Corrective Jaw Surgery

Corrective jaw surgery, also called orthognathic surgery, is performed by Dr. Rahn and Dr. Curiel to correct a wide range of skeletal and dental irregularities, including the misalignment of jaws and teeth. Surgery can improve chewing, speaking and breathing. While the patient’s appearance may be dramatically enhanced as a result of their surgery, orthognathic surgery is performed to correct functional problems.  The results of corrective jaw surgery can have a dramatic and positive effect on many aspects of a patients life. Our surgeons work with your dentist and orthodontist to determine whether you are a candidate for orthognathic surgery. 

Candidates for Corrective Jaw Surgery

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. If orthodontic treatment alone cannot correct the misalignment, corrective jaw surgery is required to reposition the upper and/or lower jaws. 

Conditions that may indicate the need for corrective jaw surgery

  • Difficulty chewing/biting food         
  • Open bite (space between the upper and lower teeth when mouth is closed)
  • Excessive wear of teeth
  • Speech problems
  • Unbalanced facial appearance
  • Previous facial trauma
  • Retruded lower chin/jaw
  • Protruding jaw
  • Inability to make your lips touch while straining
  • Sleep apnea or snoring

Correction of Common Dentofacial Deformities


Surgical Procedure

As your pre-surgical orthodontic treatment nears completion, updated records including x-rays, photographs and models are taken to help plan your surgery.  Dr. Rahn and Dr. Curiel utilize the latest technology available.  Your updated records are used to create a  3D Virtual Surgical Planning session prior to your actual surgery.  The surgery can then be rehearsed virtually.  Bone cuts are planned in the desired location and pertinent vital structures can be visualized. Custom surgical splints are manufactured and enable precise positioning of your jaw. The procedure will be performed in the hospital under general anesthesia. Surgical plates and screws are used to fixate the jaws in their new position. A modified diet will be required for 6 weeks. 

We work closely with your dentist and orthodontist to determine whether you are a candidate for corrective jaw surgery. Our team will determine which surgical procedure is appropriate for you.  It is important to understand that your treatment, which will include orthodontics before and after surgery, may take several years to complete. Dr. Rahn, Dr. Curiel and your orthodontist understand that this is a long-term commitment for you and your family, and will try to realistically estimate the time required for your treatment.

Office Phone: (559) 435-7993