Feb 01, 2023

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Maxillofacial Surgery?

Maxillofacial surgery or jaw surgery is a procedure for correcting jaw abnormalities and might involve your upper maxilla, low mandible, or both of your jaws. If the process you need involves both jaws, it is called a bimaxillary osteotomy. Maxillofacial surgery aims to improve the function and appearance of your jaws. Depending on your deformities, the surgeon at maxillofacial surgery near you might reposition both your upper and lower jaws. The surgeon might also change the size of your jaw by removing bones. If you are advised of maxillofacial surgery, kindly continue reading about why you need this procedure and your recovery timeline.

Who Needs Maxillofacial Surgery?

You might need maxillofacial surgery if you have severe jaw misalignment, impacted jaw function, severe temporomandibular joint disorder, or moderate to severe sleep apnea. However, before determining your candidacy for the surgery, you must have tried to treat your condition using nonsurgical options, give up harmful lifestyle habits like smoking, understand the risks, and have reached skeletal maturity. If you satisfy the criteria, you qualify for maxillofacial surgery to correct your jaw position or size.

The Maxillofacial Surgery Procedure

If preparing for maxillofacial surgery, you can expect to get braces for 12 to 18 months before your process. The braces help align your teeth, and some dentists suggest using transparent aligners. On the day of the procedure, you receive general anesthesia making you fall asleep and feel nothing during the surgery. The maxillofacial surgeon makes incisions inside your mouth to prevent visible scars on your face. The surgeon cuts and repositions the jawbone by moving, enlarging, or reducing other bones. In addition, the surgeon and titanium screws and plates to hold the bone with elastic bands and wires to keep the jawbone in its new position. You will remain in the hospital in the recovery room until you recover from the surgery, and nurses will monitor you until you wake up.

After Care of Maxillofacial Surgery

You will likely spend about 72 hours in the hospital after undergoing maxillofacial surgery. The precise time depends on how you progress. You will experience swelling in your face that remains with you for 48 hours. However, you will be able to drink water immediately after the surgery and eat liquids the following day. Before discharging you from the surgical center, the dentist in Calumet City, IL, will check your jaws by taking x-rays. You will need help driving yourself home from the surgical center with instructions from the dentist to take time off from work and/or school for about 3 to 8 weeks.

Tips for Recovering after Maxillofacial Surgery

After your discharge from the surgical center, the dentist provides after-care tips for you during your recovery from the maxillofacial surgery. The advice you receive from the dentist includes the following: You will likely experience pain from the surgical procedure, but the dentist prescribes painkillers to help manage the discomfort. The swelling in your face will require a couple of weeks to disappear, but you can intermittently use ice packs at 15-minute intervals after you reach home. You can expect stiffness in your mouth, possibly weeks following the procedure. If you experience numbness in the mouth, it is normal and requires a few months to disappear. It is standard to develop dry and chapped lips during your recovery. However, lip balm applied frequently helps you to manage the problem. These side effects alleviate and disappear in a few days. To ensure speedy recovery from maxillofacial surgery, the dentist suggests you eat soft and pureed foods during the initial six weeks after the surgery. You must take your medications as prescribed and avoid habits like smoking or consuming alcohol. You must stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water but avoiding carbonated drinks because they can cause complications in your mouth. Besides the above, you must refrain from strenuous activity, practice excellent dental hygiene as your doctor prescribes, and rest as suggested. You will have weekly follow-up appointments for a few weeks. The initial recovery phase lasts for about six weeks. However, you need at least 12 weeks for your jawbone to heal entirely. Maxillofacial surgery is performed to fix jaw deformities like misalignment and uneven size. Your dentist can help if you are a candidate for the procedure after examining your jaw and if you have completed nonsurgical treatments. Family Dental Care — Calumet City performs maxillofacial surgeries on many patients with jaw deformities, helping them correct their jaw position. Kindly do not hesitate to contact them if you need this process to reposition your jaw to benefit your dental and overall health.

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