Orthognathic (Jaw) Surgery)

Orthognathic (Jaw) Surgery

Fairfax Oral Surgery performs a full range of oral & craniofacial surgery.

Orthognathic & Corrective Jaw Surgery

Corrective Jaw Surgery also known as Orthognathic Surgery, corrects minor and major dental and skeletal irregularities. Corrective jaw surgery includes the correction of misaligned jaws and teeth, which improves basic functions such as speaking, chewing, and breathing. While the primary goal is to correct your functional problems, this procedure can also dramatically enhance your appearance.

Common Jaw Issues Include:

  • Chronic jaw joint (TMJ) or jaw pain and headaches
  • Open bite (space remaining between your upper and lower teeth when your mouth is closed)
  • Birth defects or facial injury
  • Unable to make lips touch without strain
  • Difficulty biting and chewing food
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sleep apnea (unable to breathe properly while sleeping, including snoring)
  • Facial appearance is unbalanced from the front or side
  • Chronic dry mouth and mouth breathing
  • Excessive teeth wear
  • Receding chin
  • Protruding Jaw

Your Dental Care Team

Working as a team your Surgeon, Orthodontist and Dentist will make every effort to accurately estimate the time required to complete the corrective jaw surgery process. This process also requires a long-term commitment from you and your family since it can sometimes take several years to complete. This process requires your Surgeon, Orthodontist and Dentist because:

  • Your dentist will maintain our oral health for the duration of your orthodontic and surgical treatment.
  • Your orthodontist will align your teeth according to the plan developed prior to the surgical procedure, and will make final adjustments after the surgery is completed.
  • Your Surgeon will determine the most appropriate surgical procedure and will perform the actual procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Corrective Jaw Surgery/Orthognathic Surgery

This surgical procedure will be performed under general anesthesia in a hospital or at our Fairfax Office in our state-of-the-art operating room and can take anywhere from one to several hours to finish. Your Surgeon will reposition your jaw to suit your specific needs, and may use surgical plates and screws to hold your jaws in their new position

Prior to your surgery, you will need to wear braces that will move your teeth into a new position. This phase of treatment can last anywhere from six to 12 months. Since your bite is being prepared so your teeth fit together after surgery, you may think that your teeth don’t fit together properly and your mouth is getting worse. However, when your surgeon repositions your jaw, your teeth should fit well together.

Closer to the date of the surgery, you will meet with the surgeon to take additional x-rays and models of your teeth. This is to ensure that your teeth will be properly aligned during surgery.

Once a consultation has been completed by your orthodontist, we would like to evaluate you by performing a clinical examination, reviewing your radiographs, and evaluating your pre-treatment models. A comprehensive treatment plan will be developed in conjunction with your orthodontist. Several progress checks will be made during your orthodontic treatment and then the final work up will be completed prior to surgery. This includes models, photos, 3-dimensional records and radiographs. The specific details of your surgery including indications, options, risks, and complications will be discussed with you at length before surgery is performed. Clearance for surgery including a history and physical, lab work, and X-rays are obtained from your primary care medical doctor before all procedures.

Surgery is performed in a hospital setting our outpatient surgical setting. The same anesthesiologist, instrumentation and surgical staff are provided in our outpatient surgery center as one would find at the hospital. Determination of eligibility for this facility will be determined in advance of your surgery.

By undergoing corrective jaw surgery, your teeth are re-positioned in a more functional, balanced and healthy manner. Some patients experience drastic enhancements to their appearance and speech.

Technology and Jaw Surgery

Our doctors use modern computer techniques and three-dimensional models to show you exactly how your surgery will be approached. Using comprehensive facial X-rays and computer video imaging, we can show you how your bite will be improved and even give you an idea of how you’ll look after surgery. This helps you understand the surgical process and the extent of the treatment prescribed, and to see the benefits of orthognathic surgery.

If you are a candidate for Corrective Jaw Surgery, our doctors will work closely with your dentist and orthodontist during your treatment. The actual surgery can move your teeth and jaws into a new position that results in a more attractive, functional and healthy dental-facial relationship.

Following the procedure you may have wires or rubber bands holding the jaws together for a few days or a few weeks. Sometimes a plastic splint or guide may be used to help maintain the proper bite during your recovery period. Your surgeon will instruct you to modify your diet, which could include liquids and solids, with a schedule for changing over to a normal diet. You should also avoid using tobacco products and engaging in strenuous physical activity.

