Recovery From Orthognathic Surgery

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Orthognathic surgery is a type of surgery that corrects or repositions one or both jaws to improve the fit of the teeth, and to transform your appearance and oral function. In most cases, it is necessary to have braces on during this type of surgery (i.e. you cannot have jaw surgery without braces). Here at Beach Braces, Dr. Dask works closely with oral and maxillofacial surgeons to create an individualized treatment plan depending on the needs of each patient, and implement it to deliver the best possible care to correct malocclusion (“bad bite”) and idealize the esthetics of the profile and smile.

The decision to undergo orthognathic surgery is not a simple one. It is important to consider all options and weigh the pros and cons of each; in other words weigh the risks against the potential benefits, so as to be able to make an informed decision. This is usually a process that requires some time and reflection, as well as discussion with the providers involved.

One of the questions we very often get asked is how is the recovery from this type of surgery. Firstly, to clarify, the incisions for this type of operation are made on the inside of the mouth, so there are no external visible scars. The surgery is done in a hospital, under general anesthesia, and it takes a few hours, depending on the complexity of the
procedure indicated. Usually one or two days in the hospital will be necessary until it is safe to go home. In some cases, right after the procedure, you may experience some postoperative symptoms like bleeding, nausea or vomiting, but those typically stop after the first day or two. The main symptom that is to be expected is swelling, lots of it! Your face will be swollen for 2 or 3 weeks, and you may also have some bruising. On the third day after surgery the swelling will be at its peak, and it should start reducing after that. Most of the swelling will be gone after 2 or 3 weeks.

After you are discharged from the hospital, your surgeon will advise you about what you can eat, proper oral hygiene care, taking analgesics to manage pain, avoiding strenuous activity and tobacco use, as well as likely using elastics from the upper braces to the lower braces to get your muscles used to the new jaw position, and to reinforce the correction in the bite. The average time of expected absence from work or school after undergoing jaw surgery is 2 weeks, but there are variations in this.

Your recovery period will last for about six weeks. Complete jaw healing will take about three months, so this is usually the recommended duration of avoiding contact sports.

During the first several weeks of your surgery, you will be monitored and evaluated closely by your surgeon, until they feel you can return to the care of Dr. Dask for the completion of your the orthodontic treatment. The post-operative time in braces is typically 6-12 months, but that of course varies by the person, and the type and complexity of the problem, as well as the extent of the surgical movements performed.

If you have questions on orthognathic surgery and its recovery period, or about orthodontic treatment you can contact or visit our orthodontic office, Beach Braces located in Scarborough.

– The Beach Braces Team