British 30 Yrs Old and Decided to Have Jaw Surgery to Help Close my Mouth - East Grinstead, GB

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*Treatment results may vary

I have always been unhappy with my appearance to...

I have always been unhappy with my appearance to such a degree that I would say it has seriously impacted on my life. My mouth closes at rest but only for a few seconds before it starts to ache. I have a very long face and no top lip. Throughout my life I have had hideous comments said to me because of how I look. Random people who don't even know me have thrown abuse and devalued me purely because I am not attractive enough to be respected. My appearance has stopped me striving for my dreams, has meant that I am to self conscious to go on dates and seriously effects my social life.
Anyway, I tell you this merely to set the stage.

I had braces from the age of 13 to 16 on the NHS - this straightened out my very crocked and crowded large teeth that have to fit into a very small mouth. My teeth moved outwards after the treatment finished to such an extent that when clenching my jaw shut I could fit my thumb behind my front teeth. At the age of 25 I privately undertook invisalign for 18 months to move them back into place and was very happy with how straight they looked.

The idea of jaw surgery came about after looking into having lip fillers. As stated I have no top lip - my mouth is very strange shape and my teeth are always on show - I look like a rabbit. The Dr explained that she could not perform the procedure because she wouldn't know where to place the needle. She suggested I saw a plastic surgeon. I of course was devastated she pretty much confirmed that I was a freak.
Anyway I went to see a private Dr who was the first to suggest Jaw surgery. By this point I decided that if I was going to get a top lip then I might as well go the whole hog and have surgery so that I can close my mouth as well. The Dr explained that my mid face was to long and that they could shorten the maxilla which would reduce my gummy smile (something that I had not even noticed)and enable me to (hopefully) close my mouth. He would then do a lip lowering procedure that would pull my top lip out. All this sounded to good to be true.

He wanted me to see a orthodontist just in case I needed minor brace work although he said he didn't think I would. He was very wrong
The orthodontist promptly told me that my centre line was out, I had a open bite and that my lower face sloped backwards. The only way to fix this was to have 3 years of braces followed by surgery to not only shorten the maxilla but to also bring it forwards and then rotate the chin. My dreams of having a new face within a couple of months were in tatters. I could barely talk through fear of crying and the orthodontist was wonderful.
It was then that she suggested doing this on the NHS which was really my only option as going private now would be way beyond my means. I didn't really think I was eligible but it turned out my open bite is my golden ticket.
So now I am waiting for the referral which means she will be referring herself to herself and both her and the original Surgeon I saw will be seeing me as a NHS Doctors rather than private. I am scared how long this will take. I am also scared of being a women in her thirtys in braces, yet another reason for people to say awful things to me. I just have to cling to the idea that 3 years of awfulness will lead to the rest of my life no longer hiding.

2nd Appointment.

I went to see my orthodontist last week to have my moulds and x-rays taken. She had a request for me. An online professional resource is being made for anyone considering jaw surgery and I was asked if they could film me having the joint consultation with her and the surgeon who would be performing my surgery. I have agreed although I am nervous.

I also asked what made me a candidate for having this on the NHS. I was told it was because I required both braces AND surgery to fix the issue. If it was just braces I needed then I would have to pay for it myself.

I am also so annoyed with myself. In 2009 I went to see a dentist who did invisalign. I couldn't cope with the idea of fixed braces and wanted the clear gum shields. I paid a fortune to straighten my teeth (it worked but didn't sort the fact that I can't close my mouth) but if I had gone straight to an orthodontist and mentioned ALL my concerns then maybe I could have side stepped that drama and fixed all this years ago.

Joint Consultation

Yesterday I saw both the orthodontist and surgeon together. They didn't used me for the online resource I mentioned in my last post because it was decided that my smile was to nice, which is always good to hear.

