How Long is Recovery From Jaw Surgery
The jaws are the backbone of the facial structure. It is what allows you to chew, speak, and smile. Healthy jaws also help you look younger by preventing wrinkles and sagging skin! Orthognathic surgery can restore your jaws at Dallas Oral Surgery Associates, but what exactly is it?
What Orthognathic Surgery is and What it Is For
Orthognathic surgery, also referred to as jaw surgery, is a procedure that corrects misaligned jaws that cause a multitude of health problems. These issues can range from an improper bite, difficulty opening and closing the mouth, and correct the resting position of the mouth. Orthognathic surgery is strongly associated with Temporomandibular joint dysfunction or TMD.
Jaw surgery involves either the upper jaw (maxillary osteotomy), lower jaw (mandibular osteotomy), or chin surgery (genioplasty). The type of procedure will depend on which section of the jaws will need to be moved. For example, if you have a receding lower jaw, it will need to be pushed forward and aligned properly.
This type of surgery is a partnership between an orthodontist, dentist, and a maxillofacial surgeon to come to a final decision to go ahead with the procedure as well as helping with actions after the surgery has been performed. This requires careful consideration and communication to avoid any damages or problems. We want every procedure to go well for each patient who is trusting us.
Oftentimes, you won’t be able to have the surgery immediately once the decision has been made. Braces may be required to be worn for 12-18 months to correct teeth alignment before the surgery has begun. The reason for this is to ensure that you will have the proper bite and alignment once the surgery is completed due to your jaw changing positions. We fully understand that this is a long time for many people, but remember that once you have walked through this journey you will have a lifetime with a healthy jaw!
After your procedure is done, the recovery period can take up to 12 weeks to complete. During the first few days, you will experience swelling and bruising that is noticeable. This will go down during the recovery period and after two weeks your face will have mostly gone back to normal. Many people take time off of work or school until they deem their appearance acceptable.
Your diet may also make a change. If you are instructed to only eat pureed, liquid, or soft foods for a period of time, it is important to follow it to avoid damage. After the procedure, your jaws are extremely vulnerable, and we would not want you to undo over a year’s worth of commitment.
You may also experience minimal pain and discomfort. This is perfectly normal and we prescribe pain medication to mitigate these symptoms. Prescribed antibiotics and/or instructions to rinse with antibacterial mouthwash are also things you can expect to prevent bacteria from attacking and infecting the jaws while they are still recovering.
Talk To Us About Jaw Health
If you feel you are having problems with your jaws or any other structural problems, we are here to help at Dallas Oral Surgery Associates. If you have questions or us or would like to make an appointment, you can call our office at 214-363-9946.