I am 25 years old and have started the process of...
I am 25 years old and have started the process of orthognathic treatment in preparation for surgery in the UK - I am not sure if they do it any different to the USA? I have got my braces on and I am due to have my upper and lower jaws broken in just over a years time. I am absolutely terrified and I am now considering whether it will all be worth it. I have a slight overbite and my teeth don't meet at the front. I find this very frustrating when trying to bite/eat especially sandwiches (when the filling falls out - very embarrassing and annoying) and I am self concious of seeing myself side on/ having photographs of my side profile. I love the projected image that they have shown me of what I would look like afterwards and I love that I would be able to eat properly and have no more problems. I have been thinking about getting this done since I was 17/18 years old and have already put it off when I was at university and at that point I was more worried about having braces (I hadn't properly read into the jaw surgery aspect). I now am happily living in London, with a loving boyfriend, family, and friends as well as a great job. I really don't know whether I should continue treatment or stop now...I have been getting upset a lot as I honestly don't know what to do. I don't know whether to back out now since I'm already getting teary even though it's a year away or whether to just face it and live the rest of my life being able to bite properly and not being self concious of my side profile.
The risks have terrified me - I know they are rare but the thought of being under general anaesthetic for 5 or so hours makes me feel faint and as does (even more so) the process of my jaws being broken. I am currently very happy and quite confident but my mouth/jaw is one thing I am quite self concious about. I honestly don't know what to do - please help and advise if you have had or are considering similar treatment to me.
I do not have any breathing problems but I tend to breathe through my mouth in the night and regularly grind my teeth.
I do have photos of now and my predicted image after my operation but would prefer not to upload them on here.
Thank you for listening
Natasha (25, London)
Ps my treatment would be completed through the NHS system and treatment cost is nothing.
31/5/16 Jaw Surgery Date received
My teeth are now almost perfectly straight. My overbite is a little worse but that was expected - by straightening my teeth it has happened. This means that after surgery my teeth should be almost perfectly aligned - I can't wait! I have received my jaw surgery date of 7th July 2016. I have three appointments to attend before I have surgery. I am very nervous but also very excited to get it done. It's come at a perfect time for me because I am a teacher and will have the summer holiday to recover. I am still terrified though! They are admitting me into hospital the evening (4pm) of the 6th July before the op. I can't wait to get it done now but I am still terrified, of the needles, being put to sleep and the state I will be in when I wake up. I have attached some new photos from over the last 2 years of brace treatment too. At one point I was so terrified of the thought of the op, but now I just can't wait for it to be over. I am of course still very nervous, but I am reassured by my orthodontist Mr Littlewood that I will be ok, and that its normal to be nervous. Mr Littlewood has really been amazing and has really looked after me. The team at Bradford st Luke's are clearly so close, which has reassured me that I am making the right decision to go through with surgery. They listen to and reassure your worries, offer help when needed (I saw a psychologist 6-9 months ago when I was very emotional and worried about whether to go through with surgery).
The next time I post on this will be post surgery! If anyone has gone through surgery please contact me X
Photos mid treatment January 2016
Teeth much straighter! Overbite getting slightly worse but that was expected
Hooks put on brace 31/5/16
Today I had a bigger wire put on, and for the first time my whole jaw ached when my brace was tightened. I have had several hooks put on my top and lower brace ready for during and post surgery. They are quite uncomfortable but I am sure I will get used to them soon. I have attached a picture of them.
7/7/16 Jaw surgery day
I went into theatre on Thursday 7th July 2016 knowing I was about to have my two top wisdom teeth removed, upper jaw moved up and forward, and lower jaw moved out and up. My amazing consultant Dr Chambers, who is definitely one of the most intelligent and caring people I have ever met, always had my total trust. He decided that they would decide whether it would benefit me having genioplasty after moving my jaws. My surgery lasted 9 hours in total. I will be honest when I woke up from surgery I was a mess, the general anaesthetic made my body uncontrollably shake, I had a cathetor in, two drains from my neck, and I was wired up to a lot of drugs. The morphine was a great pain relief to hide away from what was going on but I hated the down feeling it gave me after I would cry a lot.
