Orthognathic Surgery (sometimes called corrective jaw surgery) is used to repair malocclusion or other orthodontic problems. The most common scenarios are the lower jaw being too far forward or back, or the upper jaw too large or too small. Most often the treatment is combined with braces - this can be quite a lengthy procedure, often lasting several years.
Depending on the correction required, surgery may involve one or both jaws, and involves cutting the bone and repositioning it with the aid of titanium mini-plates and screws. In the majority of cases the surgery can be performed through the mouth (intra-orally) and won’t leave any scars on the face.
Usually this type of surgery will require the jaw to be held shut (intermaxillary fixation) using heavy elastics for at least one week. A few days in hospital after surgery is typically needed, until the patient is able to tolerate a liquid diet and the pain & discomfort is under control.
For several weeks following surgery, a soft diet is required, with no chewing until Dr Henze confirms the bone is healing correctly and able to take the strain.