Tackling Jaw Alignment Issues: A Comprehensive Guide to the Origins of Orthognathic Surgery

Are you struggling with jaw alignment issues, making it difficult to bite, chew, or speak properly? If so, you’re not alone. A misaligned jaw can impact your oral health, facial appearance, and overall quality of life. That’s where orthognathic surgery comes in.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the origins of orthognathic surgery and how it can help correct jaw alignment issues. From understanding the causes of jaw misalignment to learning about the different types of surgical procedures, we’ve got you covered.

Orthognathic surgery involves repositioning the jaw to improve functionality and aesthetics. Whether your misalignment is due to genetics, injury, or a developmental issue, this procedure can provide long-lasting benefits.

Join us as we dive into the world of orthognathic surgery, unraveling its history, techniques, and success stories. Discover why this surgical intervention is the go-to solution for those seeking relief from jaw alignment issues.

Don’t let jaw misalignment hold you back any longer. Let’s embark on this journey together and explore the transformative power of orthognathic surgery.

Understanding jaw alignment issues

Jaw misalignment, also known as malocclusion, is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the upper and lower jaws do not align properly, causing issues with biting, chewing, and speaking. There are several factors that can contribute to jaw misalignment, including genetics, trauma, and developmental abnormalities.

Genetics play a significant role in jaw alignment issues. If your parents or close relatives have had misaligned jaws, you are more likely to develop the condition. Additionally, trauma, such as a facial injury or accident, can disrupt the alignment of the jaw. Developmental abnormalities, such as a cleft palate or a discrepancy in jaw growth, can also lead to misalignment.

The signs and symptoms of jaw alignment issues can vary from person to person. Common symptoms include difficulty biting or chewing, jaw pain or discomfort, speech problems, and facial asymmetry. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to consult with a qualified orthodontist or oral surgeon for a proper diagnosis.

Diagnostic procedures for jaw alignment issues

Diagnosing jaw alignment issues requires a comprehensive evaluation by a dental professional. During the initial examination, your orthodontist or oral surgeon will assess your dental and facial structure, perform a thorough medical history review, and conduct various diagnostic tests.

One of the primary diagnostic tools used to assess jaw alignment issues is the use of dental X-rays. These X-rays provide detailed images of the teeth, jaws, and facial bones, allowing the dental professional to identify any abnormalities or misalignments. Additionally, a 3D cone beam CT scan may be recommended to provide a more detailed view of the jaw and facial structures.

In some cases, your dental professional may also take dental impressions or use digital scanning technology to create a virtual model of your teeth and jaws. This allows for precise measurements and analysis of your bite, helping to determine the extent of the misalignment and the best course of treatment.

Non-surgical treatment options for jaw alignment issues

When it comes to addressing jaw alignment issues, there are various non-surgical treatment options available. These options are often considered as the first line of treatment for mild to moderate cases of misalignment.

One common non-surgical treatment option is the use of orthodontic appliances such as braces or clear aligners. These appliances work by applying gentle pressure to gradually shift the position of the teeth and the jaw. While this method may not be able to correct severe misalignments, it can be effective for less complex cases.

Another non-surgical treatment option is the use of functional appliances. These appliances are designed to modify the growth and development of the jaw in children and teenagers. By guiding the growth of the jaw, functional appliances can help address misalignment issues and improve the overall facial balance.

In some cases, non-surgical treatment options may also include speech therapy and physical therapy. These therapies can help improve the functionality of the jaw and address any associated issues such as difficulty speaking or chewing.

While non-surgical treatment options can be effective for certain individuals, they may not always provide the desired results, especially in cases of severe misalignment. That’s where orthognathic surgery comes into play.

The role of orthognathic surgery in correcting jaw alignment issues

Orthognathic surgery is a surgical procedure that involves repositioning the jaw to improve functionality and aesthetics. It is typically recommended for individuals with severe jaw misalignment that cannot be corrected through non-surgical means.

One of the main benefits of orthognathic surgery is its ability to address both functional and aesthetic concerns. By repositioning the jaw, the surgery can help improve the bite, speech, and overall oral function. Additionally, it can enhance the facial appearance and restore facial harmony.

Orthognathic surgery is often performed by a team of specialists including an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, an orthodontist, and sometimes a speech therapist or a prosthodontist. The process begins with a thorough evaluation of the patient’s condition, including X-rays, photographs, and dental impressions. This evaluation helps determine the extent of the misalignment and the appropriate surgical approach.

