Recovery from Orthognathic Surgery
Orthognathic, or jaw surgery, is typically done to fix any irregularities in the upper and the lower jaw. They can realign or reshape parts of the jaw for cosmetic reasons or to improve their function. While there are many reasons to undergo jaw surgery, the most common of them are injuries to the maxillofacial region, TMJ disorder, a cross or underbite, receding jaws, and Pierre Robin sequence.
A jaw surgery is not a single event. In other words, the entire procedure can take several months or even years in some cases. Patients may need orthodontic treatment before and after the surgery for up to a year depending on the nature of the procedure. If you are scheduled for a jaw surgery and would like to learn more about the process in general, we can help you. At Beaverton Oral Surgeons, our staff takes great pride in educating each patient so they feel confident when taking the next steps in the treatment.
What is Orthognathic Surgery?
Orthognathic surgeries are carried out by oral and maxillofacial surgeons who will team up with orthodontic surgeons to carry out the procedure. The surgery is mainly done to realign the upper and the lower jaw and make them more symmetrical so they look and function naturally. While some people may be born with jaws that do not line up properly, making it difficult to eat or speak, others may suffer deformities due to injuries or medical conditions.
24 Hours After the Surgery
You may still be under the influence of anesthesia for a few hours after the surgery is concluded. Lightheadedness, pain and swelling around the mouth, and numbness in certain areas of the mouth are common experiences for patients who have undergone jaw surgery. You may be asked to spend a few more days at the hospital in case your doctor needs to keep you under supervision longer. They will write you a prescription for pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medicines to bring down the pain and swelling.
Aftercare and Recovery
To ease the process of recovery, you may be given a splint to place in your mouth that will help you train your mouth muscles to get used to the new position of the jaws. You will be asked to wear the splint at all times except when eating and brushing your teeth. You should keep ice packs in your fridge just in case the swelling or pain gets any worse.
With the splint in your mouth and swelling, you may have difficulty in talking. The splint will be removed about eight months after the surgery. If you have braces, you can continue to wear them until your dentist says so. Once they are removed, you will likely need to wear a retainer to keep your jaw in the new position. You will also be given directions on oral hygiene and eating habits that must be followed for the best outcome.
At Beaverton Oral Surgeons, we soar to provide the best dental services to all of our patients. If you are dealing with a crossbite, underbite, or are unhappy with the shape of your jaw, we can come up with a suitable treatment plan for you.