Frequently Asked Questions About Jaw Augmentation & Jaw Implants

 

What is a jaw augmentation?

When can a jaw augmentation be performed?

What does a typical jaw augmentation consultation entail?

How is a jaw augmentation performed?

What should I expect postoperatively?

When will the stitches be removed and does this hurt?

When will I be able to see the results?

What are the risks of jaw augmentation?

Are the results permanent?

 

What is jaw augmentation?

Also known as mandibular augmentation, jaw augmentation entails the use of synthetics or biologicals to augment the jaw bone structure of the face. It can give balance to an otherwise less defined face or further augment an already existent mandibular structure.

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When can jaw augmentation be performed?

Jaw augmentation is usually done on people who are at least 18 years old to ensure that the facial structure is at or close to physical maturity. 

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What does a typical jaw augmentation consultation entail?

After checking a surgeon's background and credentials, you will make an appointment for a consultation.  You will meet with the surgeon to discuss your goals and disclose your health information. The latter is very important, particularly if you smoke or are take any medications or supplements on a regular basis. The skin on your face will be examined and the elasticity will be determined. You will discuss your complaints and concerns about your appearance, and discuss the various techniques, incision placements, and implants available that are most appropriate for your individual situation. The surgeon should also go over with you the risks associated with jaw augmentation surgery. He or she will also discuss the available anesthesia that will be used for your procedure.If you should choose to book or reserve a surgery date, you are usually required to give a deposit to hold it. After paying your deposit and scheduling a surgery date, you will also schedule a pre-operative appointment.

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How is jaw augmentation performed?

Depending on the amount of augmentation and the technique and implant used, jaw augmentation can last up to 2 hours. First you are prepped, which includes having monitoring equipment attached to you so that the surgical team can properly keep track of your vital statistics before, during and after your operation. You may also be given an oral sedative to make you less anxious. An IV needle will be inserted and hooked up to a saline drip to keep you hydrated and to provide a vascular "doorway" for anesthesia, antibiotics, and other medications. Your jaw will then be marked up by the surgeon to indicate where incisions will be made, the area will be disinfected, and the anesthesia administered. The incision will be made in the predetermined placement, the implant situated directly on top of the bone (or right on top the overlying tissue) and either sutured or screwed into place. The incisions are closed and the area will be wrapped with a dressing to hold the implants securely in place.

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What should I expect postoperatively?

You may be groggy from the anesthetic and/or oral medications and probably won't remember much of the first day or two. You will have to take it easy and sleep on two pillows to keep your head elevated for 7 to 14 days, or however long your surgeon suggests. Your face will be at its most swollen during the first 3 days after surgery and will dissipate over time. There may be bruising, but this will go away as well. You will more than likely experience some discomfort for several weeks and your diet may be restricted, especially if you have intraoral stitches. You may be instructed to rinse with Listerine several times a day.  DO NOT PICK or "tongue" your incisions or sutures!

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When will the stitches be removed and does this hurt?

If you had nondissolvable sutures, these will more than likely be taken out by your surgeon at a week to 10 days postop. If you had dissolvable sutures, they should dissolve in about 10 days.

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When will I be able to see the results?

The results are immediate. In fact, you may believe that you have received too much augmentation and demand that your jaw implants be taken out. This is a common emotion and you must wait until you are fully healed to determine if you dislike your new jaw line. Be advised that there is significant swelling with jaw augmentation surgery. Just know that it will subside, revealing a more defined jaw structure and a more youthful, proportionate you. 

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What are the risks of jaw augmentation?

The risks of jaw augmentation surgery include include allergic reaction to the anesthetic used, infection, hematoma or seroma, asymmetry, malposition, shifting, and general dissatisfaction. 

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Are the results permanent?

Yes, jaw augmentation is permanent unless an unforeseen problem (such as infection or extrusion) arises, creating the need for removal.

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