I spent the first night in a progressive care unit, where the nurse checked my blood pressure every hour, it was tiring waking up every hour but I understood the importance of it to check my pressure wasn't too low.
Day two - Friday I moved to a normal ward. Before I moved I asked if my cathetor could be removed (which I barely felt!) and if the drains could be removed as they were really annoying me, and I am also very squeamish (il be honest I think this was the worst part of my recovery so far). It was nice being in a normal ward, and Mr Chambers kept checking up on me and was pleased with my progress yesterday. The only thing still bothering was the drip in my hand which was starting to become really sore. I was at this point drinking a lot of water and fluids and so had the drip taken out which was a massive relief considering my serious phobia of needles! he then surprised me and said I could be going home Saturday or Sunday at this rate which just made me so excited! So I drank as much fluid and water as possible to increase my chances.
I am now home and recovering with my family. It's so nice to be home. I can't thank Bradford Royal infirmary and st Luke's enough. They have honestly all been so incredible helping me through!
It's now day three post op and here's some pics from day one/ two and three so far!
X-ray post op - 9/7/16
9 hour surgery:
X2 top wisdom teeth removed
Upper jaw surgery
Lower jaw surgery
Day 4 - swelling starting to go down!
I saw my amazing surgeon mr chambers this morning. I was so happy to see him I cried a bit!! He's really impressed with my progress four days post surgery. I am seeing him again next Monday. I have had tighter bands put on today, which feels a lot tighter on my teeth but also better because my teeth feel like they fit well together. I've taken some photos of my progress :) please share your stories with me! X
Photos with my hair down
My nose has finally unblocked from the blood and I can breathe easily through my nose for the first time in ages! Before my surgery I used to find it much easier to breathe through my mouth. My bruising is starting to show a bit on my neck. But all in all I am still recovering and sleeping lots :)
My feeling is coming back more and more as the days go by! It's so exciting. At the moment my chin is tingling/tickling/itching a lot which is a good sign that I will hopefully get feeling back :) I feel I look very strange at the moment from front on but hopefully once my swelling has gone down il be ok. I do really like my side profile already.
Day 6 - started brushing teeth & swelling going down!
I would recommend buying a baby toothbrush to brush your teeth. It's so much easier especially when your mouth is still partially numb. I brushed my teeth for the first time since the operation last night which felt amazing! I had a rough sleep last night but think I may have slept too much in the day. I have woken up to a less swollen face again :) slowly getting there! My neck has started to bruise yellow today.
Day 6 - before and after photos
I've had an emotional day today. I've started to really see how different my face is going to be which really scared me. I'm a teacher and so worry what my pupils will say when I return to work. I keep having ups and downs but hopefully people will just get used to the new me. It scares me how different I look and I don't want to feel like I've lost me. It's hard because I do like the new me, but I'm so scared that I look so different :(
One week post surgery!
This morning I feel like my swelling has gone down a little more. I weighed myself today and have almost lost a stone. I still feel very weak with little energy. I had porridge for breakfast which has helped. I keep having restless nights sleep which is frustrating. The right hand side of my face is still more numb than my left - you can see this in my smile which looks wonky at the moment :( hopefully that's just because it's so numb?
Wonky smile - is it because of the numbness? Did anyone else experience this?
I can now move my face a bit more, and have more expression in it. Unfortunately when I smile my smile looks wonky because some of it is still so numb. My surgeon did more work on my right side than the left, and it's my ride side that is more numb :( has anyone else experienced this? Did your smile go back to normal?
