Corrective Jaw Surgery: Indications, Procedures, and Recovery


Corrective jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, is an essential treatment option for those experiencing a range of jaw-related issues that affect their oral function, facial aesthetics, and overall quality of life. Dr. Jarom E. Maurer, DMD, at Bozeman Oral Surgery and Implant Center, has extensive experience in performing corrective jaw surgery, offering personalized, comprehensive care to his patients. In this blog post, we will discuss the indications for corrective jaw surgery, the various procedures available, and what you can expect throughout the recovery process.

When a patient’s upper and lower jawbones are misaligned, they may experience difficulties with chewing, speaking, and breathing, as well as suffer from facial imbalances and dental issues. In many cases, these discrepancies cannot be corrected with orthodontic treatment alone and require corrective jaw surgery. Some common conditions that may necessitate corrective jaw surgery include an overbite, underbite, open bite, facial asymmetry, and sleep apnea.

In this blog post, we will delve into the various types of corrective jaw surgery procedures, explaining their differences and the specific jaw issues they address. Additionally, we will provide a detailed overview of the orthognathic surgery process, from the initial consultation and diagnostic imaging to the surgical procedure and postoperative care. Furthermore, we will outline important recovery tips and instructions to help you achieve the best possible outcome after your corrective jaw surgery. 

Indications for Corrective Jaw Surgery

There are several situations in which corrective jaw surgery may be recommended to address the following issues:

  1. Malocclusion: When the teeth don’t align properly, known as malocclusion, it can lead to difficulty in chewing, unintentional biting of the cheek or tongue, and excessive wear and tear on the teeth.
  2. Sleep Apnea: Severe cases of sleep apnea caused by an obstructed airway due to misaligned jaws may benefit from corrective jaw surgery to improve breathing during sleep.
  3. Facial Aesthetics: Some patients may seek corrective jaw surgery to improve facial harmony and balance when their jaw misalignment affects their appearance and self-confidence.
  4. Speech Difficulties: Jaw misalignment can contribute to speech impediments and difficulty pronouncing certain sounds, which may be improved with corrective jaw surgery.

Types of Corrective Jaw Surgery Procedures

There are several types of corrective jaw surgery procedures, each of which addresses specific jaw misalignment issues:

  1. Maxillary Osteotomy (Upper Jaw): This procedure involves repositioning the upper jaw to correct an open bite, crossbite, or overcrowding. The surgeon makes cuts in the maxilla, allowing it to be moved into the desired position and held in place with metal plates and screws.
  2. Mandibular Osteotomy (Lower Jaw): A mandibular osteotomy targets the lower jaw, correcting an overbite, underbite, or asymmetry. The surgeon makes cuts in the mandible, which is then moved to the desired position and secured with metal plates and screws.
  3. Genioplasty (Chin): A genioplasty addresses the position of the chin to create a balanced facial appearance. The surgeon repositions the chin bone and secures it with metal plates and screws.
  4. Combined Procedures: In some cases, a combination of the above procedures may be necessary to achieve the desired result and fully address the patient’s jaw misalignment.

The Orthognathic Surgery Process

The process of corrective jaw surgery typically involves several stages to ensure optimal results:

  1. Consultation and Diagnosis: During the initial consultation, Dr. Maurer will assess your jaw alignment, discuss your concerns and goals, and review your medical and dental history.
  2. Treatment Planning: Diagnostic imaging, such as dental X-rays or a CBCT scan, will be performed to develop a comprehensive treatment plan, often in collaboration with other dental specialists, such as an orthodontist.
  3. Pre-Surgical Orthodontics: In many cases, pre-surgical orthodontic treatment is necessary to prepare the teeth for the planned jaw repositioning. This phase can last for several months to over a year.
  4. Surgery: The corrective jaw surgery itself is performed under general anesthesia and can take several hours, depending on the complexity of the procedure.
  5. Postoperative Care and Recovery: Following surgery, the patient will receive detailed postoperative care instructions to guide them through the recovery process, including pain management, diet, and oral hygiene.

Recovery Tips and Instructions

After undergoing corrective jaw surgery, it is essential to follow your surgeon’s instructions to ensure a smooth recovery:

  1. Pain Management: Utilize the prescribed pain medications or over-the-counter pain relievers as directed to minimize discomfort during the healing process.
  2. Diet and Nutrition: Maintain a liquid or soft food diet for the initial weeks following surgery, gradually introducing solid foods as tolerated and recommended by your surgeon.
  3. Oral Hygiene: Practice gentle oral hygiene, avoiding the surgical site when brushing and utilizing a saline or prescribed mouth rinse to keep the area clean.
  4. Rest and Activity: Ensure adequate rest following surgery, avoiding strenuous activity and heavy lifting, based on your surgeon’s recommendations.
  5. Follow-Up Appointments: Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with Dr. Maurer to monitor your healing progress and address any concerns or complications.

The Bozeman Oral Surgery and Implant Center Commitment

By choosing Dr. Jarom E. Maurer and his team at Bozeman Oral Surgery and Implant Center, you can expect:

  1. Expertise: Dr. Maurer boasts extensive experience in performing corrective jaw surgery, ensuring your treatment is performed with the utmost skill and precision.
  2. Collaborative Care: Bozeman Oral Surgery and Implant Center works closely with other dental specialists, such as orthodontists, to create a comprehensive, personalized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs.
  3. Advanced Technology: Dr. Maurer utilizes state-of-the-art imaging technology and surgical techniques to facilitate accurate diagnosis, treatment planning, and optimal surgical results.


Corrective jaw surgery is a life-changing procedure that can improve oral function, facial aesthetics, and overall quality of life for those struggling with jaw misalignment. Armed with a deeper understanding of the indications for surgery, the various procedures available, and what to expect during the recovery process, you can confidently seek the care you need from Dr. Jarom E. Maurer and his team at Bozeman Oral Surgery and Implant Center. Schedule your consultation with our oral surgeon in Bozeman today to discuss your jaw misalignment concerns and explore your options for a healthier, more comfortable, and beautiful smile.