Our expert oral surgeons closely monitor patients' post-surgery while the patients are in the hospital and following discharge from the hospital.
You will be seen on a weekly basis for the first month following hospital discharge and then appointments as necessary. X-rays may be taken to check on how you're healing. The sutures on your face require removal and they are usually very easily removed about one-week post surgery.
The sutures inside your mouth are self-resorbing. If wires or elastic bands were used, they will most likely be removed or adjusted. This process takes just a few minutes, and in most cases causes little or no discomfort. You may be given special exercises to help retrain the muscles you use to open and close your jaws. Over time, your surgeon will monitor healing and make sure that bone and teeth are aligning as originally planned.
Returning to work will be dependent on the nature of your surgery, type of work that you do, and your post-surgery progress. Some patients can return to work after 1 to 2 weeks, but others will require more time.
It takes approximately 3 to 4 months for the jaws to complete the initial bone healing phase and for the majority of new bone to develop in the bony surgical areas.
It usually takes an additional 6 to 9 months for the new bone to mature and the healing process to reach completion.
Temporary numbness in the face and jaw are very common with this type of surgery. It could take anywhere from a few days to a year or more, until the feeling makes its maximum return.
Permanent numbness can occur, but this is uncommon.
Surgery isn't the end of your treatment. You still need orthodontic work to perfect your bite. Probably, your bite will look and feel better. But you will still need to start the post surgery orthodontic treatment. You'll see your orthodontist as soon as two weeks after surgery and very often during this last treatment stage, which often lasts 6 to 12 months. Once your braces are taken off, your orthodontist will give you a retainer which will help to keep the teeth from moving out of their new positions.
After your braces are off, you may still need to have other dental work. Remember to use your retainer as directed. Get regular dental care to prevent or control gum disease and tooth decay. Home care and good home hygiene is a key part of your ongoing treatment.
You will need to get enough nutrition, which may be harder while you can't chew. You also need fluids to help prevent dehydration and nausea. Avoid milk products, refined sugar and other sweets, and carbonated beverages post operatively for at least 2 to 4 weeks to decrease mucous production, help prevent decalcification of the teeth, and minimize bacteria media.
Avoid caffeine products (i.e., coffee, tea, cokes, chocolate, etc) because this could cause muscle and nerve problems as well as increase pain levels.
Dietary supplements can be taken after surgery, but confer with one of our Florida oral surgeons.
You will be on a puree diet following discharge and can usually progress to a soft diet within about 1 to 2 weeks. You will need to stay on a soft diet for approximately 3 to 4 months, or as directed by your oral surgeon. It takes 3 to 4 months for the jaw bones to adequately heal to withstand normal biting forces.
Do not use straws post operatively for the first 10 days, since the suction can stress the incisions in your mouth.
You can use a special feeding syringe (provided by the hospital), cup, glass, spoon or fork to get your fluids and food into your mouth.
Drink 8 glasses (8 ounces per glass) of water every day for 30 days after surgery
Try to keep your teeth as clean as possible. If you can't open your jaws, brush the front surfaces of teeth with a baby toothbrush.
A special mouthwash may be ordered for you in the hospital that will also help keep the teeth and gums clean.
You can use an oral irrigator or water-pik about 10 days after surgery and on a low setting only. However, check with your oral surgeon before using a water-pik. A water-pik can be very helpful keeping the mouth clean, but can cause problems if used too early after surgery.
Aim to get back to brushing and flossing normally as soon as you can. Gentle brushing with a child size toothbrush and toothpaste can begin the first day following surgery. Teeth should be brushed at least 3 times per day, and particularly after each meal.
If you have any of the following problems, call your surgeon. Go to the emergency room if your doctor's office is closed.
As one of the premiere oral and maxillofacial surgery practices in South Florida, we are proud to be affiliated with numerous reputable hospitals.
Here at Oral Facial Reconstruction and Implant Center, we make every effort to provide you with both the finest care and convenient financial options.
We are located close to local hospitals to grant you further peace of mind.