How does Jaw Surgery Work? | Jaw Surgery in Grand Junction, CO

Jaw Surgery

You’ve just been told you need jaw surgery in Grand Junction, CO. You probably have a lot of questions and aren’t really sure what to expect and how it will impact your life.


Jaw surgery in Grand Junction, CO is usually done to improve facial appearance and correct misalignments in the jaw and teeth. Usually jaw surgery is done when a person has braces and an orthodontist can’t fix the structural issues with braces. Your orthodontist will work closely with the surgeon who is performing the surgery to make sure your teeth are protected and effective healing can take place. Typically jaw surgery is done after puberty, around the ages of 14 and 16 years.


Below are some questions you may have and our answers, check them out:


What can I expect during during the surgery?


Jaw surgery in Grand Junction, CO can usually be done from inside your mouth, so you don’t have to worry about having facial scars from surgery. If they can’t perform the surgery from the inside they may have to make small incisions outside your mouth.


You will be put under for the surgery so you don’t need to worry about being awake during the procedure.


There is a common myth that the surgeon will “break your jaw”. This is not what happens during jaw surgery. The surgeon will go in and make cuts in your jawbone and move them around until they are in the desired spot. After they are in place, small screws, rubber bands or wires may be used to hold the jaw in place.  


What can I expect before/after the surgery?


Before jaw surgery in Grand Junction, CO you will probably take several trips to the orthodontist or surgeon. Various tests may be done, including x-rays and scans. Right before surgery nurses will prep you for general anesthesia.


After the surgery you can expect to feel groggy and tired. Your surgeon will give you instructions on what you can and can’t eat, medications to take and how to take care of your mouth. The healing process takes about 6 to 12 weeks. Around 6 weeks major healing will take place but complete healing can take up to 12 weeks. If you have braces your orthodontist will finish the work that was originally planned when you went in for your consultation.


You can expect for your mouth to feel a little different and that your jaw function and appearance has improved. You may be asked to visit with the surgeon again to see how the healing process is going.  


What are the risks?


Every surgery comes with its own risks. Surgeons are highly trained and do everything they can to make sure that the procedure goes smoothly. You may experience blood loss, infection and the need for further surgeries. In extreme cases you may experience nerve damage, jaw fracture or jaw pain.


After surgery there will be swelling and some pain. Pain medication will be offered to help with these symptoms. Give yourself some time to adjust to your new facial structure and appearance. You may have to relearn how to chew and eat food since your mouth fits together differently.


Jaw surgery is a great way to improve speech impediments, jaw structure and better control and function of your teeth and mouth. You may also feel more confident about your appearance and your smile which is a great added benefit.


Still have questions or concerns? Give us a call or make an appointment with us today!