Jaw surgery, or “orthognathic” surgery, involves – as the name implies – surgery related to the jaw area. These surgeries are often necessary if there’s malalignment in the jaws that’s preventing you from closing your mouth properly, if your teeth don’t quite sit right within the jaw or a variety of other common reasons. Though, regardless of the reason you’re going into surgery, there are some important questions to ask your jaw surgeon. Asking these questions is a good way to ensure you have not only peace of mind during the procedure as you know what’s going on, but also to prepare you for the recovery and care period after the surgery occurs.
Am I a Candidate for Jaw Surgery?
If you’ve experienced any difficulty chewing, biting, swallowing or breathing, speech problems, chronic jaw or TMJ pain, or protruding jaw, you should consider getting an evaluation of your jaw. An evaluation by a jaw surgeon is the best way to determine the cause of your issues and whether jaw surgery is the best route.
Health is certainly a top consideration for jaw surgeons when determining your eligibility for surgery – regardless of the type. Discuss any health issues or conditions you may have with your jaw surgeon so they can create a plan unique to your needs as to not interfere with the surgery or healing process.
What Type of Procedure is Best for My Case?
The type of jaw surgery you’ll receive depends on the part of the jaw that requires correction. Orthognathic surgery is mostly designed to straighten or realign the jaw, whereas other procedures focus more on correcting receding upper or lower jaws, cross bite, chin restructuring, and more.
Your jaw surgeon will know which procedure will benefit you the most following a consultation, and then they’ll be able to craft your unique plan of action for your procedure and recovery.
What Are the Risks?
Before we dive into any medical procedure, it’s natural to wonder about the worst-case scenario and the potential risks we’re exposing ourselves to. Risks of jaw surgery will vary slightly from patient to patient, depending on health status and other associated conditions.
Your jaw surgeon will explain these risks to you in depth, so you’re fully aware of every aspect of the procedure. They’ll also advise you on ways to minimize risks and side effects, so listen carefully.
What is the Healing Process Like?
Initial healing from jaw surgery can take about six weeks after the procedure, and up to 12 weeks to fully heal. The entire process, however, can take much longer if corrective braces are involved – sometimes up to several years.
Your preexisting health conditions, type of surgery and overall dental plan will be unique to your situation. Ask your jaw surgeon the specifics about your particular recovery time, like how long you’ll need to be out of work, so you can heal faster.
Your Jaw Surgeon is There to Ease Your Concerns
Regardless of the type of jaw surgery you’re getting, your jaw surgeon is there to not only perform the procedure well, but also to answer your questions and ease any concerns you may have. By asking the right questions, you’ll feel better prepared going into your surgery, and your jaw surgeon will provide you with the tools you need to have a successful recovery.
If you’re considering jaw surgery, call Greater Atlanta Oral Facial Surgery today at 404-236-6558 (Buckhead) or 404-649-5620 (Cumming) or visit us online to schedule a consultation with one of our jaw surgeons. We’re here to be as informative as possible, and we welcome the opportunity to help you answer questions about the possibility of jaw surgery and how to prepare.