Can You Feel The Screws After Jaw Surgery?

Posted on 3/1/2024 by Weo Admin
digital model of titanium screw of dental implant between two teeth with the dental crown off to the sideSurgical hardware, including plates, screws, and wires, is used during orthognathic surgery to fix and hold the jaws in their new position. Screws are used to fasten the plates into the jawbone for support as the bone heals. These plates and screws are small-sized to aid in placement and fitting.

Traditionally, steel hardware was used for jaw surgery, but with time, titanium hardware became the norm. Titanium is softer, durable, and binds and integrates well with the bone during healing. So, the removal of titanium hardware after surgery is not necessary in most cases. After full healing, you will rarely even notice they are there.

Will You Feel The Screws After Jaw Surgery?

You will feel little nubs around where the screws are in the first three months after surgery. When you gently push a finger or press your tongue across the gums, you will feel the plates and screws. In the months before the bone heals, the screw nubs will be small, painless masses. If the screws push too hard against the gum or break through, then they are loose and should be removed.

However, as the bone heals, these screws will integrate into the bone, and you will no longer feel them. Also, your gums become stronger with time, further concealing the screws. These nubs will also be more common in the upper jaw (maxilla) since the bones of the upper jaw are thinner and the bone structure more complex.

When Will I Stop Feeling Screws After Jaw Surgery

You will most likely not feel the screws a year after surgery. By this time, the titanium plates and screws will have completely integrated into the jawbone. However, you should note that even after full healing, you will feel different. Your face will feel fuller and bigger, but this is a feeling that you get used to.

Pain at any point after three months may point to an infection or a nonunion, where the plate and the bone do not bind. Nonunion and delayed union at times necessitate the removal of surgical hardware, but with titanium, this is a very rare occurrence. Contact our office immediately in case of pain or bleeding three months after surgery.

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