What and why

Irregular alignment of the upper and lower jaw may in the short or long term result in difficulties chewing or biting off food. Sometimes, the speech or breathing is also affected. A jaw correction may help resolve these issues.

Corrective jaw surgery may restore the balance of the face by removing asymmetries and correcting the jaw line and the chin projection.

It involves surgical correction of the facial skeleton (jaw bones) to normalise the relationship between the upper and lower jaw, as well as between the jaw bones and the rest of the skull. The bite and position of the teeth are corrected in relation to each other (occlusion). Finally, we attempt to achieve a more balanced profile of the face and remove any asymmetry.

When?

In most patients, jaw correction is performed in combination with orthodontic treatment. In that case, surgical correction follows the orthodontic preparations, usually in the form of braces. Your orthodontist is best placed to advise what age the treatment should be started, since this is different for each individual.

Overview of possible corrections

Bone platesUpper jaw expansion
Upper jaw correctionChin correction
Upper and lower jaw correctionLower jaw correction

Before the operation (preoperative)

Preparatory session

For most patients, the orthodontist will perform the dental preparations before surgical jaw correction can be conducted. Braces prepare the teeth in the upper and lower jaw for the surgical translocation of the jaw bone.

For an optimum result (correct bite, realignment of facial asymmetry, chin and jaw line projection), the impact of a jaw correction must be accurately assessed. This assessment is based on extensive and individual preoperative analysis. The surgeon gathers the patient-specific measurements and information during an extensive preparatory session. The following data are involved:

  • a digital clinical photo series
  • extensive clinical measurements of the individual’s face and teeth
  • 3D imaging of the skull based on a specific CT scan
  • (digitised) dental impression

This information is uploaded into professional 3D software which allows for detailed planning and simulation of the procedure. The surgeon will decide on the ultimate planning based on his or her expertise.

The preparatory session, the subsequent processing and the final planning in the specialised software take several hours.

3D planning

Specialised professional software (IPS CaseDesigner) allows for detailed three-dimensional planning for the jaw correction. The bite, jaw translocation and the facial changes are simulated and visualised. This helps the surgeon achieve an ideal result, tailored to each individual patient. The software also ensures that the expected resultcan be shown to the patient prior to the actual surgery.

After the operation (postoperative)

After the surgical jaw correction, your surgeon will closely monitor you for the first six weeks.

After six weeks, the jaw bones will have healed and the orthodontist will continue to work to complete correcting the bite. The surgeon will see you a few times over the longer term to evaluate the final result.

During the consults, you will be provided with all the necessary information about matters that are important in the period following the procedure (e.g. diet, cooling and pain medication).