Orthognathic Surgery: Part 5

Orthognathic/Corrective Jaw Surgery Procedure

Orthognathic surgery procedures are usually a joint effort between your orthodontist, your oral surgeon, and you. The entire process, including preparation with braces, surgical treatment, and recovery, usually takes 18–24 months to complete. The treatment time may seem long, but much of the treatment time involves wearing braces to prepare the teeth for their new alignment. Patients who have not found jaw relief through other treatments usually find that the benefits of orthognathic surgery are well worth the wait.

Treatment is different for each case, but we’ve created a general outline below for the process of undergoing corrective jaw surgery:

  • Preparation and pre-surgery orthodontics. First, your orthodontist will prepare your teeth for their new alignment. Braces are usually necessary before the procedure, and they will also be worn during the surgery and for a short period after the procedure. Before your procedure, you will also undergo a full oral examination and consultation with Dr. Schmid or Dr. Kim. They will evaluate your condition and discuss your options to determine the best course of action. At Sunrise Facial and Oral Surgery, our team uses 3D imaging techniques to plan your treatment using the most advanced and reliable methods possible.
  • The surgical procedure. After preparing your teeth for their new alignment, we will schedule your surgery. Orthognathic procedures are performed at the hospital using general anesthesia, so the patient will remain completely unconscious and feel no pain throughout. After administering the anesthesia, the surgeon will separate the portion of the jaw that requires repositioning, then re-secure it in place using tiny biocompatible screws and plates. Depending on the extent of your procedure, you may be able to return home the same day, but sometimes an overnight stay in a hospital will be necessary. We will determine all of these details in the treatment planning stages well before your procedure day.
  • Recovery. Recovery can differ substantially from patient to patient, depending on their condition and the extent of the procedure. In general, the first week or two will be the most difficult, but things get easier after that. The bone will require several weeks to heal fully, and a soft foods diet may be necessary for some of this period. Your surgeon will provide you with a prescription for medication to control any pain and a full explanation of your pre- and post-operative instructions so that you can be as comfortable and prepared for recovery as possible.


Once you have been evaluated by your Orthodontist and you are ready to take the next step towards surgery, give our office a call to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Schmid or Dr. Kim. We have 2 convenient locations, Melbourne 321-725-5377 or Suntree (Rockledge) 321-255-7724.