No More Titanium and Jaw Bone Bumps!

I am finally coming to the end of my amazing journey.

I had a minor jaw surgery on 4 May 2011 to remove the titanium plates and screws on my upper jaw and excess jaw bone on my lower jaw. This was an optional procedure but I thought it would be best if they were dealt with one and for all.

No More Titanium and Jaw Bone Bumps!

Titanium Plates & Screws

These titanium plates and screws were installed on my upper jaw to keep my upper jaw in place after my double jaw surgery in August 2010. They were in me for close to 9 months and they still looks rather clean and new, don’t they?

The swelling on my upper jaw area is not as bad as I thought. I don’t feel much pain at all and I am glad I had these titanium bits removed.

No More Titanium and Jaw Bone Bumps!

Jaw Bone Bumps

No More Titanium and Jaw Bone Bumps!

Jaw Bone Bumps: The Night Before 4 May 2011

My jaw bone bumps has been well documented over the months leading up to this surgery to remove them.

The bigger piece of bone at the bottom belonged to the right side of my lower jaw while the other piece was from the left side. You can see why my right side used to have a larger bump than the left. The jaw bone did not heal at the same rate and there was no guarantee they would flatten out completely. I am delighted that they will no longer be around to bug me.

Overall, I feel like this minor jaw surgery I just did yesterday did not feel as bad as a wisdom tooth extraction. The swelling is already coming down just after a day and I do not feel any pain at the moment.

I will be posting updated photos of myself soon but I need to take a rest right now. The painkillers make me feel drowsy.

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28 Comments On “No More Titanium and Jaw Bone Bumps!”

On 6th May 2011 11:42 AM, Cloudyday said:

Hi Vince,

In two weeks, I’m getting a plate removed from my chin. I’ve been having tightness around my bottom lip and chin area. Given that I had my surgery done almost 3 years ago, I’m a little concerned about my skin sagging or stretched out. I’m aware u had your surgery done less than a year, but have you noticed any sagging or stretched skin?

Thanks for any help you can give.

On 9th May 2011 6:53 PM, Vince said:

My titanium bits were on my upper jaw and I did not experience any sagging but I did feel tight around that area, which was why I wanted them out.

It was getting in the way of me laughing out loud because I would feel the titanium bits underneath my upper lip and it felt awful.

On 11th May 2011 12:04 PM, Cloudyday said:

Hi Vince! Thanks for responding! Since the removal, did you get any relief from tightness? How was the recovery period? I’m removing my plate next week, and I’m very nervous.

On 13th May 2011 1:56 PM, Vince said:

I can’t really be sure at the moment because there is still some swelling and discomfort due to the 2nd jaw surgery.

On 25th May 2011 6:10 PM, Violet Jackson said:

I have had no problem with my titanium plates wire and screws in my jaw that where implanted in the year 2000. However i have been reading on the internet that there is concern over titanium dioxide in cosmetics. Does anybody out there know if the titanium used in plates and screws in titanium dioxide or not. Violet :-)

On 26th May 2011 5:14 PM, Vince said:

I do not know if they will cause titanium dioxide but I do not wish to leave them in me to find out 50 years later if they do or not.

I feel happier and more comfortable that they are gone.

On 10th June 2011 5:07 PM, Adrian said:

Hi Vince,

Would I be able to eat normally and go to work when I remove my upper plates?

I do not if you felt the same thing … but when I have a little blocked nose and I sniff I feel so much tightness. .. hard to explain .. in fact I do not know if the plates are causing this.

On 31st July 2011 7:54 PM, Violet Jackson said:

My titanium plates and screws cant be taken out they are permenent but if in 50 year im still alive i will be able to assume there is no problem

On 31st July 2011 11:10 PM, Vince said:

Why would they be permanent? Once the bones have healed, there is no need for the titanium.

On 25th November 2011 6:34 PM, Jas said:

Hi Vince, how was the post-op period like? Were you put on a drip? were u able to eat normally immediately after the surgery and how long is the recovery period?

