How Long Does it Take to Recover from Corrective Jaw Surgery? By Kellyn Hodges on June 01, 2024

woman smiling after jaw surgery

Jaw surgery is considered when less invasive treatments fail or will not benefit the patient. While surgery may seem extreme, it has many benefits, including restoring oral function. Jaw surgery recovery is often a major concern for patients at Kellyn Hodges Orthodontics in the PhiladelphiaBala CynwydBensalem, and MontgomeryvillePA-area.

Let's look at how long recovery after corrective jaw surgery may take and how you can make recovery as easy as possible. 

How Long Does Jaw Surgery Recovery Take?

How long it takes to recover from jaw surgery will vary from patient to patient, depending on a variety of factors, such as:

  • The type of jaw surgery performed
  • If other treatments or procedures are needed
  • If you have health issues that may slow healing
  • If you follow post-op care instructions.

The average healing time following jaw surgery is about two to three months. We typically tell our patients to expect to be out of work or school for at least one month.

Is Corrective Jaw Surgery Really Worth It?

Jaw surgery is often a last resort. In many cases, misaligned bites can be corrected with orthodontic treatment such as braces or clear aligners like Invisalign®. However, some patients may require surgery if orthodontic treatment does not work, if you do not adhere to treatment guidelines, or if you have severe issues that cannot be treated with orthodontics alone. In many cases, jaw surgery is performed in tandem with orthodontic treatments. Jaw surgery has numerous benefits, including:

  • Restored Function—A misaligned bite can make it difficult to eat, speak, and swallow properly. Correcting the issues will put your jaw in a more appropriate position, allowing you to eat the foods you love and speak with confidence. 
  • Restored Appearance—A misaligned jaw can also cause aesthetic concerns. By correcting the issue, you can improve the appearance of your smile and facial features.
  • Reduced Pain—A misaligned bite can cause stress and strain on the temporomandibular joint (TMJs) and teeth, leading to pain in the mouth, jaw, and even the shoulders and head. By correcting the issues, we can alleviate painful symptoms.
  • Reduced Wear—If your bite isn't properly aligned, it can cause excessive wear on certain teeth, which can lead to damage and pain. By correcting the misalignment, the force of your bite will be more evenly distributed along your dental arch. 

Tips for Jaw Surgery Recovery

Here are a few tips to help. make your recovery from jaw surgery as smooth as possible:

  • Take Medication as Directed—Some patients manage their post-op pain well with over-the-counter medications. Your oral surgeon may prescribe a prescription medication as well. Be sure to take these as directed.
  • Rest—You may tire more quickly and easily in the first week or two following your jaw surgery. Be sure to get plenty of rest and avoid strenuous activity until you are cleared by your oral surgeon.
  • Eat a Soft/No-Chew Diet—Your jaw and mouth need adequate time to heal. To avoid irritation, it is best to stick to a soft or no-chew diet. This means consuming only foods that do not need to be chewed and may include things like soup, mashed potatoes, and pureed foods.

Your oral surgeon should provide you with all the aftercare instructions you need. If you experience any troubling symptoms, it is best to check with your oral surgeon.

Have More Questions About Jaw Surgery?

We understand that jaw surgery can seem daunting. We are here to guide you every step of the way, and we coordinate your care to ensure the best possible outcomes. If you have more questions about jaw surgery or you want to find out if this is the right course of action to correct your concerns, request a consultation at one of our three locations today

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Kellyn Hodges Orthodontics staff

Kellyn Hodges Orthodontics

At Kellyn Hodges Orthodontics, serving patients in Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, and throughout Philadelphia, we are committed to helping children and adults of all backgrounds achieve beautiful, healthy smiles. Our compassionate and widely respected doctors are members of prestigious dental organizations, including: 

  • American Association of Orthodontists
  • American Dental Association 
  • National Dental Association
  • National Board of Orthodontics, U. S. 

To reach our helpful, multilingual staff, call us at (610) 617-0700 or request a consultation online.

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We love Kellyn Hodges! She listens to her patients and provides excellent care! Her staff is very friendly and helpful as well! Tara F.

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