What happens during surgery?

October 30, 2019

We will give you a general anaesthetic. Once you are completely asleep,
we make a cut on the inside of your mouth through your gum, to open
up the fracture.

We put your broken bones back together using small metal plates and
screws to hold them in place. This restores your bite.

We use dissolvable stitches to stitch your gum back into place. These
take up to two weeks or more to disappear.

Sometimes we also make a small cut on the outside of your mouth
through your skin, by the angle of your jaw. If we plan to do this we will advise you before you sign the consent form. We use one or two stitches to close this cut. These need to be removed by a nurse five days after surgery.

During the operation, we sometimes place temporary wires or metal braces around you teeth or put screws between your teeth to fix elastic bands to. The elastic bands help us to guide your bite into the correct position.

We usually attach the elastic bands properly a few hours after your operation. This means that when you wake up from surgery you will be able to move your jaw freely.

If you have any wires, metal braces or screws put in to hold the elastic bands, we will take them out at an outpatient clinic appointment when your doctors are happy that the fracture has healed. This usually happens about four to six weeks after your operation.

If we put plates and screws in your jaw to hold it in position, we do not normally take them out unless they cause problems. They are made of titanium, a type of material that does not set off metal detectors in airports. You can still have MRI scans.

Sometimes we take out damaged or decayed teeth near your break.

Could you be covered?

Recognised by major healthcare providers

Nicholas Lee: Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Sheffield UK