Thanks!

On 27th November 2011 4:01 PM, Vince said:

For the removal of the titanium and jaw bones, I was put on a drip but I was discharged after 1 night. It was only a minor surgery and the recovery only took me about 2 weeks. I could eat normally within a few days. It felt like I just had my wisdom teeth removed.

On 26th December 2011 4:02 PM, Garfield said:

Facial lifts are necessary sometimes and that too turns possible by means of jaws treatment. It is done by Orthognathic surgery and once the surgery is successfully done it resolve the disordered jaws issue. Though Orthognathic surgery cost involved is quite high but that i worth after you get the result.

On 25th February 2012 9:54 PM, Yumi said:

I actually went to an orthodontist when I was really young to do braces because my mom forced me into it thinking it was simple and everyone was doing it. I wonder why my orthodontist at that time didn’t advise me NOT to do braces if she couldn’t align my teeth properly and why didn’t she do something about my jaw(I have an overbite and slight jaw misalignment). Imagine all the time, frustration, and money involved and it all accumulates to nothing. I even have a slight pain on one of the tooth, I think the orthodontist might have sharpen it too much or something. Were u afraid of people finding out that u hv undergone corrective surgery and did ur family tell anyone about it?

On 5th March 2012 1:01 PM, Andy said:

Hi Vince,

I am awaiting approval of my insurance company. I am going to have upper jaw surgery, moved forward. I want to have the screws and plates eventually removed as well. Do you feel any divits or grooves where the screws and plates used to be? Or did bone fill all the holes? I know its a weird question, just wondering… Also, I had braces when I was a lot younger. my teeth are fairly straight. I was told 8 months in braces, then surgery and 6months of braces afterwards. In your time span, was your time estimate accurate or was it a little shorter/longer? I know this is a weird question too, but I’m self conscious about my jaw and I feel like its holding me back from moving forward with life….

On 28th March 2012 10:12 PM, Vince said:

No, I don’t feel anything like that. When the plates were still on my upper jaw bone, I could feel them from time to time depending how big my laugh was.

On 28th March 2012 10:14 PM, Vince said:

Some orthodontists are idiots. No dentist told me I had jaw problems until I was in my twenties. It seems like my old friends all know about my jaw surgery and my family has also told everyone about it. No shame at all.

On 13th August 2012 12:35 AM, Elaine said:

Morning Vince,

I had corrective jaw surgery in 1987.
As of February 2012 I began to have pain and swelling in the left side of my face. First thought was that a root canal may be needed but that was ruled out and then perhaps a sinus infection ….again ruled out.
A CT scan showed screws have worked themselves out of the bone and are intruding into the sinuse cavity and also putting pressure on roots of teeth. My face feels heavy and is swollen on that side. Fluid has pooled around those screw sites.
I can’t sing (!!!???) without pain (much to everyone else’s relief I am sure) and eating on that side is painful.
I feel like I am drooling but am not although there is some numbness in my face an lower lip.
I am scheduled for surgery to remove the offending hardware on Sept 7th.
I am curious as to recovery time…. I work full time and am a cyclist and a runner. I am also wondering what to expect when I “wake up” after surgery … the post op experience.

Can you help me?

On 20th August 2012 1:02 AM, Leandro said:

Hi Vince. I’d ask you about how do you feel the upper gum-upper lip and frenulum area after two upper jaw surgeries. Does it feel similar prior surgeries or does exist any kind of strange feeling, like tightness for example? Are the upper gum scarst noticeables or not in comparison to your previous state before undergoing surgeries?
Thanks in advance. I have this question bacause I’ve had a S.A.R.P.E. and my right side of upper gum feels a bit tight in comparison to left. And I am waiting for a second surgery right now. I was wondering if that’s a normal thing…Cheers!

On 16th September 2012 2:20 PM, Vince said:

Hi Leandro, my upper gum/upper lip area did fill a bit tight for a while. I forgot how long it lasted…. I think it lasted over a year!

