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Surf City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Is Jaw Surgery Painful?

Posted on 5/1/2024 by Surf City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
A person holding their jaw in painPatients often wonder about the level of pain they might experience during and after the procedure. Understanding the intricacies of jaw surgery and its associated discomforts can alleviate fears and reassure those considering this option for improving their oral health.

Understanding the Procedure

Orthognathic surgery, performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons, typically takes place under general anesthesia in a hospital setting. It can involve alterations to the upper jaw, lower jaw, chin, or a combination tailored to address specific patient needs.

By conducting this procedure intra-orally, the doctors minimize the likelihood of visible external facial scarring. Minor incisions outside the mouth may occasionally be necessary, though they tend to heal effectively.

During the surgery, the surgeon makes precise cuts in the jawbones and repositions them accurately. The surgeon commonly uses small bone plates, wires, screws, and rubber bands to stabilize the newly adjusted bones. These fixation devices are notably smaller than orthodontic brackets and gradually integrate into the bone structure. In some instances, the surgeon may harness bone material from the rib, hip, or leg to enhance the function and appearance of the jaw.

The Role of Anesthesia

During jaw surgery, patients are placed under general anesthesia to ensure comfort and pain management throughout the procedure. This means that individuals are unconscious and unaware of the surgery while it is being performed. General anesthesia also helps minimize discomfort during recovery immediately following the surgery.

Post-Surgery Recovery

While the experience with pain may vary for each person, it is essential to understand that discomfort during the recovery period is typical after jaw surgery. However, advancements in pain management techniques have significantly minimized the severity of post-operative pain. Patients are often prescribed pain medications to alleviate any discomfort during the initial days following the surgery.

Managing Discomfort

In addition to prescribed pain medications, there are various strategies to manage discomfort and promote healing after jaw surgery. These include following a soft diet, practicing good oral hygiene, using cold compresses to reduce swelling, and attending follow-up appointments.

If you are considering jaw surgery, consult our oral and maxillofacial surgeon to discuss your concerns and learn more about the potential benefits of the surgery for your oral health and overall well-being.

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