%5FCare%5FAfter%5FSurgery.pdf. Accessed May 27, 2018.

Orthognathic surgery. Harvard Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Available at: http://www.massgeneral.org/omfs/services/procedure.aspx?id=2166. Accessed May 27, 2018.

Oral wound care after Mohs Surgery. University of Wisconsin-Madison. Available at: http://www.uwhealth.org/healthfacts/wound-skin/4941.html. Accessed May 27, 2018.