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Jaw Surgery

  • Standard Recovery Time:
    2-3+ months
  • Average Cost:
  • Anesthesia Required:
  • Monthly Payments Starting From:
Jaw Surgery Financing in Canada from Beautifi

About Jaw Surgery

Jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, repositions a misaligned jaw. When the top and bottom jaws do not meet correctly and/or teeth do not fit properly in the jaw, problems such as chronic jaw pain and difficulty eating or breathing normally can occur. Individuals with jaw alignment problems or severe jaw pain who do not respond to other treatment methods alone, such as braces or Invisalign, use jaw surgery to reposition their jaw, changing the facial appearance, boosting self-esteem, and making it easier to chew, speak, and sleep.

Commonly asked questions about Jaw Surgery

1. What is jaw surgery?

Jaw surgery corrects irregularities in the jaw bones and realigns the jaw and teeth, improving their function while also improving facial appearance. When orthodontics alone cannot resolve jaw problems, jaw surgery serves as a corrective option for issues such as different growth rates of the upper and lower jaws, chewing functions, or long-term oral health. Prior to surgery, teeth are typically straightened with orthodontics, and the misaligned jaw is then repositioned with jaw surgery. Oral or maxillofacial surgeons perform jaw surgery, often in collaboration with an orthodontist.

2. Why is jaw surgery done?

There are several reasons why individuals choose jaw surgery. When the jaw and teeth are aligned properly, the lower face will look more balanced, the teeth will function better, and things like sleeping, breathing, chewing, and swallowing will be easier. Additional advantages of jaw surgery include improvements in speech difficulties as well as enhanced confidence and self-esteem.

3. Who is a candidate for jaw surgery?

Before beginning treatment, individuals should consult with their preferred surgeon and orthodontist to ensure that jaw surgery is the best option. For jaw issues that cannot be resolved with orthodontics alone, jaw surgery may be recommended.

Individuals with the following issues may be a candidate for jaw surgery:

  • Chronic jaw pain or headaches
  • Open bite or other dentofacial issues
  • Protruding lower jaw
  • Receding chin or jaw
  • Wearing of the teeth over time
  • Dental problems
  • Inability or difficulty fully closing the lips or teeth
  • Mouth breathing

4. How does jaw surgery work?

In most cases, patients undergoing jaw surgery begin with orthodontic treatment, such as braces or Invisalign, to align the dental arches. Jaw surgery is performed under general anesthesia and can be performed on the upper jaw (maxilla), lower jaw (mandible), or for conditions affecting both jaws (bimaxillary osteotomy).


Upper Jaw (Maxillary Osteotomy)

  1. The surgeon will make an incision in the gums above the upper teeth, allowing access to the bones of the upper jaw.
  2. A cut into the bone above the teeth will be made, allowing the jaw, roof of the mouth, and upper teeth to move into alignment together. The jaw and upper teeth are moved forward until they fit properly with the lower teeth.
  3. Once the jaw is realigned, plates and/or screws hold the bone into its new position and stitches are used to close the incision in the gums.


Lower Jaw (Mandibular Osteotomy)

  1. The surgeon will make an incision into the gums on each side of the lower jaw, just behind the molars.
  2. A cut into the lower jawbone will be made, allowing the surgeon to carefully move the jaw either forward or backwards into a new position.
  3. One the jaw is realigned, plates and/or screws hold the adjusted jawbone into its new position and stitches are used to close the incision in the gums.

5. How long does jaw surgery take?

Depending on the complexity of the procedure, jaw surgery can take between two to five hours.

6. What is recovery like after jaw surgery?

Hospital stays of one to five days are common following jaw surgery. It is also normal to experience swelling, stiffness, and discomfort in the face and jaw area. Initial healing after surgery takes about six weeks, and full recovery can take up to twelve weeks. Return to normal chewing may take up to two months, and full jaw function may take up to a year. The preferred surgeon or orthodontist will prescribe medication and provide instructions to make patients more comfortable during the recovery period; it is critical to follow the instructions provided.

7. When will I see results?

After the initial swelling has subsided, the jaw will require several months to heal before individuals can see results. Depending on the circumstances, patients may require braces after surgery. Jaw surgery is thought to be long-lasting, and the preferred surgeon or orthodontist will monitor post-op progress to ensure the teeth and jaw align correctly.

8. How much does jaw surgery cost in Canada?

The cost of jaw surgery is determined by the type and complexity of the surgery, geographic location, and the experience of the preferred health provider. If applicable, hospital charges, X-rays/dental impressions, as well as braces, Invisalign, and retainers, will all have an impact on the overall cost. In Canada, the average cost of jaw surgery ranges from $8,000 to $20,000.

9. What are the risks of jaw surgery?

When performed by an experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon, often in collaboration with an orthodontist, jaw surgery is generally considered safe. As with any surgery, there are risks and side effects to consider, including:

  • Blood loss
  • Infection
  • Nerve injury
  • Jaw fracture
  • Relapse of the jaw to the original position
  • Problems with bite fit and jaw joint pain
  • Need for further surgery
  • Need for root canal therapy on selected teeth
  • Loss of a portion of the jaw


10. Is jaw surgery worth it?

50/66 of people who have received jaw surgery rated the procedure “Worth It” (76%).