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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Dentistry & Orthodontics > Orthognathic Surgery

Orthognathic Surgery Cost


How Much Does Orthognathic Surgery Cost?

 
average costWith Insurance: $100+ Copays and Coinsurancehigh costWithout Insurance: $20,000-$40,000+
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Orthognathic surgery involves operating on the upper or lower jaw, or both, to correct improperly positioned jaws that can cause problems eating, breathing or speaking, as well as pain or cosmetic issues.

Typical costs:

  • For patients not covered by health insurance, the typical cost of orthognathic surgery is about $20,000- $40,000, including initial consultations, the surgeon's fee, facility fee and materials and follow-up care. The cost generally tends to be at the lower end if surgery is required on only the upper or lower jaw, and on the higher end if it is required on both.
  • Orthognathic surgery is covered by health insurance in some cases. For example, Aetna[1] considers orthognathic surgery medically necessary in cases where facial skeletal abnormalities contribute to sleep apnea or other breathing problems that cannot be corrected non-surgically and also for some speech impairments. However, Aetna considers the surgery cosmetic or experimental in other cases, such as for correction of unaesthetic facial features. Some insurance plans exclude orthognathic surgery unless it is reconstructive.
  • For patients covered by health insurance, typical out-of-pocket costs could be as low as a $100 copay or, if the insurance company only covers a percentage of the surgery or has an orthognathic surgery cap, could reach $5,000 or more. In this orthodontic forum on ArchWired.com[2] , patients discuss out-of-pocket costs for orthognathic surgery.
Related articles: Braces, Full Mouth Reconstruction

What should be included:
  • The surgeon works with the patient's dentist and orthodontist to make sure the patient is a good candidate and to determine the type of surgery needed. Before surgery, the doctor takes X-rays and makes molds of the patient's mouth to create a plan for surgery.
  • During surgery, which usually takes one to three hours and requires general anesthesia, the surgeon cuts, adds or reshapes bone, then repositions the jaws using surgical plates, screws, wires and rubber bands.
  • The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons offers an overview of orthognathic surgery[3] .
Additional costs:
  • Braces often are required before and after orthognathic surgery, so treatment can take two to three years. Braces can cost $1,500-$10,000 or more for traditional metal braces; $2,000-$8,500 for braces with tooth-colored ceramic or plastic brackets; $2,000-$8,500 for self-ligating braces (which don't need elastic bands); $5,000-$13,000 for lingual braces (installed behind the teeth); and $3,500-$8,000 for the Invisalign tray system.
  • It takes about three weeks to recover from orthognathic surgery.
Discounts:
  • Patients who are paying out-of-pocket sometimes can often negotiate discounts of 20% or more by agreeing to pay in advance or paying within a certain time period.
  • Teaching hospitals sometimes offer orthognathic surgery at discounted prices.
Shopping for orthognathic surgery:
  • The need for orthognathic surgery often is determined by a dentist or orthodontist, who can make a referral to a surgeon. Or, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons has a surgeon locator by zip code[4] . It is important to look for a surgeon who has experience performing orthognathic surgery.
  • Risks of orthognathic surgery include pain, swelling, bleeding, infection, damage to gums bone or teeth and mouth numbness that usually is temporary but in rare cases could be permanent. The use of general anesthesia also presents risks that could include death.
  • Groups.yahoo.com offers an orthognathic surgery support forum[5] .
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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External Resources:
  1.  www.aetna.com/cpb/medical/data/1_99/0095.html
  2.  www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=23716
  3.  www.aaoms.org/jaw_surgery.php
  4.  www.aaoms.org/findoms.php
  5.  health.dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/orthognathicsurgerysupport/
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