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Oral Surgery/Lower Jaw Surgery and saxophone


Hi Dr Teig,
I'm 16 and in high school i have a minor class II bite and need corrective lower jaw surgery, this has been scheduled in a month. however i am having second thoughts as i play the alto saxophone and am worried it will effect my playing too much. i have a competition about a month and a half after my surgery will i be able to play by then? how long will i have to wait before i can start playing? how will it impact my playing? there isn't a lot of information on this and so was just wanting some reassurance before the go ahead. thanks :)

Lauren - You are wise to inquire if the surgery will affect you normal activities.  It takes a minimum of 6 weeks for the bone to heal after the surgery.  Even at that point, the new bone is flexible and the forces applied during saxophone playing, early in the healing can affect the overall result.  For that reason, I thin it is wise to not play the saxophone for 4-6 months after the surgery.  During the beginning of playing, after the healing, it is wise for you to be closely followed by the surgeon to insure that no bone changes occur.  

Your playing, once the healing has definitely healed, should resume where you were prior to the surgery.  I just have to tell you that I am a conservative doctor and believe that no stress should be applied until it is definite healing has occurred.

I wish you well and hope you heal quickly and will be able to play the saxophone soon.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicing for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor at State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA- University of Connecticut DMD-University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

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