I went in for my consultation and had four people waiting for me. They examined me again and said lots of things that I kind of understood. They showed me an image of how I would look afterwards which was pretty freakish and not particularity flattering. They have some software that shows the results of moving your bones around but unfortunately doesn't give you the results of how your soft tissue will look i.e lips, nose, cheeks. So I looked bad, which I expected.
Currently my top lip sits 'inverted' because there is no bone to support it, so I have high hopes of ending up with a nice top lip once surgery is completed. I was also told I'd be looking at 18 months of braces rather the 2.5 years - THANK GOD.
Currently it looks like the plan is to reduce the hight of my maxilla by 1cm and bringing it forward by 5mm. They will then bring my jaw forward and perform a genioplasty.
The down side is that I was also told I had a 40% chance of nerve damage during the procedure which may leave me with slight numbness on my chin. This upset me. Part of me hates being vain enough to endure possible permanent damage, because I don't need the surgery to survive, it will just help with functional aspects of my mouth. But then I look at my situation, consider how it does affect me and my self-esteem and I know I'm still going to go for it.

I am now on the waiting list which is about 4 months - I will probably have braces before Christmas 2015.
Oh braces - I thought I was done with you..............

Brace Face

The brackets for my braces were fitted on Tuesday 2nd of February. Hopefully just 15 months to go until the surgery and no longer. Not much to report other than the brackets feel huge and the inside of my mouth has been cut to shreds. The rest will be fitted this Tuesday and I am expecting a fair bit of pain. I really need to get the pain killers ready.

I'm feeling really self concious and almost cried when they were first fitted. Everyone has been really kind and reassuring. I'm just trying not to focus on them. Hopefully in a few weeks I won't be so aware of them

The Joys Of Braces

I am three months into my braces and have just had the last brackets fitted on my back teeth. I have no idea why it took 3 months to completely fit them and if anyone has any answers I would be glad to hear them.

I have had nasty side effects from this fitting. The latex gloves rubbed against the corners of my mouths (I have a very small mouth) so much that I got friction burns. This lead to them cracking and bleeding which led to cold sores and finally swollen lymph nodes. I'm feeling pretty under the weather as I type and have had a couple of days off. My mouth looks pretty diseased - not a pretty sight when you deal with the public.

I really hate this. I know I should not complain but my braces make me feel like a freak (possibly because I have felt like a freak most of my life already.)

Note to self: be more positive.

Side Profile

Some one requested a side profile pic. I am four months into my braces but you can't see much difference with my teeth. It is pretty horrible seeing myself like this. It is not a view I often see and makes me feel terrible.

2nd Joint Clinic

Unfortunately I have discovered that things are never as you hope and your expectations must always me measured.

Firstly my joint clinic (with the orthodontist and surgeon) was meant to be this March and had even booked the appointment. This meant my surgery was likely to take place in June. However, my orthodontist decided to postpone the appointment to do more brace work, meaning my joint clinic was not until May and my surgery will take place in August.

This doesn't really work for me due to work commitments in the summer and a lack of any one to care fore me in September. Which means the earliest I will have the surgery is October. And whilst it may not seem like a big deal - I am very disappointed. My life is on a self imposed hiatus because of how self conscious I am and I just want this thing over with.

Secondly, my joint clinic was disappointing. I have a different surgeon now as the original one is on a sabbatical (this is not a big deal to me as I only met him twice anyway). This new surgeon said that he won't reduce the height of my jaw as much at 1cm because he thinks the acuteness of my top lip is to extreme and doing so will mean I only have my two front teeth showing at rest (not very attractive). I was disheartened as I had hoped my mouth would close at rest once 1cm was removed, but perhaps not? Anyway, he plans to remove 6mm instead.

To be honest I don't have a clue what the results are going to be. My worst fear is to go through all this and still feel incredibly self conscious. I don't believe that I will ever be a super model (not that I want to anyway) but just to feel comfortable with how I look is the dream and I just don't know if it is achievable.

Self-pity over.

Positivity & Surgery Date.

I just read over my last post - I sound sooooo moany. In fact, all my posts sound really negative. To clarify - I am actually a very lucky girl to have such amazing friends and family, to feel incredibly loved. I have travelled the world and am certainly not some timid mouse hiding under a rock! I also have a job that on the most part I love.

My hair is also pretty awesome and I like my feet!


I have my surgery date, the 29th of September.

I am pretty freaked.

For those in the UK I will outline the appointments I have. It probably differs in different hospitals but hopefully this will help you.

1. Two weeks before surgery you have final impressions and pre-surgery checks.
2. Day before op you go into hospital for the night.
3. Day of op.
4. Next day release (hopefully).
5. Post op check one week later.
6. Post op check two weeks later.
7.Released into care of orthodontist.
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