Understanding Orthognathic Surgery

Orthognathic surgery is performed to correct abnormalities with the jaw. During this procedure, your oral surgeon in Middletown will correct issues on both your top and lower jaws, which is why it is sometimes referred to as double jaw surgery. The prospect of undergoing orthognathic surgery can seem overwhelming, but arming yourself with information about the procedure will make you feel more confident. Here is what you need to know. dentist - surgery

Who is a good candidate for orthognathic surgery?

Typically, dentists recommend this kind of surgery for people who not only have jaw deformities but who are also experiencing the impact of those abnormalities. If you experience chronic pain, difficulty chewing or swallowing, speech impediments, or excessive and abnormal wearing of the teeth, surgery may be right for you. Some people have surgery because of the aesthetic appearance of their jaw abnormalities, such as an unbalanced face, protruding jaw, or inability to close the mouth completely. Your dentist and oral surgeon will carefully review all of your treatment options with you before surgery.

What happens during the procedure?

Typically, your oral surgeon will reposition your jaw and use titanium rods to hold it in a healthier position. Parts of your jaw will likely be removed during the repositioning. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia, which means you will be asleep for the procedure. Some patients return home the same day of the surgery, while others may need to stay in the hospital for a few days. You will have bands that hold your jaw in position for approximately two weeks after the procedure.

What is the recovery like?

After surgery, you will only be able to consume liquids through a straw for about two weeks, until the bands are removed. You will then transition to soft foods for four to six weeks. After that period, you can resume your normal diet. Most people need two to four weeks away from work to recover. You may experience numbness in the jaw for up to 90 days after surgery. Your oral surgeon and dentist will work together to manage any discomfort you feel as you heal. Most patients are fully recovered within about 12 months but may need orthodontic treatment to take care of any remaining minor alignment imperfections.

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