What Does Orthognathic Surgery Cost?

friends smiling

Orthognathic surgery is a corrective jaw surgery that straightens or realigns your jaw, and corrects related skeletal deformities that a patient may need. At minimum, orthognathic surgery cost includes surgeon fees, hospital fees, orthodontic charges, anaesthesia fees and pain medications. However, final expenses may depend on a number of conditions unique to the person.

About Orthognathic Surgery

This type of surgery, done by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS) in a hospital setting, involves straightening and realigning the jaws using surgical plates or templates, screws and wires.

Why would you invest in this treatment? The main purpose is to correct a severe malocclusion (improper bite) that may be causing functional problems in daily behaviour, such as speech, chewing food or even sleep apnea. You might also experience headaches, joint pain or periodontal (gum) discomfort. According to The South African Society of Maxillo for Facial & Oral Surgeons, the following conditions may also prompt a need for orthognathic surgery:

Difficulty in chewing or biting food

Difficulty in swallowing

Excessive wearing of teeth

Open bite (the front teeth don't meet)

Facial injury

Cleft lip and palate

Receding chin

Pronounced and or asymmetric lower jaw

Inability to make lips meet without effort

Chronic mouth breathing with dry lips and mouth with bleeding gums

How Orthodontics Can Affect Price

Although children may have certain birth conditions or orthodontic problems eventually requiring jaw surgery, it is generally appropriate only after they stop growing. That age is usually around 13 to 15 for girls and 16 to 18 for boys. Nonetheless, early detection and treatment of a child's orthodontic problems can often prevent the need for surgery altogether.

Usually, you wear braces for nine to 18 months before the surgery. After your jaw recovers from the surgery, your orthodontist finishes aligning your teeth and eventually removes the braces. The entire orthodontic process, including surgery, may take one to three years.

Risks During Treatment

The surgery usually takes one to three hours, and requires general anaesthesia, which tends to carry the risks of any major treatment. These risks include pain, swelling, bleeding, infection and adverse reaction to anaesthesia. More involved processes can theoretically damage nearby bone or gums, and the anaesthetic itself may cause numbness in similar areas. You typically stay in the hospital for one to two days, and have a six-week at-home recovery time. Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions for home-based oral care, which, for children, typically includes brushing after every meal using a small, gentle kids' toothbrush.

Cost and Insurance

Without health insurance orthognathic surgery is not a cheap procedure. This will of course depend on your dental provider. Beyond orthodontics, other factors that can sway the cost include severity of the jaw misalignment and what type of surgery is required. Your location, the hospital treating you and complications during care can all make a difference as well.

In general, corrective jaw surgery is considered a medical procedure, not a cosmetic procedure, and is necessary to prevent more expensive medical and dental problems later in life. For this reason, some health insurance policies cover at least part of the cost of orthognathic surgery.

However you look to meet these requirements, explore any necessary pre-approvals and understand what your insurance will and will not pay for prior to treatment.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

More Articles You May Like

Common Conditions During ADULTHOOD

As we get older, dental care for adults is crucial. Here are a few of the conditions to be aware of:

Gum disease – if your home care routine of brushing and flossing has slipped and you have skipped your regular dental cleanings, bacterial plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth. The plaque and tartar, if left untreated, may eventually cause irreparable damage to your jawbone and support structures, and could lead to tooth loss.

Oral cancer – according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, men over the age of 40 have the greatest risk for oral cancer. About approximately 43,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer of the mouth, tongue or throat area, and the ACS estimates that about 7,000 people will die from these cancers. The use of tobacco products and alcohol increases the risk of oral cancer. Most oral cancers are first diagnosed by the dentist during a routine checkup.

Dental fillings break down – fillings have a life expectancy of eight to 10 years. However, they can last 20 years or longer. When the fillings in your mouth start to break down, food and germs can get underneath them and can cause decay deep in the tooth.

Keep your teeth clean with an oral health routine.

Establishing an oral health routine is important for a healthy mouth. Try one of our oral health products to help you establish a schedule.