Preparing for orthognathic surgery

Preparing for orthognathic surgery involves several steps to ensure a successful procedure and recovery. The first step is a comprehensive examination and consultation with the surgical team. This includes discussing the patient’s medical history, performing necessary tests, and setting realistic expectations for the surgery.

In some cases, pre-surgical orthodontic treatment may be required to align the teeth properly before the surgery. This helps ensure optimal results and a stable bite after the procedure. The duration of pre-surgical orthodontic treatment varies depending on the individual case and may range from a few months to over a year.

During the pre-operative phase, it is important for patients to follow any guidelines provided by the surgical team. This may include avoiding certain medications, quitting smoking, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The surgical team will also provide instructions on what to expect during the recovery period and how to prepare for it.

The orthognathic surgery procedure

The orthognathic surgery procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia in a hospital or surgical center. The specific surgical approach depends on the individual case and the goals of the surgery.

Once the patient is under anesthesia, the surgeon makes incisions inside the mouth to access the jawbone. Through these incisions, the surgeon carefully repositions the jaw to the desired position. In some cases, bone grafts or implants may be used to provide additional support or enhance the aesthetics of the jawline.

After repositioning the jaw, the surgeon secures it in place using specialized screws, plates, or wires. These materials are designed to promote proper healing and stability. Once the jaw is secured, the incisions are closed using dissolvable sutures.

The duration of the surgery varies depending on the complexity of the case, but it can range from a few hours to several hours. Following the procedure, patients are taken to a recovery area where they are closely monitored until they wake up from anesthesia.


Jaw alignment issues can have a significant impact on your overall oral health, facial appearance, and quality of life. Orthognathic surgery offers a comprehensive solution for correcting jaw misalignment, providing long-lasting benefits and improved functionality.

Whether your misalignment is due to genetics, trauma, or developmental abnormalities, orthognathic surgery can help restore proper jaw alignment and alleviate associated symptoms. By understanding the causes and origins of jaw alignment issues, as well as the different diagnostic procedures and treatment options available, you can make informed decisions about your oral health.

Don’t let jaw misalignment hold you back any longer. Consult with a qualified dental professional to explore the possibility of orthognathic surgery and unlock the transformative power it can offer. Take the first step towards a healthier, more confident smile today.

Dr. Larry Wolford / Web Decoration

Get To Know Dr. Larry M. Wolford, DMD

Diplomat of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Oral Maxillofacial Jaw Surgeon | Larry M. Wolford, DMD
Dr. Larry M. Wolford
The Leading Maxillofacial Revision Surgeon in the World

Dr. Larry M. Wolford, known as a caring and compassionate doctor, surgeon, researcher, lecturer, inventor, is renowned globally as a leading innovator in TMJ (jaw joint) surgery, orthognathic “corrective jaw” surgery, and maxillofacial revision surgery. He has completed many thousands of successful surgeries and is the most recognized, awarded, and referred Maxillofacial surgeon in the World.

Dr. Wolford’s patients travel to Dallas, Tx from all over the world. He has received recognition from his esteemed surgeon colleagues in the form of numerous awards, honors, Who’s Who in the World, and voted one of the leading Maxillofacial Surgeons in the world. Dr. Wolford has tirelessly shared his knowledge, surgical inventions, and expertise with other surgeons having trained hundreds of other surgeons through various fellowships at Baylor and Texas A&M.

Dr. Wolford is the recognized expert in his field as seen on numerous media outlets and by his long list of Google 5 Star reviews. Other oral surgeons, dentists, maxillofacial surgeons regularly refer their most difficult patients to Dr. Wolford because of his superior knowledge, capabilities, and life-changing results.

Contact Dr. Wolford’s Staff for a Free Initial Telephone Consultation.

Office Location:

Larry M. Wolford, DMD

Baylor University Medical Center, Worth Street Tower 3409 Worth Street, Suite 400, Dallas, TX 75246

Experience Matters

Dr. Larry Wolford / Web Decoration
Dr. Larry Wolford has over 40 years of complex surgical experience

Dr. Larry Wolford has over 40 years of complex surgical experience

65% of his practice are patients referred from all over the USA and other countries

65% of his practice are patients referred from all over the USA and other countries

Developed many innovative procedures that are the current jaw surgical techniques

Developed many innovative procedures that are the current jaw surgical techniques

Listens to the patient and answers questions with care and compassionate

Listens to the patient and answers questions with care and compassionate