What is Maxillofacial Surgery?

Every patient is unique, which is why the board certified plastic surgeons at Atlanta Plastic Surgery offer a wide array of services to men and women of all ages, ranging from non-invasive facial rejuvenation treatments to full body contouring or breast reconstruction procedures.  While there is a lot of information out there about the more popular cosmetic plastic surgery procedures, like breast augmentation or liposuction, it is also important to remember that versatile reconstructive plastic surgery procedures, like those that fall under the category of maxillofacial surgery, are also extremely important.

What is Maxillofacial SurgeryMaxillofacial surgery is a specialized form of facial reconstructive surgery that addresses problems of the face, head, neck, jaw and sinuses.  The prefix “maxillo-” refers specifically to the maxillae, the two bones that make up the upper palate (roof of the mouth) and the upper jaw, but maxillofacial surgery in general includes any reconstructive procedure that is performed on the bottom two-thirds of the face.  Maxillofacial surgery is typically used to correct a wide range of diseases, defects, and/or injuries.  Here are just a few of the many concerns that maxillofacial surgery can address:

Cleft Lip and Palate

A cleft lip or palate can occur when the two sides of the developing palate fail to fuse properly while the fetus is in the womb, and can potentially lead to difficulties in both speaking and feeding.  Treatment of a cleft palate or cleft lip with maxillofacial surgery needs to be specifically tailored to the overall health of the child and the severity and location of the cleft.


Commonly referred to as a cross bite, under bite, or over bite, malocclusion is any case where the upper and lower teeth do not fit together properly and the “bite” is misaligned.  Although mild to moderate cases can be treated with braces, more severe cases may require surgical jaw realignment to reposition the jaw bone segments so that the teeth can fit together more naturally.

Genioplasty (Chin Surgery)

An unusually small chin (micrognathia) or an unusually large chin (macrognathia) can be the result of a congenital defect, disease, or trauma. Reconstructive genioplasty, or chin surgery, is a form of facial contouring that can be used to sculpt and shape the bones and cartilage that form the chin, improving both appearance and function.

Maxillofacial surgery is also often used to address problems with the sinuses, in combination with certain forms of oral surgery, and even to address damage caused by trauma.  If you would like to learn more about maxillofacial surgery, or are interested in consulting with a board certified plastic surgeon to better understand your options, please contact us in Alpharetta, or at one of our other Atlanta or metro-Atlanta area offices located in Sandy Springs (Northside), Newnan, or Cumming, to schedule a full consultation.  Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news.