Jaw surgery is generally safe when done by an experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon, often in collaboration with an orthodontist.

Risks of surgery may include:

  • 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

After surgery, you may experience:

  • Pain and swelling
  • Problems with eating that can be addressed with nutritional supplements or consultation with a dietitian
  • A brief time of adjustment to a new facial appearance
Feb. 15, 2017
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  3. Clinical paper: Criteria for orthognathic surgery. American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. http://www.aaoms.org/images/uploads/pdfs/ortho_criteria.pdf. Accessed Oct. 13, 2016.
  4. AskMayoExpert. Orthognathic surgery. Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015. Accessed Oct. 13, 2016.
  5. Hatamleh M, et al. Improved virtual planning for bimaxillary orthognathic surgery. Journal of Caniofacial Surgery. 2016;27:e568.
  6. Berlin NL, et al. Improved short-term outcomes following orthognathic surgery are associated with high-volume centers. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2016;138:e273.
  7. Salinas TJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 19, 2016.
  8. Urban SD, et al. Intraoral maxillary quadrangular Le Fort II osteotomy: A long-term follow-up study. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 2004;62:943.