Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

Orthognathic Surgery: Your Surgical ExperienceLa cirug­a ortogn¡tica: Su experiencia con la operaci³n

Orthognathic Surgery: Your Surgical Experience

You have been scheduled for orthognathic surgery. This is treatment that reshapes the jaws to improve their form and function. Surgery takes place in a hospital or surgery center. The procedure lasts several hours. You will likely stay in the hospital for 1-2 days. In some cases it may be possible to leave the same day. In either case, hospital staff will keep you comfortable and help you recover until you're ready to go home.

The Day of Surgery

  • When you arrive at the hospital, you'll change into a hospital gown. Staff will then prepare you for surgery.

  • An IV line will be started to provide you with fluids and medications.

  • You'll meet with an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist. This is to discuss the medication (general anesthesia) used to keep you asleep and free of pain during surgery.

  • Once you're under anesthesia, the surgery will be performed.

  • To help stabilize the bite, a plastic splint may be placed between the chewing surfaces of your teeth. In some cases, elastic bands or wires are attached to the braces to hold the jaws firmly shut. In other cases, looser elastic bands called "guiding elastics" are used. Sometimes, no wires or bands are needed.

Right After Surgery

  • After surgery you'll awake in a recovery room.

  • Your IV will remain in place.

  • You'll most likely have a device to give you oxygen.

  • Ice packs will be applied to your face to control swelling.

  • Your face will most likely be numb, but you'll be given medication if you feel any pain.

  • Nurses will monitor you to make sure you're recovering well from anesthesia.

  • You'll then be taken to a regular hospital room.

Recovering in the Hospital

  • You'll be urged to get up and walk as soon as possible after surgery. This helps you recover from anesthesia. It also helps prevent complications.

  • Sometime late in the day, you'll likely be started on liquids.

  • Using facial muscles helps reduce swelling, so try to talk if you can.

  • It's common to have some nausea the first day. Vomiting when you can't open your jaws can be scary, but don't panic. Since you fasted before surgery and you're now taking only liquids, the vomit will be liquid. Just lean over and spit it out. If you have any concerns about how nausea may affect you, talk to your surgeon ahead of time.

Going Home

  • You will most likely stay in the hospital overnight, or for up to 2 days. You can go home when you're up and around, you have no signs of complications, and any nausea is under control.

  • Before you leave you'll be told how to reduce pain, swelling, and nausea at home.

  • You'll also be given prescriptions for medications to help control these problems.

Risks and Complications

Risks and possible complications of surgery include:

  • Temporary pain and swelling

  • Bleeding

  • Numbness (in most cases temporary)

  • Infection

  • Loss of teeth or bone

  • Relapse (bones move back toward original positions)

  • Risks of anesthesia

Date Last Reviewed:

Date Last Modified:

Discover exceptional, attentive, relationship-driven dentistry. Call Andrew Sheng Dental at (310) 547-4413 or use our convenient Request an Appointment form.

What our patients are saying

Another satisfying experience at my dentist! The friendly and warm greeting received when I arrived for my appointment set the tone. The dental technician offered more of the same cordiality and professionalism. Dr. Sheng is very attentive and upbeat and I feel gives the best dental care possible. Have complete faith in his ability and assessment of my issue which he explained thoroughly and patiently answered all my questions. The whole experience was very positive and I was made as comfortable as possible which was very much appreciated! Thank you all for providing excellent dental care!!

Read More

Wondering If You Need A Night Guard?

jaw pain

Do you often wake up with a headache or jaw pain?

If so, you may unknowingly be grinding or clenching your teeth. Most people who grind and clench, do so while they are sleeping and have no control over it. Grinding and clenching, known as Bruxism, can loosen or wear down teeth and could lead to a possible crown, root canal or implant. What Causes Bruxism? There are many factors that could lead to Bruxism. According to the American Dental Association Stressful situations, problems sleeping, an abnormal bite and crooked or missing teeth” can contribute to this problem. Good News Nightguards can help relieve some of the pressure and pain. When you see Dr Sheng for your routin...
Map

Andrew Sheng Dental
Cosmetic & Family Dentistry

1418 W. 25th Street
San Pedro, CA 90732
Phone: (310) 547-4413
Fax: (310) 547-1443

Map and Driving Directions
Our office hours are as follows:
Monday - 8:00am - 5:00pm
Tuesday - 7:00am - 5:00pm
Wednesday - 8:00am - 5:00pm
Thursday - 8:00am - 5:00pm
Friday - 7:00am - 4:00pm
Gallery

dental library