What You Need to Know about Jaw Surgery
As 2021 comes to an end and your yearly benefits expire, how will you make the most of what’s remaining before it’s too late? Your benefit allowance most likely runs out at the end of the calendar year, and when you fail to use it, you’re allowing your insurance company to keep whatever is left. Don’t let this happen.
Put your remaining benefits toward the first stages of jaw surgery, a treatment that has many steps. Spreading the expense between this year and next is an efficient way to make the most of your insurance coverage.
What can I expect from jaw surgery?
Jaw surgery properly aligns your jaw, correcting its function and any irregularities. The correction not only improves your sleeping, breathing, eating, and speech patterns, but it also balances your facial appearance which boosts your self-esteem.
The first step in the jaw surgery journey maybe to see an orthodontist. Wearing braces for 12-18 months prior to surgery can aid in aligning your jaw. Oral surgeons and orthodontists partner in providing comprehensive care that will completely correct misalignment and any other issues with your jaw. On occasion, surgery is performed early in the orthodontic treatment phase and braces continue thereafter.
Jaw surgery has become very common. Many cases only involve one jaw and is performed as an outpatient procedure. Two jaw (upper and lower) surgery is a more involved treatment and performed on the hospital where patients are cared for 1-3 days. These surgeries are performed anesthesia, as your oral surgeon carefully moves the jaws to the correct position. To secure them in place, your Oral & Maxillo-Facial Surgeon uses tiny wires, screws, and plates. These are not detectable on the surface and are meant to remain in place. They do not cause any issues going through airport security.
You’ll be sent home with detailed instructions for aftercare, including diet, exercise, oral hygiene, and pain control. Rest is one of the best ways to ensure a smooth recovery, so don’t rush it. Swelling can last 10 days and it may feel tight when opening the mouth for the first 2 weeks. You should feel back to normal within four to weeks, but complete healing occurs silently and can take up to twelve.
What are the side effects of jaw surgery?
Jaw surgery is a safe procedure that Oral & Maxillo-Facial Surgeons perform regularly. Just as with any surgery, there are minor risks, such as infection, nerve injury, and blood loss. Some side effects that you may experience after surgery include minor discomfort and swelling, challenges with eating so remain on soft foods and progress as tolerated. Patients and family will have an adjustment to the optimized facial appearance.
Is jaw surgery the only way to correct an overbite?
Jaw surgery is an excellent solution for a severe overbite that cannot be corrected with orthodontic treatment alone. If after wearing braces and elastics, your overbite is still not fixed, there are advanced appliances that may be effective. We reserve surgery for cases that cannot be optimally corrected with braces only.
Jaw Surgery Recovery
Rest and relaxation are the keys to a quick, complication-free recovery. Your Oral & Maxillo-Facial Surgeon and the team will provide you with detailed instructions on what you can eat, how to care for your teeth, gums, and jaw when to exercise and return to work, and what medications best control discomfort. Avoid using tobacco, carbonated beverages, and straws when you drink. These activities tend to impair wound healing.
Jaw Surgery Cost
The cost of jaw surgery depends on the type of malocclusion—or a misaligned bite—you have, and the treatments required to correct the problem. The total cost includes consultations, x-rays, anesthesia, surgery, and follow-up care, and most insurance carriers cover much of the cost. When you attend your consultation, your Oral & Maxillo-Facial Surgeon Team will review all costs before moving forward with treatment.
On occasion, some patients may not have insurance coverage and the hospital costs can be burdensome. Inland Institute (our practice facility) is a fully accredited surgery center and arrangements are made to help those without insurance obtain the care they need affordably in our surgery center.
Financing options are also available.
When is the best time to have jaw surgery?
Each year, unused benefits are forfeited, and a new amount is reset on the first of the year. That makes right now the perfect time to start the jaw surgery process. Take advantage of your insurance benefits while you have them and improve the function of your jaw, breathing, and your appearance while you’re at it.
Still, have questions?
Contact board-certified facial cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Gilbert to schedule a consultation today!
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