Pain after your corrective jaw surgery can be easily managed with medication and you will be able to return to school or work between one and three weeks after surgery. Initial healing of the bones takes about six weeks and then you will follow-up with your orthodontist to finish your case.

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  • In Our Patients Words

    “The aftercare was top notch! The entire staff was familiar with my status and Dr. Ramsey was always within reach for anything I needed. I would deeply and whole-heartedly recommend this procedure, the offices of Dr. Ramsey and his staff to all of my friends and family"

    Frank S.,
    All-On-4 Patient

  • In Our Patients Words

    I had all 4 of my wisdom teeth taken out within an hour and was fine by the next day. The doctors and team are top tier.

    James Sweet,
    Wisdom Teeth Patient

  • In Our Patients Words

    Thanks for making a not-great experience not so bad! I appreciate your thoughtfulness and kindness, before and after the procedure. It made a huge difference for me, as I imagine it does for all your other patients. Thank you again.

    Judy Lacourciere,
    Dental Implant Patient

  • In Our Patients Words

    Thank you and your team for making what I thought would be a horrible experience a pleasant surprise with my upper implants. I'll be back this year for work on the lower teeth. If I or my family ever needs any type of oral surgery, we know where to go. Thanks again.

    William H. Lovelace,
    Dental Implant Patient

  • In Our Patients Words

    I had my wisdom teeth taken out last week by Fairfax Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. The office was very professional, very personable and friendly. The procedure went really quickly and the pain/swelling I felt afterwards was minimal/minor compared to some of the horror stories I've heard of wisdom teeth extractions. The doctor walked me through the risks of having one of my impacted teeth removed and what the risks were of not having it taken out. The office also took care of billing my dental and medical insurances for the procedures and at the time of surgery, I just had to pay a deposit, which is MUCH appreciated from other practices that I had looked into where they wanted me to pay for the ENTIRE surgery and it was my responsibility to get my money from the insurance companies.

    Kim N,
    Wisdom Teeth Extraction Patient

  • In Our Patients Words

    My husband and I both came to the Fairfax Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery office to get our wisdom teeth surgically extracted. The doctors were great to work with and answered any questions we had.

    Katie Proudfoot,
    Wisdom Teeth Extraction Patient

  • In Our Patients Words

    After having a wisdom tooth removed, I developed severe pain a few days later. I called your office, got an immediate appointment and was seen by a dentist within hours. The pain continued and three days later I called again. I was immediately given an appointment and was seen by the doctor even before the time of the appointment! I want to commend your practice since in so many cases a patient is all but ignored when any follow-up is required. Getting immediate appointments and being seen within hours is something you can be very proud of. This is what makes America's medical care the best in the world.

    Dave Stottlemyer,
    Wisdom Tooth Removal Patient

  • In Our Patients Words

    Thank you all for making what I thought would be a horrible experience “forgettable”. If I or my family ever needs any type of oral surgery again, we know where to go. Thanks again.

    M. Schutter,
    Oral Surgery Patient

  • In Our Patients Words

    I had a wonderfully easy and comfortable experience with my procedure at Fairfax Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Dr. Theberge was my oral surgeon and helped me feel at ease with the whole anesthesia process (I was a little anxious). The staff was super friendly and helpful! They put a blanket on me and made sure I felt comfortable. The healing process was quick and I had no problems at all. Overall I highly recommend this office.

    Heather G,
    Oral Surgery Patient

  • In Our Patients Words

    Whether it's a complex facial injury that occurs to one of our players during a game or routine care requiring the specialized services of an oral surgeon, the doctors of Fairfax Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery have always been my first choice when any of the Washington Capitals or their family members need specialized care by an Oral Surgeon.

    Thomas Lenz, Jr., DDS, PC,
    Washington Capitals Team Dentist

  • In Our Patients Words

    I had a tooth extracted this morning. I was really dreading it. The doctor and his assistant were just great. They made the whole experience so easy for me. While I hope not to have to do this again anytime soon, if I did, I would immediately call your office for an appointment.

    Wisdom Teeth Patient

Practicing the full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery with expertise ranging from dental implant surgery and wisdom teeth removal to corrective & reconstructive jaw surgery. Fairfax Oral Surgery proudly serves Alexandria, Fairfax, Centreville, Burke, Reston, Woodbridge and the Counties of Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun, as well as the City of Alexandria and the rest of the Northern Virginia Area.

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