Corrective jaw surgery is a procedure utilized to treat a wide variety of issues with the jaws and teeth. These discrepancies may lead to difficulty chewing, difficulty swallowing, problems with the jaw joint, difficulty with speech, excessive wear on teeth, imbalance of the facial profile, dry eyes, weak chin, and problems breathing. Surgery is performed by oral & maxillofacial surgeons to correct the misalignment and improve the patient's ability to function; and while this is a procedure for functional purpose, there is often a positive change in the facial appearance.

Not everyone who has misaligned teeth or jaw discrepancies require jaw surgery. BMC providers work closely with orthodontists to determine which patients are candidates for surgery, traditional orthodontics, or a combination. Those patients who would benefit from surgery are most commonly placed in orthodontic appliances (braces) to prepare for the surgery as well as to detail the bite after the surgery. The surgery is dependent on the discrepancy and can involve one or both jaws going forward, backward, up, or down.

These operations are planned carefully and by using molds of the teeth, the surgery is performed in our laboratory before the actual surgery. Once this "model surgery" is done, the movements are captured in plastic splints that are placed on the teeth during surgery to help assure precise movements of the jaws and teeth.

Just like orthodontics, this surgery is most commonly performed in a person's late teens or early twenties, but patients of any age who have jaw and dental discrepancy may be candidates for surgery. There are also certain scenarios where early combined surgical-orthodontic therapy can lead to a greater movement of teeth and the supporting jaw than is available with traditional orthodontics.

Departments and Programs Who Treat This Condition


Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery at Boston Medical Center consists of two distinct divisions: Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology.