Surgery for Maxillofacial Deformities

Maxillofacial deformities are irregularities or malformations in the bones and/or soft tissues of the jaws and face. Causes range from congenital conditions such as cleft lip and cleft palate, diseases such as cancer, or can be the outcome of trauma such as an automobile accident. Maxillofacial deformities are often related to the body’s developmental or growth process, a result of uneven growth of the upper and lower jaws. Either or both jaws can be over or under-developed and disturb normal jaw alignment.

Maxillofacial deformities can range from mild to severe and can have functional or aesthetic effects, or both. Functional problems can include difficulties in chewing, talking or breathing, malocclusion (bad bite), sinus problems and temperomandibular joint (TMJ) pain.

Growth-related maxillofacial deformities are usually corrected with orthognathic (jaw) surgery, while deformities resulting from birth defects, disease or trauma are usually corrected with reconstructive maxillofacial surgery.

Orthognathic surgery is a treatment option for moderate to severe jaw problems that cannot be resolved with orthodontics alone. Jaw surgery may be performed on the upper jaw, lower jaw or both. Types of orthognathic surgery include:

Maxillary Osteotomy (Upper Jaw)

This orthognathic surgery procedure is performed on the upper jaw to correct:

  • Significantly receded upper jaw
  • Malocclusion  – which literally means “bad bite,” is a problem in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together in biting or chewing. The condition may be an irregular bite, cross-bite or under-bite.
  • Excess or deficiency in the vertical height of the upper jaw (too much or too little tooth-show)
  • Open bite (apertognathia) – causes difficulty chewing due to a significant space between the upper and lower front teeth even when the molars are completely touching. This gap results from excess bone growth above the upper molars.

Mandibular Osteotomy (Lower Jaw)

This orthognathic surgery procedure can be performed to correct a significantly receded or protruded lower jaw and move it into the correct position. It may also be used to correct an asymmetric lower jaw.

Chin Surgery

This type of orthognathic surgery corrects a deficient chin that often results from a severely receded lower jaw or an excessive chin that often results from a severely protruded lower jaw. The oral and maxillofacial surgeon can alter the jaw and restructure the chin in the same surgery.

No-Obligation Consultation

Schedule a no-obligation consultation about corrective jaw surgery with the oral surgeons at Face and Jaw Surgery Center at one of our four, convenient North Dakota locations. Our surgeons are specially trained in orthognathic surgery and have performed hundreds of jaw correction surgeries. They can evaluate your jaw alignment problem and recommend the most effective treatment plan.

Face and Jaw Surgery Center serves all of North Dakota and North West Minnesota including Moorhead, MN and East Grand Forks, MN.

Bismarck, NDoffice

Fargo, NDoffice


Minot, NDoffice