Is Jaw Surgery Covered By Insurance: What You Need to Know About Insurance Coverage

In this article we are going to talk about Is Jaw Surgery Covered By Insurance? Jaw surgery, also known as orthognathic surgery, is a procedure that corrects misaligned jaws and improves the function and appearance of the bite.

Jaw surgery can treat a variety of conditions, such as sleep apnea, chronic jaw pain, speech problems, and facial asymmetry.

But how much does jaw surgery cost, and is it covered by insurance?

In this blog post, we will answer these questions and provide you with some useful information about jaw surgery.

We will explain the different types of jaw surgery, the factors that affect the cost, and the criteria for insurance coverage.

We will also share some tips on how to prepare for jaw surgery and what to expect during recovery.

An image of jaw surgery
Jaw surgery can treat a variety of conditions, such as sleep apnea, chronic jaw pain, speech problems, and facial asymmetry.

Types Of Jaw Surgery

  1. Maxillary Osteotomy:
    • What it is: This surgery adjusts the upper jaw when it’s too prominent or recessed. It’s also effective for correcting issues like open bites or crossbites, where upper and lower teeth don’t align correctly.
    • How it’s done: The surgeon precisely cuts the upper jaw bone, moving it forward or backward as needed. To secure the new position, plates and screws are employed.
  2. Mandibular Osteotomy:
    • What it is: Tailored for the lower jaw, this procedure corrects protrusion or recession issues. It’s especially useful for addressing underbites, where the lower jaw extends beyond the upper jaw.
    • How it’s done: The surgeon makes precise cuts behind the molars, sliding the lower jaw into the desired position. Plates and screws are then used to stabilize the adjusted jaw.
  3. Maxillomandibular Advancement:
    • What it is: This surgery tackles cases where both upper and lower jaws need repositioning. It’s often chosen to alleviate obstructive sleep apnea, a condition causing breathing difficulties during sleep.
    • How it’s done: The surgeon makes strategic cuts in both upper and lower jaw bones, moving them forward to create more space for the airway. Stabilization is achieved with plates and screws.
  4. Genioplasty:
    • What it is: Focused on enhancing the chin’s shape or position, genioplasty contributes to an improved facial profile and overall balance.
    • How it’s done: The surgeon adjusts the chin bone by moving it up, down, forward, or backward, depending on the desired outcome. The repositioned bone is secured using plates and screws.
  5. Segmental Osteotomy:
    • What it is: This procedure addresses misalignments or tilting of specific jaw segments, offering solutions for dental issues like crowding, spacing, or malocclusion.
    • How it’s done: The surgeon cuts the jaw bone, repositions the targeted segment, and secures it in place using wires or plates and screws.

Jaw Surgery Cost

The price tag on jaw surgery can be as unique as your smile.

Factors like the type of surgery, procedure complexity, hospital location, and insurance coverage all play a role.

Web whispers suggest an average jaw surgery cost ranging from $3,000 to $80,000[^1^23^], but brace yourself for figures up to $53,000 for intricate cosmetic procedures[^2^].

When jaw surgery becomes a health necessity – tackling issues like sleep apnea, chronic jaw pain, or facial injuries – there’s potential relief from your health insurance[^1^24^].

However, if it’s purely cosmetic, aiming to refine your facial profile or symmetry, insurance might not extend its helping hand[^4^].

Before you dive into the world of jaw surgery, have a heart-to-heart with your surgeon and insurance provider. Understanding the specifics of costs and coverage is key to ensuring a smooth journey through the process.

Jaw Surgery Recovery

1. Dealing with Pain and Swelling:

  • Post-surgery blues: Expect some discomfort, but fear not! Your surgeon has the remedy in the form of prescribed pain medication. Swelling and bruising? Ice packs and a little elevation magic will gradually make them fade away over a few weeks.

2. Dietary Delicacies:

  • Chew no more: If your jaws are playing hide and seek behind wires or bands, embrace a liquid or soft diet for a while. Steer clear of the crunchy and spicy stuff. Hydration and nutritional supplements are your allies in the battle against dehydration and malnutrition.

3. Minding Your Mouth:

  • Cleanse and protect: Guard against infection by rinsing with salt water or mouthwash multiple times a day. A gentle touch with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste is a must. Wires or bands? A special syringe is your go-to for flushing out food bits.

4. Balancing Activity and Rest:

  • Take it easy: Bid farewell to strenuous activities for about six weeks post-surgery. Steer clear of smoking, alcohol, and caffeine – they’re not your friends right now. Opt for rest and sleep, but say no to lying flat on your back to avoid unwanted swelling and bleeding.

5. Post-Surgery Follow-ups:

  • Stay in touch: Regular check-ups with your surgeon and orthodontist are on the menu. Adjustments and wire or band removal will be part of the routine. Brace yourself – literally – until your teeth are perfectly aligned and stabilized. Your progress will be monitored, and guidance provided on when you can return to your normal diet and activities.

1. Bleeding Woes:

  • The post-surgery drip: It’s normal to experience some bleeding from your mouth or nose. A bit of pressure or packing usually does the trick. If it gets a bit too much, a blood transfusion or a quick return to the operating room might be on the cards.

2. Infection Hurdles:

  • Pain, swelling, fever, oh my! Infections at incision sites or in the jaw bones can bring a whole package of discomfort. Thankfully, antibiotics are the knights in shining armor, but sometimes, an additional surgery might be needed for a deep clean.

3. Nerve Surprises:

  • Tingling tales: Brace yourself for some temporary or permanent numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation in facial areas linked to jaw nerves. Smiles, tastes, and facial movements might take a hit but don’t worry – improvement often tags along with time.

4. Jaw Fracture Setbacks:

  • Cracks in the plan: Jaw bone fractures might throw a wrench into your healing journey. Wires, plates, screws, or bone grafts can patch things up but be prepared for a slight delay in your recovery.

5. Relapse Realities:

  • Back to square one: The fear of a jaw problem relapse or shifts in jaw or teeth positions is real. Factors like bone resorption, scar tissue, muscle tension, or not sticking to postoperative instructions can play a role. Fear not, though – braces, retainers, or a touch-up surgery can often set things right.

Jaw Surgery Benefits

  1. Enhanced Jaw Function:
    • Bite, chew, speak, repeat: Jaw surgery isn’t just a makeover – it’s a game-changer for your daily grind. Experience the joy of easier, more comfortable biting and chewing. Say goodbye to speech hiccups and swallowing struggles. Plus, kiss that temporomandibular joint (TMJ) discomfort goodbye!
  2. Breathing Bliss:
    • Inhale, exhale, sleep well: Brace yourself for improved airways! Jaw surgery isn’t just about aesthetics; it opens up pathways to better breathing. Kiss obstructive sleep apnea concerns goodbye, giving you a ticket to improved oxygen intake and a night of quality sleep.
  3. Oral Health Oasis:
    • Preserving that pearly white smile: Think of jaw surgery as your teeth’s superhero. It prevents wear and tear, making dental care a breeze. Say no to tooth decay, gum disease, and unwanted infections. Your dental health just got a VIP pass to long-term wellness!
  4. Radiant Appearance Reimagined:
    • Hello, facial harmony! Bid farewell to small chins, underbites, overbites, and crossbites. Jaw surgery isn’t just about function; it’s your ticket to a symmetrical and harmonious facial profile. Your chin, nose, lips, cheeks, and tongue – all perfectly poised for a more attractive, confident smile!

Jaw Surgery Risks

  1. Infection Alert:
    • Red flags: Like any surgery, infection is a possibility. Keep an eye out for signs like redness, swelling, and fever. Don’t worry, antibiotics are your superhero here.
  2. Bleeding Blues:
    • Handle with care: Excessive bleeding might make a cameo during or post-surgery. Fear not, medications or a second round of surgery can usually bring things under control. Vigilance is key.
  3. Nerve Whispers:
    • Temporary tingles: Nerves near the jawbone may encounter turbulence during surgery, possibly leading to temporary numbness or tingling. It’s a common hitch that typically sorts itself out over time. Permanent nerve damage? Rare, but on the radar.
  4. TMJ Troubles:
    • Joint jitters: Jaw surgery may stir up trouble in the TMJ (temporomandibular joint) department. Be on the lookout for pain, clicks, or difficulty moving your jaw. It’s a hurdle, but one that can be managed.
  5. Bone Healing Hiccups:
    • Patience required: Sometimes, jaw bones take their sweet time to heal. Brace for a prolonged recovery, and in some cases, a return trip to the operating room.
  6. Bite Bumps:
    • Balancing act: Rarely, the jaw may not align perfectly after surgery, causing an uneven bite or chewing challenges. If this happens, a touch-up surgery might be on the horizon.

Journeying into jaw surgery? Before taking the plunge, have a heart-to-heart with your surgeon.

Discussing these potential twists and turns ensures you’re well-prepared for your unique surgical adventure.

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