Cheek and jaw implants are done to enhance or save certain areas of your face for either cosmetic or dental reasons, but are usually done because of an injury or other facial damages which needconstruction work. For example, you may need a cheek implant if you had an injury which completely shattered your cheekbones to the point of no return, or a jaw implant because you need to have a dental implant placed.
Before you decide whether or not you need cheek or jaw implants, you must speak with your dentist to determine if you are a good candidate. Keep in mind that these implants will not make you look like a different person, but are for the purpose of enhancing or restoring these specific facial features.
For the lower jaw implant surgery, the implant will be placed inside your lower lip. The incision area will be secured using sutures, which will dissolve in around one weeks time, and the procedure typically takes two hours maximum.
The surgery for a cheek implant is put into place through the upper lip or your lower eyelid, internally, and takes up to an hour.
Before Your Surgery
It’s extremely important to prepare yourself before your surgery so your body, and you, can be ready. Make plans with a friend or family member to drive you home from your surgery, because you do not want to be driving afterward, and make a plan with someone to check in on you. Your plastic surgeon, or whoever is doing the surgery, will be able to tell you which medications and foods you should be avoiding, so talk to them about your diet and which medications you are currently taking before you go into surgery. If you are a smoker, you will have to quit smoking before going into surgery.
After the Surgery
Once you are at home after your surgery, you must relax and take at least a week off of school or work to properly heal. You are going to need lots of ice bags or frozen bags of vegetables for the pain. The overall recovery time depends on your habits personally, and if you are having additional surgeries at the same time. This could occur if you need both cheek and jaw implants, for example.
Your diet, especially if you had a jaw implant done, will consist of protein shakes, jell-o, ice cream, pudding, mashed potatoes and other soft or pureed foods.
Speak With Your Dentist
If you are considering having a cheek or jaw implant, or even both, speak with your dentist before you make any major decisions or appointments elsewhere. Your dentist will be able to tell you if you even need them in the first place, and will be able to tell you if you have any issues, such as gum disease, which could halt surgery, and needs to be fixed. It’s incredibly important to fix any oral problems before surgery, so there are no surprises afterwards.