Reconstructive jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery) may be required when there is disproportionate growth in the midface or lower jaw, temporomandibular joint problems related to jaw position, or for post trauma or tumor surgery related problems. In many reconstructive surgery cases, a functional dental occlusion can be obtained only with a combination of orthodontic treatment and reconstructive jaw surgery. Additionally, reconstructive jaw surgery may be indicated in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea patients.
Orthodontic treatment is always a component of reconstructive jaw surgery. Typically, the orthodontist will level and align the upper and lower teeth independent of each other, which requires several months. Then surgery is completed and when healing has occurred, the orthodontist will complete the orthodontic detailing and assure the stability of the dental occlusion before removing the orthodontic appliances. Adults who are in good medical health are candidates for reconstructive jaw surgery as are adolescents who are nearing the completion of skeletal growth. Reconstructive jaw surgery is usually, but not always, reimbursed by medical insurance carriers.
Click on the following link for further information on corrective jaw surgery: http://www.aaoms.org/jaw_surgery.php (from the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons).