Jaw Implant Recovery

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have been researching the jaw implant recovery process. However I can’t find much on the recovery from jaw angle implants, whereas there is a lot on what is it like after orthoganthic jaw surgery. Can I take it that the recovery process is the same. For example follow the advice on diet, ice packs, sleeping upright and similar pain levels? I am looking how to best prepare myself after surgery as I am travelling by myself.

A: While there are some similarities in the beginning (swelling) between jaw bone surgery and jaw implant surgery, I would say that jaw implant surgery is not as severe as orthognathic surgery as the actual functional disruption of jaw opening and the degree of trauma to the tissues is much less. Jaw implant surgery disrupts the masseteric muscle attachments while jaw bone surgery disrupts the bone and the muscle.

Pain would be less and ultimately you will recover much faster in jaw implant surgery. It is largely the swelling and the time it takes to go down to look acceptable (2 to 3 weeks) that can be psychologically stressful. Most patients will be on a soft diet for a few weeks and ice is good for the first 24 hours or so after surgery.  

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana