Corrective jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery) treats and corrects abnormalities of the facial bones, specifically the jaws and the teeth. Often, these abnormalities cause difficulty associated with chewing, talking, sleeping and other routine activities. Orthognathic surgery corrects these problems and, in conjunction with orthodontic treatment, will improve the overall appearance of the facial profile.

Using the latest in digital imaging technology, we will demonstrate the overall functional and aesthetic benefits of orthognathic surgery. Computerized treatment planning minimizes treatment times, recovery periods and the overall efficacy of your surgery. State-of-the-art materials such as titanium plates and miniature screws provide stability, strength and predictability to your treatment. These advances in technology, procedures and equipment reduce post-surgical recovery time, thus allowing patients to return to their normal routines soon after the surgery. Dr. Simons was one of the first orthodontists in Seattle to provide orthognathic surgical treatment.

Maxillary (Leforte)

The upper jaw is also referred to as the maxilla. Issues that affect the upper jaw include:

  • If the upper jaw is too long vertically, it can result in a gummy smile or a gap between the upper and lower teeth.
  • If the upper jaw is too short, the face appears short with the upper teeth not showing.
  • Asymmetry due to abnormal jaw growth

During this surgery, an incision is made in the gum area above the upper teeth. The bone in the upper jaw is cut so that the jaw is loosened to be moved forward or backward depending on the malocclusion that needs to be corrected. The jaw can also be repositioned to the right or left to correct asymmetry. To hold the correct position in place, small titanium plates and screws are secured into the jaw.

Mandibular (BSSO)

The lower jaw is also referred to as the mandible. Issues that affect the lower jaw include:

  • If the lower jaw is too small, an underbite can develop
  • If the lower jaw is too big, the lower teeth are positioned in front of the upper teeth
  • Asymmetry due to abnormal jaw growth

An incision is made in the area where your wisdom teeth come in and the bone is cut to allow repositioning of the lower jaw either forward or backward. The jaw can also be repositioned to the right or left to correct asymmetry. Small titanium screws are placed to hold the bones together in the correct position.

Double Jaw

With double jaw surgery, both jaws can be moved and repositioned at the same time.

SARPE (Surgically Assisted Rapid Palatal Expansion)

If a patient has an upper jaw that is too narrow for the lower jaw or if the upper teeth are crowded or blocked out of the dental arch, an orthodontist may use a rapid palatal expander to create a wider space in the upper jaw. If the amount of movement is not enough with the rapid palatal expander, your doctor may recommend SARPE.

In this procedure, the upper jaw is expanded surgically. An incision is made above your upper teeth and the upper jaw bone is cut in order to allow expansion. A palatal expander appliance is then cemented onto the upper teeth. We will provide instructions on the proper time and technique of turning the expander.