Jaw Surgery (Orthognathic Surgery)

Orthognathic surgery is needed when jaws don’t meet correctly and/or teeth don’t seem to fit with jaws. 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.

Fill out our Appointment Form or call our Greenville office at Greenville Office Phone Number 864-458-9800 or our Brevard office at Brevard Office Phone Number 828-862-8648 if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Williams today!

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 can affect chewing function, speech, 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

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.

Orthognathic Surgery Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of orthognathic surgery, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to orthognathic surgery are discussed.

Orthognathic Surgery Presentation

Technology & Orthognathic Surgery

Dr. Williams uses 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. Our goal is to help you understand the benefits of orthognathic surgery.

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

Distraction Osteogenesis

Distraction osteogenesis (DO) is a relatively new method of treatment for selected deformities and defects of the oral and facial skeleton. It was first used in 1903. Then, in the 1950’s the Russian orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Gabriel Llizarov slowly perfected the surgical and postoperative management of distraction osteogenesis treatment to correct deformities and repair defects of the arms and legs. His work went mostly unnoticed until he presented to the Western Medical Society in the mid-1960’s.

Distraction osteogenesis was initially used to treat defects of the oral and facial region in 1990. Since then, the surgical and technological advances made in the field of distraction osteogenesis have provided the oral and maxillofacial surgeons with a safe and predictable method to treat selected deformities of the oral and facial skeleton.

Dr. Williams uses distraction osteogenesis to treat selected deformities and defects of the oral and facial skeleton. If you have questions about distraction osteogenesis, please call our office at: Greenville Office Phone Number 864-458-9800 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Williams.

Frequently Asked Questions About Distraction Osteogenesis

What does the term distraction osteogenesis mean?

Simply stated, distraction osteogenesis means the slow movement apart (distraction) of two bony segments in a manner such that new bone is allowed to fill in the gap created by the separating bony segments.

Is the surgery for distraction osteogenesis more involved than “traditional surgery” for a similar procedure?

No. Distraction osteogenesis surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis with most of the patients going home the same day of surgery. The surgical procedure itself is less invasive so there is usually less pain and swelling.

Will my insurance company cover the cost of osteogenesis surgical procedure?

Most insurance companies will cover the cost of the osteogenesis surgical procedure provided that there is adequate and accurate documentation of the patient’s condition. Of course, individual benefits within the insurance company policy vary. After you are seen for your consultation at our office, we will assist you in determining whether or not your insurance company will cover a particular surgical procedure.

Is distraction osteogenesis painful?

Since all distraction osteogenesis surgical procedures are done while the patient is under general anesthesia, pain during the surgical procedure is not an issue. Postoperatively, you will be supplied with appropriate analgesics (pain killers) to keep you comfortable, and antibiotics to fight off infection. Activation of the distraction device to slowly separate the bones may cause some patients mild discomfort. In general, the slow movement of bony segments produces discomfort roughly analogous to having braces tightened.

What are the benefits of distraction osteogenesis versus traditional surgery for a similar condition?

Distraction osteogenesis surgical procedures typically produce less pain and swelling than the traditional surgical procedure for a similar condition. Distraction osteogenesis eliminates the need for bone grafts, and therefore, another surgical site. Lastly, distraction osteogenesis is associated with greater stability when used in major cases where significant movement of bony segments are involved.

What are the disadvantages of distraction osteogenesis?

Distraction osteogenesis requires the patient to return to the surgeon’s office frequently during the initial two weeks after surgery. This is necessary because in this time frame the surgeon will need to closely monitor the patient for any infection and teach the patient how to activate the appliance.

In some cases, a second surgical procedure may be necessary to remove the distraction appliance although the appliance may be removed in the office with light sedation.

Can distraction osteogenesis be used instead of bone grafts to add bone to my jaws?

Yes. Recent advances in technology have provided the oral and maxillofacial surgeon with an easy to place and use distraction device that can be used to slowly grow bone in selected areas of bone loss that has occurred in the upper and lower jaws. The newly formed bone can then serve as an excellent foundation for dental implants.

Does distraction osteogenesis leave scars on the face?

No. The entire surgery is performed within the mouth and the distraction devices used by Dr. Williams remain inside the mouth although an apparatus similar to orthodontic headgear may have to be worn for a period of time. There are no facial surgical incisions are made so no unsightly facial scars result.

Are there any age limitations for patients who can receive osteogenesis?

No. distraction osteogenesis works well on patients of all ages. In general, the younger the patient the shorter the distraction time and the faster the consolidation phase. Adults require slightly longer period of distraction and consolidation because the bone regenerative capabilities are slightly slower than those of adolescence or infants.

Fill out our Appointment Form or call our Greenville office at Greenville Office Phone Number 864-458-9800 or our Brevard office at Brevard Office Phone Number 828-862-8648 if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Williams today!