Orthognathic Surgery

Corrective Jaw Surgery

Orthognathic surgery is needed when the top and bottom jaws don’t meet correctly and/or teeth don’t adequately fit within the jaw. Teeth are straightened with orthodontics, and corrective jaw surgery repositions a misaligned jaw. This not only improves facial appearance, but also ensures that teeth meet correctly and function properly.

Who needs orthognathic surgery?

People who can benefit from orthognathic surgery include those with an improper bite, or jaws that are positioned incorrectly. Jaw growth is a gradual process and in some instances, the upper and lower jaws may grow at different rates. The result can be a host of problems that may affect chewing function, speech, or long-term oral health and appearance. Injury to the jaw and birth defects can also affect jaw alignment. Orthodontics alone can correct bite problems when only the teeth are involved. Orthognathic surgery may be required for the jaws when repositioning is necessary.

Difficulty in the following areas should be evaluated:

  • Difficulty in chewing, biting, or swallowing
  • Speech problems
  • Chronic jaw or TMJ pain
  • Open bite
  • Protruding jaw
  • Breathing problems

Any of these symptoms can exist at birth, be acquired after birth as a result of hereditary or environmental influences, or as a result of trauma to the face. Before any treatment begins, a consultation will be held to perform a complete examination with x-rays. During the pre-treatment consultation process, feel free to ask any questions that you have regarding your treatment. When you are fully informed about the aspects of your care, you and your dental team can make the decision to proceed with treatment together.


Technology & Orthognathic Surgery

Dr. Loetscher uses modern computer-aided 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 proposed treatment.

If you are a candidate for corrective jaw surgery, Dr. Loetscher 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.

A patient getting a panoramic x-ray of her jaw

What to Expect

  • Corrective jaw surgery is a significant intervention requiring many months of preparation.
  • The surgery is performed in the hospital and can last between one-to-four hours.
  • Hospital stays of one-to-three days are normal.
  • Braces are maintained during surgery and may need to be removed six-to-twelve months after surgery.
  • The greatest impact of orthognathic surgery is the recovery phase.
  • Patients typically may be off work/school from two weeks-to-one month after surgery.
  • Return to normal chewing function may take 2 months and full
    function may take one year.
  • Our goal is to ensure you are well taken care of during and after surgery.
  • Weekly appointments are required for up to two months after surgery.

Cost of Orthognathic Surgery

Dr. Loetscher does the majority of orthognathic surgery in his outpatient surgery facility. This provides a clean, controlled environment as well as a major cost savings to our patients by eliminating the hospital and associated fees. For patients with medical issues or more advanced age, we may elect to do the procedure at Northside Hospital.

There are several factors going into the cost of Orthognathic Surgery:

  1. Pre- and Post-operative orthodontics. Orthognathic surgery is done in conjunction with orthodontics. Orthodontic fees in the area run approximately $5,000 – $6,500
  2. The surgery itself (see below)
  3. The time off of school or work 7-14 days
  4. Insurance Coverage: About 70% of our patients have insurance that cover some of the costs of the surgery, and if done in the hospital – much of the hospital fees

The Surgical fee itself:

Global Orthognathic Surgery Fees January 2020

We have established “Global Fees” for our Orthognathic Surgery patients. The global fees cover the surgeons fee, anesthesiologist’s fee, and all surgery center fees, including pre-op appointments and follow-up appointments for the first year.

Lower Jaw (BSSO)
Upper Jaw (1 or 2 piece LeFort)*
Genioplasty (Chin Advancement)
Upper Jaw & Chin or Lower Jaw & Chin
Upper & Lower Jaw Together
Upper & Lower Jaw, with Chin
Surgical Rapid Palatal Expansion (RPE)
-including Anesthesia
Surgical Rapid Expansion – Lower Jaw
-including Anesthesia
Post-Operative In-Home Nursing Service
$100 – $300

Note:  Surcharge for a 3 piece maxilla upper jaw modification for severe open-bite closure is an additional $1,800.

These fees represent the combined collection from the patient and their insurance company. As a courtesy, we file pre-treatment estimates and necessary records to your insurance company. We require a deposit to schedule. Most insurance carriers will not disclose amounts they will pay for the procedure until it has been performed. Pending insurance approval – your amount paid prior to your surgery may be decreased – depending upon your insurance.

We will file to your insurance for re-imbursement of all reasonable items, including the surgeon and anesthesiologist’s fee, and supplies. This will be reimbursed upon receipt.

  • Post-operative in-home Nursing services:    $100-$200


CareCredit and Proceed Finance are available with our office for financing.