Jaw surgery: Improve your facial profile; boost your confidence

Complex jaw surgery, also called orthognathic surgery, can improve your facial profile, bite and chewing function. It can also help you breathe easier and speak more clearly. UW Health craniofacial surgeons lead a team at one of a small handful of centers in the Midwest with expertly trained physicians who perform this complex procedure on a regular basis.

Correction of complex jaw abnormalities

Look and feel your best

Perhaps your dentist or orthodontist has discussed the possibility of complex jaw surgery with you or your child. UW Health has an expert plastic and reconstructive surgery team that can help. This surgery offers a lifelong correction that can profoundly improve:

  • Bite and chewing function

  • Breathing function

  • Facial alignment

  • Nutritional intake

  • Self-image/self-esteem

  • Speech

While jaw surgery is a serious commitment, it can significantly improve your ability to confidently present yourself and interact with others. We are here to help and answer any questions you have.

Are you a candidate?

We fix all jaw abnormalities

Complex jaw surgery is typically performed on patients between the ages of 16 and 24 to correct any of several jaw abnormalities. Many children born with a cleft lip or cleft palate are candidates for complex jaw surgery once they are fully grown, but having a cleft is not a requirement for having the surgery.

Most patients who need complex jaw surgery are born with the abnormality, typically caused by a skeletal defect. Some patients acquire a jaw abnormality through traumatic injury.

Abnormalities that we treat include:

  • Facial asymmetry (prominent differences between the left and right sides of the face)

  • Obstructive sleep apnea

  • Overbite, or Class II malocclusion (lower jaw is underdeveloped)

  • TMJ disorders (certain types)

  • Underbite, or Class III malocclusion (lower jaw is larger than the upper jaw)

A two-year timeline

What to expect if you decide to have complex jaw surgery

Complex jaw surgery is not necessary for everyone with a bite deficiency, but it will increase quality of life for those with more advanced jaw problems.

From your initial consultation to final post-surgical adjustments, the entire process can take up to two years. The actual surgery typically doesn’t happen until about 12 to 18 months into this timeline. Because your local orthodontist also is involved in the process, we maintain open two-way lines of communication throughout the process.

Meet our team

Experts in complex jaw surgery


Jaw surgery locations in Madison