How long will it take to recover from jaw surgery?

If you require jaw surgery, you probably have many questions. When a dentist or oral surgeon like Dr. Larry Wolford recommends jaw surgery, it is for good reason. Your jawbones are essential to enjoying smooth and comfortable oral function. When the jaws are affected by deformities, disease, or trauma, it can take a toll on your oral health along with your quality of life. While jaw surgery is often more invasive than other types of oral surgeries, the time it takes to recover from this procedure varies depending on each patient’s situation. With the best jaw surgeon in our area, our team answers frequently asked questions about this type of procedure.

How do the jaws play a role in oral function?

The roots of teeth are anchored in the jaw and this is what creates a patient’s bite or occlusion. A bite refers to the way that teeth line up when the mouth is closed. If the jaws are positioned improperly or damaged by injury or disease, the teeth cannot line up as they should when eating or speaking. Some occlusion issues can lead to unnecessary tooth wear because the upper and lower sets of teeth scrape and grind against one another. Misaligned bites and jaw alignment issues can also produce discomfort in the form of facial pain, frequent headaches, and TMJ dysfunction. All of these issues associated with misaligned jaws will ultimately affect oral function and the health of the patient.

How do jawbones become misaligned?

Issues with the alignment of jawbones can be the result of a deformity during birth or during adolescence. Blunt trauma to the face and conditions such as osteoporosis or periodontal disease can affect bone placement and density as well.

Will I be comfortable during the procedure?

Our team takes all measures necessary to promote comfort and relaxation. We will administer the appropriate amounts of pain medication and sedatives to provide our patients with a worry-free and comfortable experience.

Will I be given post-operative instructions?

After any oral surgery procedure, we provide patients with information on post-operative care so that patients can recover as quickly as possible.

Dr. Wolford is renowned globally for complex jaw revision surgery and total temporomandibular joint (TMJ) replacement. To schedule an appointment with our caring jaw surgery expert, Dr. Larry M. Wolford, call our  214-828-9115 today or use our online contact form.

Condylar hyperplasia (CH) is a generic term describing enlargement of the condyle.  There are a number of different condylar pathologies that enlarge the mandibular condyle, with subsequent adverse effects on the morphology and function of the TMJ and mandible.  This may result in the development or worsening of a dentofacial deformity such as; mandibular prognathism (symmetric or asymmetric), and unilateral enlargement of the condyle, ramus, and body, facial asymmetry and malocclusion. 

Wolford has developed a simple, but encompassing classification that will allow the clinician to better understand the nature of the various CH pathologies, progression, and treatment options that have proven to eliminate the pathological process and provide optimal functional and esthetic outcomes.  The classification (Table 2 and Figure 29) also begins with the most common occurring form of CH and progresses to the least common occurring form.

CH Type 1:  This condition develops during puberty, is an accelerated and prolonged growth aberration of the normal condylar growth mechanism, is self-limiting but can grow into the 20’s, and can occur bilaterally (CH Type 1A) or unilaterally (CH Type 1B).

CH Type 2:  These condylar pathologies can develop at any age (although 2/3s develop in the 2nd decade), are unilateral condylar vertical and/or horizontal over-growth deformities, and are the most common occurring mandibular condylar tumors; osteochondroma (CH Type 2A) and less common osteoma (CH Type 2B).

CH Type 3:  These are other rare benign causing condylar enlargement. 

CH Type 4:  These are malignant conditions that can cause condylar enlargement.

The more common forms of CH (Types 1 and 2) will be presented relative to the clinical and radiographic findings, growth characteristics, effects on the jaws and facial structures, histology, and treatment considerations that are highly predictable in the elimination of the pathology and provide optimal treatment outcomes. 

FIGURE 29 Description

A-C) normal TMJ with balanced joint spaces.
D-F) CH Type 1 with relatively normal condylar shape, elongated condylar head and neck, and narrow joint space related to thin articular disc or displaced disc.  In the coronal view the condylar head is more rounded.
G-I) CH Type 2Av; an osteochondroma with a vertical growth vector without significant horizontal condylar enlargement or exophytic horizontal growth. This is a “young” osteochondroma with only about 3 years of growth.
J-L) CH Type 2Ah; an osteochondroma with horizontal (as well as vertical) enlargement of the condyle and exophytic outgrowth of the tumor. This tumor has been present for 6 years. Notice the significant increased vertical height of the mandibular body and ramus.

FIGURE 29