What to Expect From Jaw Surgery

Millions of people suffer from jaw disorders. The disorders are more common in women than men. The jaw is a vital part of the body that enables speech, chewing, and airflow regulation. The jaw also enhances facial symmetry.

Jaw damage can impair a person’s ability to perform essential functions. Jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic, can correct facial damage and imbalance, allowing the bones to fit correctly. It can improve an individual’s quality of life. You can find out what to expect from jaw surgery. 


Getting Orthognathic Surgery 

If your jaw is not in proper alignment, you can benefit from orthognathic surgery. The procedure can help reduce the pain associated with jaw movement by correcting jawbone irregularities. Apart from pain relief, the surgery can realign the teeth and jaws, improving the overall look. It can enhance self-esteem by improving facial appearance. Jaw surgery corrects jaw problems that regular orthodontics cannot correct. 


Performing Jaw Surgery

Dental specialists known as oral and maxillofacial surgeons perform jaw surgery. The specialists have the training to diagnose and treat conditions related to the face, neck, head, and jaws. They also treat soft tissues such as the cheeks, gums, tongue, and lips. Surgeons work closely with orthodontists when planning the surgery.

Before the surgery, an orthodontist might try using braces to shift the teeth into position. It will allow the teeth to fit more comfortably after jaw surgery. Some people require braces after the surgery to continue to reposition the teeth.


Reasons to Get Jaw Surgery

Jaw surgery helps patients who have difficulty closing their lips. When the teeth do not touch properly and cannot be fixed with orthodontics, surgery may be used. Other reasons to get surgery are to treat TMJ pain. It deals with trouble swallowing and difficulty speaking.

People who experience pain when biting or chewing or whose teeth are too worn can benefit from jaw surgery. If your face looks unbalanced or your jaw is causing obstructive sleep apnea, you can get jaw surgery. The procedure can fix a cleft palate and trauma to the jaw.


Before Jaw Surgery 

In most cases, jaw surgery is delayed until the jaw has stopped growing. It happens between 14 and 16 years for females and between 17 and 21 years for males. The only reason to get jaw surgery earlier is to deal with an emergency.

Jaw surgery is an in-patient procedure. It takes one to several hours under general anesthesia. Before the surgery, the surgeon will discuss issues that may affect the surgery. He will ask about any allergies and medications that you may be taking.


Risks of Jaw Surgery

Like with all types of surgery, there are risks associated with jaw surgery. They include nerve injury, infection, blood loss, jaw fracture, and loss of jawbone. Also, it could introduce the need for a root canal on some teeth and a jaw position relapse. 

Jaw surgery is considered safe. Complications are rare, and patients receive medication to prevent infections. Post-surgical appointments are necessary after the procedure. Recovery will depend on an individual; in general, it can take between six to 12 weeks. 

For more on what to expect from jaw surgery, visit Weston Center for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at our office in Weston, Florida. You can call (954) 507-6441 today to schedule an appointment.

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