Orthognathic surgery, more commonly known as jaw surgery, isn't fun to endure. However, it can be the best way for doctors and dentists to address certain jaw problems, such as a broken jaw, severe underbite, or serious TMJ arthritis. If you've been scheduled for jaw surgery, then you can rest assured that your doctors and dentists believe it's a relatively safe and effective option for you. However, there are still some things that are helpful to know as you prepare for the procedure.
1. You will want to take several weeks off from work.
Your doctor or dentist should give you a recommendation as to how long you should take off from work after your surgery. Aim towards the longer side of their recommendation, if possible. Even though your jaw will start feeling better after a week or two, you will not be able to eat like normal for a while after jaw surgery. As such, you may feel a little weak and may not feel up to working.
2. You'll need to stick to a liquid diet.
In most cases, you won't be able to move your jaw for at least a week or two post-surgery. To get your nutrition, you'll need to stick to liquids. Try to stock up on a variety of options so you don't get bored. Look for some high-protein options, such as milk-based pudding and yogurt drinks, and also for some higher-carb options, like fruit smoothies. Liquid vitamin supplements are not a bad idea, either. You can squeeze a few drops into your drink to boost the nutritional value and ensure your body has the nutrients it needs to heal.
3. You'll have checkups.
Your dentist or doctor will likely want to see you a few days post-surgery for a checkup. They may need to see you a week or two after that, too. Make sure you have a friend or family member lined up to drive you to these checkups. You may not feel up to it, and you may be on pain relievers that make it unsafe for you to drive. (Dentists often prescribe opiate pain relievers for you to take the first few days after surgery.)
Undergoing orthographic surgery is not easy, but sometimes, it is the best thing for your overall health. Keep the information above in mind, and make sure you listen to your dentist's advice as you heal.
For more information, contact a local clinic like Lighthouse Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.