Jaw Surgery After Care: What to Expect
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Undergoing jaw surgery is an experience that requires longer recovery times than a typical procedure like an extraction or dental implant treatment. As such, our Lafayette, CO jaw surgery patients should plan extra time off of work and for rest as their body heals. Since these procedures involve resetting the jaw bones in a new position, stabilization is required to ensure that everything sets and fuses in the desired location.
Here are a few things you can expect…
Surgical Site Care
You’ll be sent home with a gauze compress to minimize any bleeding, changing it out as needed. If bleeding lasts more than a few hours, let us know right away. Alternate cold compresses on either side of your face every 20 minutes to minimize swelling during the first two days. If you experience nausea of vomiting, contact us immediately.
Take it Easy for a Month or Two
Any type of surgical procedure places stress on the body. Taking it easy and allowing yourself time to heal is essential. Depending on what type of job you have, you may be able to return to work sooner rather than later. Just be sure to avoid any significant physical activities such as heavy lifting, exercise, or operating machinery (which includes driving.)
Get Enough Fluids and Food
After jaw surgery you’ll be on a liquid diet, because of your jaw immobilization appliances. Select foods that are nutrient and calorie rich to prevent unwanted weight loss. Supplements such as nutritional shakes and food processors to puree solid food are essential. Make it a point to try to have smaller meals more frequently throughout the day, rather than trying to consume all of your calories at three set mealtimes. After six weeks you should be able to return to eating as normal.
Keep Your Mouth Clean
You won’t be able to brush your teeth normally, so use the mouth rinses prescribed to clean away excessive plaque biofilm and bacteria inside of your mouth. A small, child-sized toothbrush can be used on a limited basis in areas that can be reached. Avoid vigorous rinsing early on, as this can dislodge essential blood clots and delay healing.
Sleep with Your Head Elevated
To reduce pressure, sleep propped up in a chair or elevated in your bed. It can help to go ahead and set an area in your home for your recovery (such as a recliner) where medications, drinks, food, and your phone are easily accessible.
Experience Less Post-Operative Pain with Exparel
Our jaw surgery services are some of the only ones in the Lafayette, CO area to provide Exparel nerve blocks in lieu of conventional pain management techniques found in a typical oral surgery practice. With this method, our patients experience up to 36 hours of desensitization around their surgical site, essentially eliminating the need for opioid painkillers after a jaw surgery. Minimal to moderate discomfort can easily be managed with over-the-counter medications, which are much safer.
Contact Coal Creek Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center
Are you looking for an experienced provider to perform your next jaw surgery? Schedule a consultation at Coal Creek Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center today to find out how we can help!
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