What is the difference between single jaw surgery and double jaw surgery (Orthognathic Surgery)?
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are often asked what is the difference in the outcome between single jaw surgery and double jaw surgery and when is one preferred over the other.
On the one hand, a single jaw surgery means that only one jaw is manipulated during the surgery. This could either be the lower jaw (mandible) or the upper jaw (maxilla). On the other hand, a double jaw surgery involves both the lower and the upper jaw. The indication for either a single jaw or a double jaw depends on each individual’s case needs and what the skeletal problem/s appears to be.
If the jaw malposition involves only one jaw, then a single jaw surgery is more appropriate. Similarily, if the jaw malposition involves only both jaws, then a double jaw surgery is usually indicated. However it is not always so clear cut, as a double jaw surgery is more invasive than a single jaw surgery. Sometimes even if the condition involves both the upper and lower jaw, a single jaw surgery may be sufficient as one offending jaw condition is not as severe as the other and sometimes post-surgical treatment options such as Orthodontic treatment, can fully fix the problem.
Generally speaking, if the jaw malposition is more severe, then a double jaw surgery may be more appropriate as the correction can be shared between the upper and lower jaw as opposed to all be taken up by 1 jaw movement.
Concluding, the difference in the outcome varies as well, depending on each individual’s case appearance and it is best to discuss this with your surgeon. Even the most complex cases can be treated and these are the good news! In nowadays, a number of tools and technological means can help us deal with any case successfully and provide you with the appropriate tailor-made treatment plan.