What to Expect After Surgery: Tips from a Jaw Surgeon in Lee's Summit

SurgeonPatients visit our clinic to speak with a jaw surgeon in Lee's Summit. Jaw surgery can sometimes be necessary after an accident or to correct jaw abnormalities that are causing pain, discomfort or cosmetic problems like an overbite or underbite. In this case, surgery may be the best and only way to resolve an issue.

Since jaw surgery is serious and includes a recovery time, it is common for people to have a variety of questions about the recovery process and what life is like after the surgery. Here are answers to a few questions we hear on a regular basis.

Will I need a splint after surgery?

This is one of the most common questions that people ask once they begin learning about the process and recovery. While splint is sometimes necessary, it is a small piece of plastic. We wire it in place to maintain the correct position of the jaw. It is not noticeable and will remain in place until it is time to unwire the jaw.

Will my jaw be wired?

Typically, the jaw will be wired together. This is to allow it to recover.

What will I experience after surgery?

As a jaw surgeon in Lee's Summit, we know that every patient is different. However, it is normal for patients to experience some swelling, bruising and bleeding. Typically, the symptoms are the worst for the first couple of days and then will gradually ease. Very often, the swelling is controlled using ibuprofen and ice packs.

Gauze can stop the bleeding without causing discomfort. However, the nasal passages can also become stuffy. If it is bothersome, a gentle nasal spray can help alleviate this.

How do I care for my teeth following surgery?

This is a good question because it will be important to continue to maintain good oral hygiene after the surgery so that the surgical site can heal properly, free from food being stuck there. At the same time, a typical adult toothbrush cannot be used. We recommend using a gentle child's toothbrush immediately following the surgery instead.

How long will I need to recover?

The first couple days are the most serious when it comes to protecting the area and taking it easy. Afterwards, expect to feel some fatigue and soreness for about two weeks. During this time, it is best to engage in minimal activities only and to restrict exercise to walking rather than lifting weights or running. In fact, lifting anything over 5 lb can cause a delay in the healing process.

For this reason, we recommend that patients do not lift anything heavy for the first 4 weeks. Anyone with young children will need to prepare to have someone help with caring for them. During the first 4 weeks, we will schedule follow-up appointments where we can examine the surgical site and make recommendations regarding activities.

Speak with a jaw surgeon in Lee’s Summit

The best way to get answers to questions about jaw surgery is to schedule an appointment with our clinic.

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