So I've decided to write a blog while I undergo double jaw surgery, the first thing I did when I found out I needed the surgery was go online to see blogs of real people who have gone through it to see what exactly happens and to see if I wanted to through with it, but there just isn't a lot of UK bloggers out there that I could find that have actually blogged about this... So I thought this might help, to share my experience and give some tips along the way and to help anyone else that's having jaw surgery.
So what I know now is that I need double jaw surgery (but this may change at any time, I may just need lower jaw surgery (fingers crossed!), my lower jaw needs to be moved back while my upper jaw needs to be moved forward, my overbite isn't ridiculously obvious but to me its always felt like a problem, when I smile is when you can most see it and always made me self conscious to smile in photos!
Here's how it started, I was first told I needed surgery when I was around 15, I had gone to the same dentist since I was little and he only found out about my overbite then! Which is crazy, but anyway, I was then referred to an orthodontist, had x-rays which confirmed my overbite, and then referred to the Oral and Maxillofacial Orthodontics at Royal Berkshire Hospital. I got to having the x-rays, but due to family problems at the time out of my control, it didn't happen and that was as far as I got to, but in a way I was glad as it gave me the time to really thing about it, do more research as I wasn't sure at the time, it was a shock finding out! I felt to young to decide then and that I wasn't given a lot of time to decide, it's major surgery, I definitely didn't want to rush into it!
I was told at 15 that the surgery may not be available in years to come on the NHS due to cuts which was worrying, and that I would only need lower jaw surgery at that time. that the braces would be on for 2 years, and so would have the surgery when I was 18 (they have to wait until that age anyway to make sure your jaw is fully grown) at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
I thought it over for a couple years, but it wasn't until I was about 18 where I really started to regret not having it done, I had been self conscious about my smile and chin which sticks out since school as kids at school noticed and would call me names, at the time I had no idea that my bite wasn't in the right place. So I finally decided it was something I wanted to do at about 20, to give me more confidence. But I thought it was to late, either I was to old to get it done, or it would cost loads as wouldn't be available on the NHS anymore. but I asked my dentist anyway (different dentist this time) and she said it probably is to late but would find out anyway and reefer me. Luckily I was given an appointment! But was still unknown if it could happen. They told me there's a certain category you have to be in to have the surgery done on the NHS, luckily I was in that. Due to where my bite sat and the fact my teeth slant back by so far the surgery could happen! I was ecstatic!
So here's the process I have gone through so far. Hopefully this gives you an idea of what happens! During this process my consultant actually got changed to a new person which was scary and so had to start over but she was lovely and really liked her so worked out in the end.
First I went through having the mould's done, the horrible plaster stuff that gets pressed into your teeth, doesn't taste great and isn't the nicest of experiences but means they gets a model of your teeth, then its x-rays (do not do what I did which is leave my jewellery there and have to come back!), then an assessment to see if you are mentally prepared, as your face will change slightly after it and the worst thing they want is for you to hate it! It would only be by a few mm, I was told my nose would widen and my jaw would be softer but I'm fine with that! There was a massive waiting list for this but due to this being the second time of me going through it I think they could see I was ecstatic about it and really wanted to have it done so I didn't need to, I would say if it's your first time you would have to do this. Then I met my surgeon that will do my surgery and they talk through the risks and what they hope to achieve and explain the process of the surgery to you. At this time I was told it will probably be double jaw surgery I need (I guess my jaw changed!?) and that braces will need to be fitted for 3 years! (was shocked but knew i couldn't let this opportunity slip away again) After this you sign a constant form to say you want the surgery and its the go ahead, then my braces were fitted, will go more into this in another post and will post pictures!
So that's where I am so far, I've had my braces since July, And had two trips to have them tighten so its early days so far, for now I have to go into hospital around every 8 weeks to get my braces tightened, here's hoping it goes fast!
Will keep this updated as time goes on, and will post some pictures of my jaw soon, if anyone has any questions, I would be happy to answer them!