About Jaw Surgery
Approximately 20% of the population will suffer from some level of facial deformity during their childhood. When the functionality or appearance of the jaw is affected by improper growth, jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, may be necessary. At Craniofacial & Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in Lake Mary, FL, fellowship-trained plastic surgeon Dr. Raj Sawh-Martinez uses his extensive training and artistic expertise to correct an incorrect look, bite, and/or function of a misaligned jaw. Using state-of-the-art technology and advanced techniques, Dr. Sawh-Martinez will create a treatment plan tailored to meet your unique needs to help you regain confidence and proper function. Often, Dr. Sawh-Martinez will work together with your orthodontist to ensure that any malocclusion (misalignment of the teeth) is properly addressed during the procedure. To set up a consultation and learn more about jaw surgery, contact our Lake Mary, FL facility.
Jaw (Orthognathic) Surgery Ideal Candidates
Jaw surgery is most commonly used to treat problems associated with the improper growth or symmetry of the jaws and facial form. This can include asymmetry of the jawbone, jaw and tooth misalignment, difficulty chewing, speech impediments, and congenital cleft lip and palate. This surgery is often recommended by an orthodontist following a request for teeth straightening, in which it is discovered that there is a deeper-rooted issue. Patients who are not suffering from poor tooth alignment, speed impediment, or asymmetry may also request jaw surgery as a means to improve the look of their jawline. To find out if you are a candidate for this procedure, schedule a consultation with Dr. Sawh-Martinez today.
Jaw (Orthognathic) Surgery Surgical Technique
Craniofacial & Aesthetic Plastic Surgery utilizes virtual surgical planning and 3D-printed plates and splints to customize your surgical outcome. Using 3D scans and Crisalix technology, Dr. Sawh-Martinez can create imagery to help you understand what to expect from your surgery. This process gives our patients the confidence to look forward to their procedures. Orthognathic surgery is performed under general anesthesia in a hospital or surgery center and can take up to five hours to complete. During the procedure, the jawbone is cut and repositioned from inside of the mouth, according to your customized treatment plan. The bones are not typically wired together any longer because of the advancement of titanium plates and screws. You will likely remain at the hospital overnight and be released to return home the next day.
What to Expect with Jaw (Orthognathic) Surgery
It can take up to six weeks for the bones in your jaw to heal. In the meantime, you will be restricted to a soft, non-chew diet. Though it may seem difficult to believe, pain is typically easily managed following jaw surgery. You will likely experience discomfort due to the new placement of your jaw, but severe pain is unlikely. The sutures used to close the wounds within your mouth will dissolve over time. It is imperative that patients maintain good oral hygiene during recovery to help protect the wounds from becoming infected. A member of our team will provide you with detailed post-operative instructions to help you care for your jaw after surgery and to expedite the healing process. Cold compresses can be applied to the jaw for the first 48 hours after surgery to help minimize swelling.
Jaw (Orthognathic) Surgery Frequently Asked Questions
Will my insurance provider cover the expense of this surgery?
Orthognathic surgery is typically covered by major medical insurance, assuming there is an abnormality present that requires repair. Jaw surgery that is primarily cosmetic in nature will not likely be covered by your insurance provider. Craniofacial & Aesthetic Plastic Surgery will contact your insurance company to determine your coverage and help you understand your out-of-pocket costs.
Will I be able to eat normally afterward?
You will be able to eat very soft foods that do not require chewing. Although your jaw will not be wired together, it will be fragile while healing and you will want to avoid disrupting the process. Dr. Sawh-Martinez will let you know when it is safe to incorporate tougher foods back into your diet.
Will I have scars after orthognathic surgery?
The majority of jaw surgeries are performed within the mouth so the only scars will be tiny white lines along the inside your gum line.
How long will I need to take off work/school to recover after jaw surgery?
After you have left hospital following orthognathic surgery, you are advised to arrange a month off work or school. It could be up to six weeks before your jaw is fully healed, at which time you will be able to return to normal activities.
Corrective Jaw Surgery
Dr. Sawh-Martinez and Craniofacial & Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in Lake Mary, FL are pleased to offer jaw surgery to address the common conditions caused by a misaligned jaw. If you are struggling with bite issues, speech impediment, and/or difficulty chewing, and you believe that jaw surgery could help, we encourage you to contact our beautiful Lake Mary, FL office at your earliest convenience. We look forward to exceeding your expectations.