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Jaw surgery


Upper jaw surgery


Bone incision line for upper jaw surgery
Le fort I bone cuts
  • A Le Fort I osteotomy is the most commonly used procedure to make bone incisions in the upper jaw. This procedure is performed under general anaesthesia.
  • The operation is carried out entirely inside the mouth. A U-shaped incision is made through the gums above the upper teeth to gain access to the jawbone. The gum is then raised off the bone.   Upper jaw surgery incision
  • The upper jaw incisions are made with highly specialised tools, which allow for a controlled parting of the bone. Additional bone is removed if the upper jaw is to be shortened. Bone can be added if necessary to lower the jaw and make it longer (bone graft). Upper jaw surgery bonecut
  • The upper jaw bone is then moved into its final position (planned prior to your surgery) and held in place with tiny titanium plates and screws, which are left in place permanently.
  • The gums are stitched back into place with dissolvable stitches. These stitches may take three to four weeks to dissolve. After the bones heal together, the jaw regains it’s normal strength.


Advancement of the upper jaw

Before upper jaw advancement   After upper jaw advancement

Shortening of the upper jaw

Before shortening of the upper jaw.   After shortening of the upper jaw.

Rotation of the upper jaw

Before rotation of the upper jaw.   After rotation of the upper jaw.

Widening of the upper jaw

Patient information upper jaw surgery

  • Patience with form, function and sensation
    • We have to inform the patient that postoperatively patience will be needed as the swelling around the nose can last two to three months .
  • Inhale instead of blowing of the nose
    • Patients should also be advised not to blow their nose, to prevent air in the cheeks during the first week as a result of air slipping through the bonecuts.
  • Sensation of anterior gingiva is altered fo a longer time
    • It is usual for sensation of the gums to be completely impaired postoperatively. This sensation returns from posterior to anterior gradually over some weeks. However, because of the damage to the nerve innervating the upper incisor teeth and gums, the sensation to the gingiva around these teeth returns more slowly, taking over one year or more.
  • 'Turned up' nose for some time
    • When the upper jaw is advanced or imopacted superiorly a 'turned up nose' may be present for some weeks but will return to normal after some months.
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