A misaligned jaw or one that has some other sort of congenital defect can be corrected with jaw surgery. This procedure can be extensive, and therefore patients need to plan adequately for adjusting their routines as they recuperate from surgery.
In general, patients who undergo jaw surgery can expect to spend at least a week or two recovering from the procedure before resuming their normal routines. Some may take longer than that, however.
Each patient’s actual recovery period will vary according to the patient’s unique circumstances. The specifics of your case will influence the treatment plan, which determines how extensive the procedure is.
For example, if the oral surgeon must make adjustments to both jaws, the recovery period will be lengthier than a surgery that only targets the upper or lower jaw.
The nature of the surgery also will influence the setting in which the procedure is performed. Some patients may be able to undergo jaw surgery in an outpatient setting, while others may need to be hospitalized for the surgery. Patients who need to be in the hospital for surgery are likely to face a longer recovery period, as well.
When explaining your treatment plan, your oral surgeon should be able to give you some guidelines of how to prepare for your recovery period. Many jaw surgery patients need to modify their diets and limit themselves to eating softer foods for the first week or two following surgery.
The oral surgeon may also prescribe prophylactic antibiotics to prevent a post-operative infection and painkillers if prescription-strength medications will be necessary to manage discomfort.
It is also important for the patient to be aware of possible signs of infection, which can lead to complications that interfere with recovery. Patients should follow up with the oral surgeon as soon as possible if they develop any symptoms that indicate post-surgical complications.
As part of your treatment planning, be sure to ask your oral surgeon about how to plan for your recovery process. The surgeon can give you specific instructions and suggestions that will be beneficial for the specific procedure being performed in your case.