Knowledge is Power: What to Expect Before, During, and After Corrective Jaw Surgery


If you have noticed problems with your mouth or teeth, it may be time to consider corrective jaw surgery. Certain conditions can cause wear to your teeth or cause chronic pain. But what’s involved in the procedure?

Corrective Jaw Surgery

There are many operations as there are many conditions. But let’s look at what to expect before, during, and after your surgery.

Before

Before the surgery even starts you need to know whether you have a problem that requires a surgical procedure. You’ll want to at least ask your general dentist if they notice anything during a regular check-up. But if you really suspect something, it’s time to get in contact with an oral or maxillofacial surgeon for a consultation.

Some common conditions that need surgery are:

  • Protruding jaw
  • Excessive wear on teeth
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing or talking
  • Pain from mouth or jaw issues

An oral surgeon is a doctor who has focused on oral health. They tend to work with wisdom tooth procedures, root canals, and crowns. If there’s a problem with your teeth an oral surgeon will likely be who performs your procedure.

A maxillofacial surgeon shares many procedures with oral surgeons but also handle issues with the facial area. They handle more reconstructive and aesthetic surgeries that affect the face and jaw that are outside the capabilities of an oral surgeon.

Like any surgery, there are certain things to keep in mind before your oral or maxillofacial jaw surgery. Speak with your surgeon before the procedure about any questions you have. Make sure your insurance will cover the costs or you can pay for yourself.

Your surgeon will likely tell you not to eat or drink a certain amount of time before the procedure, usually 12 or 24 hours before. A surgical complication known as aspiration can occur where the contents of your stomach go into your lungs. Always follow your surgeon’s instructions.

During

There’s a good chance you’re going to be under the effects of anaesthesia, so it isn’t much you can do during the surgery. If you are conscious, do your best to comply with the surgeon.

After

Depending on the surgery, you may not be able to eat solid foods for a while. Stock your kitchen with soft foods like yoghurt, oatmeal, applesauce, pudding, and smoothies. When you are out of your anaesthesia-induced haze, you can make some healthier food after all that ice cream.

If your surgery involves anaesthesia, make sure to have a ride worked out. If you can’t get a friend or family member to drive you then wait until you are steady enough to call a cab or other ride service. Do not try to drive yourself after your surgery, the anaesthesia can affect you up to 48 hours after your procedure.

Expect some discomfort in the affected area. There will often be swelling, bleeding, and general pain during the healing process. Take any prescribed medication as instructed.

Don’t Wait for the Pain to Start

If you suspect you need oral or corrective jaw surgery, don’t put it off. Contact us for questions or to schedule an appointment.

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