my story.

6 years ago I was told by a few doctors that I should look into jaw surgery.  It had just begun to cause me problems; lock jaw, sore joints, clicking, trouble chewing, a slight lisp etc.  At that time I was only in my second year of highschool, so the thought of surgery wasn't too appealing; especially since getting braces is a necessary part of the surgery process.  After a few consultations and a few months to think about it, I decided I didn't want it.  My thinking at the time was that the pain would eventually go away when I got older and that my specific face shape camouflaged my overly excessive underbite.  It was true that you couldn't see the large gap between my teeth until I outright pointed it out; and I was too scared to do the braces/surgery thing.  

Years later, I realized the problems never really went away.  So I went for another consultation, and they noticed in my X-rays that where my jaw bones met were beginning to narrow because of excess grinding movements when chewing/talking and for constantly having to overcompensate for my recessive lower jaw.  After a lot of contemplation I sucked it up and opted for surgery. TOO BAD I waited too long and was no longer covered by my parents for braces…boo. Money's tight these days.  I have to wear the braces for a total of two years, one year to prepare my teeth for surgery, then surgery with the braces to wire my mouth shut, and then another year of braces to make sure the bite is perfect.  

As you can see from a lot of the pre-braces/surgery pics below, I was a master of disguising my jaw problem on film:




This is how I look with braces (notice I'm only posting two picture? that's because I hated taking teeth pictures with braces on, even though I got the clear bracket ones)

(sooo tan... our cuba trip woot!)

(clearly a halloween costume)


However, if you were to actually look at my teeth upclose, you'd notice that not only do I have a small lower jaw that causes a severe overbite, but I also have an open bite, and a slight cross bite.  Basically means that my teeth don't touch in every direction LOL.  



weird right?

To fix my jaw alignment and bite, my surgeon has to break my upper jaw, break my lower jaw, and split my palate (roof of my mouth) to be able to fix my jaw.  YIKES. 

Things you might want to know: 
-I live in Canada so my surgery is mostly covered by OHIP; however even if you're Canadian, if you have no health problems caused by your mismatched alignment, then it's considered cosmetic surgery; BIG BUCKS. 
-the surgery is done inside the mouth, so there isn't going to be any scars on the outside of your face
-after the surgery, my jaw is going to be wired shut for 6 weeks! this means liquid diet the entire time 
-full recovery takes a few months though 

3 comments:

J said...

I wonder if OHIP would cover me for surgery. my right side makes the clicking noise and gets locked when i try to open my mouth sometimes

Shia said...

Which dentist did your surgery? I live in the Toronto area too and I want to get it done. Since OHIP covers most of it, how much did you have to pay for the rest of the surgery? Please reply, thanks!

Michelle Vo said...

Jaw surgery is performed by an Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon, not a dentist! My sister underwent this procedure last year, after being referred to the surgeon by our orthodontist. Except she suffered from a prognathic jaw that required a bimaxillary osteotomy (upper & lower jaw) + genioplasty. We live in Australia, so the cost of the surgery wasn't an issue for us because it was covered under public healthcare, even if it was only for aesthetic purposes. So I must say, I'm a little shocked that people in the United States have to pay 'big bucks' for this surgery. It just goes to show that the U.S. public healthcare system is really lagging, compared with other developed countries!

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