Orthognathic Surgery: A Comprehensive Guide to its Purpose and Benefits

Orthognathic surgery, also known as corrective jaw surgery, is a specialized procedure aimed at correcting irregularities in the jawbones and ensuring proper alignment of the upper and lower jaws. This surgical intervention is often recommended for individuals with severe jaw misalignments that cannot be effectively addressed through orthodontic treatments alone. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of orthognathic surgery, exploring its purpose, the conditions it addresses, and the numerous benefits it offers to patients seeking improved facial aesthetics and functionality.

Purpose of Orthognathic Surgery

Correction of Malocclusions

Orthognathic surgery is primarily employed to address malocclusions, which are misalignments of the jaws that lead to bite irregularities. Common malocclusions include overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites. These conditions can result from genetic factors, growth discrepancies between the upper and lower jaws, or trauma.

Facial Symmetry and Aesthetics

Beyond functional improvements, orthognathic surgery aims to enhance facial aesthetics by restoring balance and symmetry to the facial features. Irregularities in jaw alignment can significantly impact the overall appearance of the face, and orthognathic surgery helps achieve a harmonious facial profile.

Improvement of Breathing and Speech

Certain jaw misalignments can contribute to breathing difficulties and speech impediments. Orthognathic surgery can address these issues by repositioning the jaws to create a more functional airway and improve articulation.

Conditions Treated by Orthognathic Surgery

Overbite (Class II Malocclusion)

Overbites occur when the upper jaw protrudes significantly over the lower jaw. Orthognathic surgery can involve repositioning the upper jaw to achieve a more balanced bite.

Underbite (Class III Malocclusion)

Underbites result from the lower jaw protruding beyond the upper jaw. Orthognathic surgery can correct this by repositioning the lower jaw to achieve proper alignment.


A crossbite occurs when one or more teeth in the upper jaw sit inside the lower teeth. Orthognathic surgery can correct this misalignment by adjusting the position of the affected jaw.

Benefits of Orthognathic Surgery

Enhanced Facial Aesthetics

One of the primary benefits of orthognathic surgery is the improvement in facial aesthetics. Patients often experience a more balanced and symmetrical facial profile, leading to increased self-confidence and an improved overall appearance.

Improved Bite and Jaw Functionality

Orthognathic surgery ensures that the upper and lower jaws align correctly, resulting in an improved bite and enhanced jaw functionality. This not only aids in chewing and speaking but also reduces the risk of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

Resolution of Breathing Difficulties

Patients with jaw misalignments may suffer from obstructed airways, leading to breathing difficulties. Orthognathic surgery can address these issues by repositioning the jaws and creating a more open and functional airway.

Speech Clarity

Correcting jaw misalignments can contribute to improved speech clarity. By aligning the jaws properly, orthognathic surgery can enhance articulation and reduce speech impediments associated with certain malocclusions.

Long-Term Stability

Orthognathic surgery aims for long-term stability, ensuring that the corrected jaw alignment is maintained over time. This stability is crucial for the sustained benefits of the surgery and the overall well-being of the patient.


Orthognathic surgery is a specialized and highly effective intervention for individuals with severe jaw misalignments. Beyond the cosmetic enhancements, the surgery offers numerous functional benefits, including improved bite, enhanced jaw functionality, and resolution of breathing and speech difficulties. Patients who undergo orthognathic surgery often experience a significant boost in self-confidence and an overall improvement in their quality of life. As with any surgical procedure, it is crucial for individuals considering orthognathic surgery to consult with qualified oral and maxillofacial surgeons to assess their specific needs and determine the most appropriate course of action.