Misalignment or incorrect positioning of the jaws occurs as a result of the upper and lower jaws developing at different rates. Jaw surgery aims to counter this and place the jaws in the correct position. The surgery itself may be corrective, orthodontic or underbite related. By repositioning the jaws, one can solve problems like underbites or overbites and help to improve overall oral health.
Should the problem lie with the lower jaw, surgeons will look to cut and separate the jaw in order to allow it to move either backwards or forwards, depending on the circumstance. As for the upper jaw, those performing the operation will either raise or lower the jaw. However, on occasion the upper jaw may also be adjusted backwards or forwards. Surgery can cause some pain to be experienced, but this can be managed using painkilling medication.
Jaw surgery can be prohibitively expensive due to the complexity of the operation. Experienced surgeons are required to conduct the operation, which can be complicated further by the need to adjust the position of the teeth during the process. If undergoing the operation, one should expect to pay anything between $20,000 to $30,000. Several factors determine the expense.
The first on our list is the doctor's fee. As stated, the operation requires an experienced, specialized surgeon, which means that one will have to pay more for their time. Another factor that may have an influence on the cost is the location where the operation is undertaken. Outside the US, the cost will generally work out to be cheaper - from $8,000 to $12,000 - and can be much more affordable. However, in the US, the operation can be expensive, particularly in areas such as California.
The cost may be further increased if an orthodontic treatment is required. An orthodontist will be consulted and may decide whether braces are needed. If so, this pre-surgical treatment will cost between $1,000 and $2,000 and will last about a year. Other costs such as anesthesia fees ($1,000 to $2,000) and any potential complications that occur can lead to an increase in the price.