Top 9 Questions and Answers About Orthognathic Surgery

Top 9 Questions and Answers About Orthognathic Surgery

The decision to pursue orthognathic surgery can be life-changing, but most patients who are interested in jaw surgery have a number of questions for our doctors before they move forward. Below, we answer some of the most common patient questions about orthognathic surgery.

Is orthognathic surgery painful?

General anesthesia is used for orthognathic surgery, so you don’t have to worry about experiencing any pain or discomfort during the surgery itself. You will experience pain and swelling after orthognathic surgery, but we will prescribe medications to help you manage your discomfort.

How long does it take to recover from orthognathic surgery?

Every patient is different, but in most cases, you can expect to be 75% recovered after one week and 90% recovered after two weeks. It’s not uncommon to have ongoing tenderness and paresthesia (a pins-and-needles feeling) for some time after the surgery, but these will resolve with time.

Is orthognathic surgery necessary?

Orthognathic surgery is not necessary like a surgery for your heart, for example, but it can greatly improve your quality of life. Patients who have severe malocclusion (bite issues), sleep apnea, trouble breathing through the nose, TMJ disorder, and jaws that are too small or improperly positioned can all benefit from orthognathic surgery.

What happens if I don’t get jaw surgery?

The answer to this question depends on the reason orthognathic surgery has been recommended to you. If you suffer from gross malocclusion, not getting orthognathic surgery may mean headaches, TMJ pain, and abnormal wear on your teeth. For patients who are considering orthognathic surgery for airway improvement, not getting surgery can lead to poor sleep, a lack of energy, and continued trouble breathing.

How long do you have to stay in the hospital after jaw surgery?

The length of your hospital stay depends on the extent of your surgery and your overall health. Some patients may go home the same day, while others may require a short stay at the hospital. 

Does insurance pay for jaw surgery?

When jaw surgery is medically necessary, your health insurance will often cover it. While many patients are interested in orthognathic surgery to improve their appearance, severe bite issues often cause medical and dental issues as well.

Can I get jaw surgery without braces?

Orthodontic treatment is an important component of orthognathic surgery. When your jaws are repositioned during surgery, your teeth will no longer line up properly. Braces before surgery ensure that your teeth will be in their correct positions once your jaws are moved; after your surgery, orthodontic treatment continues to refine the alignment of your teeth.

How long are you on a liquid diet after jaw surgery?

You will likely need to be on a liquid diet for two to four weeks after orthognathic surgery. This allows your jaw to rest so it can heal. A liquid diet can include smoothies and pureed soups, along with protein and nutrition shakes.

Does jaw surgery change your face?

Yes, jaw surgery changes your face, but these changes are for the better. After healing from your surgery, you’ll have an improved facial profile and more symmetrical facial features.

Learn More About Orthognathic Surgery

If you’d like to learn more about orthognathic surgery, contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our doctors.