On 16th September 2012 2:22 PM, Vince said:

Hi Elaine,

When I removed my titanium screws, the recovery was very quick. However, my screws were not in me for a long time so maybe that was why it was easy to remove and quick to recover. It won’t be as hard as the jaw surgery… Many times easier to cope with.

Cheers,

Vince

On 18th September 2012 11:52 AM, Elaine said:

Thank you Vince …

I had two plates and some screws removed form the upper left jaw. Surgery was a breeze relatively speaking but because one screw had erupted into my sinus I did have sinus bleeding and tenderness in addition to the bone pain. The Dr advised he had to scrape away some bone that had grown over the plates. One of my stitches tore through 4 layers of tissue resulting in ulceration of the area and THAT was the very worst. That was due to the swelling in my face/lip and then laughing. There should be a warning: NO LAUGHTER!!!! Ten days later and I feel tight in the upper jaw/gum and when I walk or do too much, it swells like a balloon. And stitches still there. I am getting restless though to get back on my bike! Off the pain meds except for at bedtime … laying down overnight causes some discomfort which wakes me up. Overall, not as bad as I thought it could be. I did think I would be back to work in 2 weeks. I was told 4 week minimum by the surgeon.
You are right … nothing like the original surgery. Looking back, not sure I would do it again knowing what I know now!

Thanks for the information…. it was supportive and helpful.

Elaine

On 22nd October 2012 8:57 AM, Vince said:

That’s good to know Elaine. I think people who have titanium plates on their jaw bones should seriously consider having them removed as early as their surgeons recommend. Leaving it on the bone can sometimes lead to complications.

On 22nd October 2012 12:20 PM, Elaine said:

Hi Vince,

I spoke to the resident surgeon about hardware removal and it seems to be the norm to leave it in unless problems develop.
I am of two minds about this.
The upper left side is now hardware free (after 25 years) but it took bone scraping and almost two hours of surgery to clean it all out. And 5 weeks of recovery. I was lucky to have accrued enough sick time so that I could take the time off work. I could have returned in 4 weeks but an infection prolonged the return. (I work with the public and am always yakking!).
The right side it still problem free.
The resident did say decisions of whether to to remove hardward also depended on the original trauma.
I guess it boils down to case by case.
I am still exhibiting some nerve issues and numbness and “zinging” sensations as well as swollen areas where the stitches were. I was told all this can take a year to resolve But not an issue for me.
But all in all, I AM glad to have the hardware out. I wish they had done both sides.

On 22nd October 2012 7:13 PM, Vince said:

The numbness from my double jaw surgery took over a year to clear up. I can now laugh out loud and it does not “zing”.

You are right that it is the norm to leave the titanium on unless problems develop. It was my choice to do so and also because I had some very ugly protruding jaw bone bumps to shave off.

I personally prefer to remove the titanium even if I had no jaw bone bumps to remove. It just feels right to have no foreign object on my bones. Who knows what would happen if I left it on? It is always easier to remove it earlier once the bone has healed completely rather than years after.

On 7th November 2012 1:50 PM, Rachel said:

Hey Vince,
I am on day 42 of my orthognathic surgery. I have a bump on my left side which is noticeable when you look at me. It is not so much in the back of my jaw as yours were, but on the side.
If it’s not gone in about 6 months, I plan to have the surgery to remove the plates. Does insurance generally cover this procedure since it’s relatively optional?

On 12th January 2013 11:32 PM, Vince said:

I had mine covered by my insurance.

On 13th January 2013 1:20 AM, Adrian said:

I did have mine removed by insurance, but not all insurances are the same.

On 16th April 2013 1:26 PM, Wilma said:

I wonder why you (and other people here) keep using the term “jaw surgery”? This is not a jaw surgery. It’s a very minimal procedure. I’m taking my hardwear out in my surgeons office. Earlier I once removed a plate left from a sliding genioplasty, and I was back at school a couple of days later. Also I wanted to add that in Europe it is standard procedure -they always take out the hardwear.

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