A really useful recovery timeline I found today
Prediction of what I would look like before I had surgery (on the right) and what I look like one week post surgery (on left)
Very alike! Only difference is when they did the prediction they didn't know I was going to have genioplasty too, which is why my chin in real life is a bit more defined :)
One week on! One elastic broke
I can't believe it's been a week since my op. I'm feeling so much more upbeat now. Most of my feeling in my lips is back or almost there! I broke one of my elastics this morning - think I was talking to much! My mum rang mr chambers secretary who spoke to Mr chambers, and said to come in at 6 today after he's finished in theatre for him to redo them! So so kind of him! He is so caring and wants nothing but the best for all his patients. I was so thank you because I was worried it had broken! My jaws had a bit of freedom for the day and now they are very tightly stuck back together again :)
Day 10 - narproxen caused me to have a rash on face and body which stings!
All ok though as I am seeing my surgeon on Monday. Going to swap back to paracetamol as my face is stinging lots...
Day 10 - swelling gone down again
I have stopped taking the narproxen as it gave me a horrible rash on my face and body. Taking paracetamol instead until I see my surgeon tomorrow.
11 days post surgery
Before photos compared to computer generated prediction compared to me now!
Only thing I'm worried about nown is my wonky big smile but I think it's due to the swelling still and numbness on my left hand side.
Day 14. 2 weeks post op.
First time I've felt well enough to put a little bit of makeup on. My smiles slowly going back to normal too as my feeling starts to come back :)
Me before braces and surgery!
It's crazy how much my teeth have changed already. These photos really show how poor my bite was prior to braces and surgery.
Really happy with my results, have a pain in my left jaw which is on off electric type shocks. I also have earache in my left ear which I'm going to get checked at the doctors tomorrow. Otherwise I'm so so happy with my new teeth! I'm just inpatient if anything as I want to eat a burger now haha 4/5 week countdown....!
Day 26 - got my hair cut!
I am still having ups and downs. Yesterday evening I felt a popping sensation in my left jaw which hurt a lot and went to sleep early because it was so painful. Today I feel a lot better but it does still feel very sore. I'm taking the codeine and paracetamol to help stop the pain - I'm hoping the popping/locking sensation isn't anything to worry about? Here's some of my latest photos.
4 weeks post op
Today I saw Mr Chambers again for a check up. He is really happy with my progress, and I explained how the cordosol is starting to stain my teeth and he said I could stop using it now, but use a normal mouthwash like listerine instead. Cordosol is renowned for staining teeth, but once my braces are off my dentist will be able to remove the stains. I also mentioned the slight gap that's appeared inner seen my top two middle teeth, which Mr Chambers reassured me was normal and can be fixed with braces no problem.
My final worry was the left hand side jaw pain/popping which has happened three times in the last week and a half now. Mr Chambers thinks it's to do with my muscles and ligaments getting used to their new jaw position and movement, so hopefully in a few weeks that will stop hurting me. It really is quite painful when it 'pops' and does bring tears to my eyes. Otherwise he was really happy with my progress, swelling reduction, eating and in a few weeks I may be able to expand my diet a bit more which I'm very excited about! I will find out on the 24th if this is possible :)
Almost 7 weeks post op
My quality of life has massively improved! I am so happy with how I look, my teeth and my profile I am so much more confident with and I love how they look. The popping has almost stopped but happens every so often and I can now start to bite and eat some normal food!
I only have a small bit of numbness now on my lower left lip and chin area. Mr Littlewood and Mr Chambers think that is because of the position of one of the drains, and so think it will heel. It does tingle already which I think is a good sign!
10 weeks post op
18 Sep 2016
2 months post
Really happy with my results so far. Still numbness on my bottom left lip and chin. It keeps tingling though which is a good sign. Tenderness on some teeth too. Otherwise really happy with my progress so far :) hopefully il have my braces off between 6-9 months from now!
15 weeks post op
21 Oct 2016
3 months post
Can't wait to get my braces off now. Still wearing three elastics on my teeth & have tingling/numbness in my bottom left lip and chin - hopefully this feeling will come back
16 weeks post op and I have a date for my brace to be removed!
26 Oct 2016
3 months post
On Monday I met my surgeon and orthodontist and was so excited to get my date for my braces to be taken off - 5th December!!
It pays off to wear your elastic bands the whole time - it's quickened my brace process by months (we initially thought I wouldn't have my brace off until Easter 2018!)