The word “orthognathic” is derived from the Greek word “orthos” meaning straight, and “gnathos” meaning jaws. Orthognathic surgery is carried out to correct functional and esthetic problems with the jaws and bite.
In some cases, when a patient goes to an orthodontist to ask about having their bite or teeth corrected, they are informed that there is also an underlying problem with the growth of the jaws that is causing the bite problem, and that orthodontic treatment alone will not completely address the problem. In this circumstance the orthodontist may refer the patient to a maxillofacial surgeon for a consultation regarding the surgical correction of the jaw growth problem to achieve the best outcome for esthetic and jaw function.
Many patients are fearful about the possibility of undergoing surgery to correct their jaw problem, and this is only natural. Nowadays orthognathic surgery is commonly performed and is a safe and reliable surgical procedure in the hands of experienced surgeons.