Wiring Your Jaw Shut After A Serious Accident Or Assault: What To Expect
After the police have taken photos and assessed the scene, and you are still conscious but unable to answer questions, your wounds will be treated first. Your internal injuries are examined via an x-ray, and if you have any punctured organs you will undergo immediate surgery. Once all of that is complete, then a dentist may visit you in the recovery room to assess the damage done to your mouth from the accident or assault, and if you are alert enough, the dentist will explain the emergency dentistry procedure of wiring your jaw and mouth shut in the following way.
Waiting for Swelling to Go Down
If the professional oral/maxillofacial surgeon (a dentist with surgical training), like those at Larchmont Dental Arts LLC, is talking to you in the recovery room about the procedure and has not done it yet, it is because there is too much swelling in your face and around your fractured jaw. If the oral surgeon can get to you before the swelling sets in (and this is not always possible with accidents and assault cases) then the procedure is completed in the operating room while other surgeons repair your body. After a couple of days, the swelling will go down enough that the oral surgeon can schedule your procedure then.
Pins, Wires and Replacement Teeth
You may have also lost some teeth from the accident or assault. Once you are in the operating room and about to have your jaw wired shut, the dentist will put implants in where your jaw is strong enough to hold them, and then place the pins into position to realign and hold your broken jaw in a corrected position. The wires are similar to the same used by orthodontists, and these will be used to tightly and securely hold your loose teeth, fake replacement teeth and fractured jaw in the fixed position.
The Recovery Process and Additional Surgeries
Because your upper and lower jaws are just like any other bones in the body, you can expect your mouth to remain in this fixed and immobilized position for several weeks. Some people heal faster than others, so it may be anywhere from a month to three months before your dentist will perform additional surgeries to remove the wires, some of the pins (the ones your bones have not calcified over) and place additional implants where there are still some missing teeth. It may take up to a year or more before your mouth is completely restored and healed from your traumatic event, but your oral surgeon and your dentist will help you get there.