Metal Mouth – Considering Jaw Surgery

Who doesn’t have childhood memories of the awkward metal mouth days? Even if not for one’s self, there’s got to be someone in our lives back then that we knew. Braces, glasses, retainers. As if the natural awkwardness of disproportionate limbs and acne-causing hormone overloads wasn’t enough… Well, apparently those days are not over for this girl.

I went to see an orthodontist today. FINALLY. I have put it off for years with so many excuses.

My parents’ insurance didn’t cover it.
I don’t have time while in school.
I don’t have time while working.
I couldn’t find an orthodontist that’d fit my schedule.
It’s too expensive.
I don’t know of a good doctor.

The list COULD go on, but it really is about time that I went to see someone. I have malocclusion. It’s severe – a crazy underbite, which will probably require reconstructive jaw surgery. I can’t have the surgery until the teeth are at least straightened.

I’d rather not. It just sounds so painful and complicated with the teeth pulling, moving, spacing, wearing of braces, and then the actual jaw surgery. OUCH, and the recovery period isn’t pretty from what I’ve heard. Plus, another period of braces – woohoo! I’ll be a 28-year old with braces…

But I guess dedicating a few years to fixing the problem definitely beats having permanent issues with my teeth and jaw in the future. This whole thing still freaks me out. Plus, it is definitely strange sitting in a waiting room with all these pre-teens and teenagers.

When considering surgery to correct a severe bite problem, I have to make appointments with my dentist, orthodontist, and oral surgeon. The collaboration of the three on the “game plan” is important!

  • http://shelly-ellie.livejournal.com Michelle

    I think the question is how severe will these permanent issues be? I know I refused to get braces mostly for the geek factor of it, as a result my bottom teeth are a little crammed together and the top teeth have the gap. I used to hate it, but I figure now it’s just ‘character.’ Then there was the fact my dentist seemed to get offended when I didn’t want them, but that’s a whole other story.

    If it’s better for you health wise, especially if down the road you’d eventually need to get the surgery, I definitely say the sooner the better.

  • http://www.haroyoshi.com/ yoshi

    Definitely getting this done now will be much better than later on. And nowadays, I don’t think the geek factor is quite as bad as when we were all kids. Of course, I could just be ignorant of that. I’m no longer “hip” after all.

    But yeah, I’ve seen some recovery for a lot of surgeries and it looks painful. But at least they give you good drugs to stave off the pain.

  • http://depthoffish.net/ Patrick (Depth of Fish)

    I went to the dentist recently, for the first time in five years. Luckily things were in good shape. The eye doctor visit was intriguing, as I came away with glasses (hadn’t been to the eye doctor in four years). Next up, the actual medical physician, for a physical.
    *shudders*

  • Philip

    I’m suppose to get braces too at some point =P

    I just put it off with reasons that now sound stupid.

  • http://fnfd.org L

    One of my uncles got braces while in his 40s. Must have worked for him, since I guess he’s dating someone.

  • http://twicetherice.wordpress.com Ji In

    Have braces changed or improved or anything over the years? I had an underbite, too, way back when. Then two years of dental torture, and several years of wearing a retainer, and voila. No more underbite. It’s painful, but worth the results, I think.

  • http://www.willwarriner.com/thoughts/ Grey

    My Dad had the jaw breaking and re constructive surgery back when i was a little kid. He was kind out of it for a week, but things have improved now :) it should be a cake.

  • http://justanotherweek.blogspot.com H. (aka NC_State_gal)

    Hey, IT IS SOOOOOOOOOOO… worth it! I am actually a product of corrective surgery for malocclusion. Of course, I was 15 years old when I went through it so I just lumped braces, wiring of the mouth shut and severe weight loss that resulted as part of the whole “awkward years” section of my life. Yet, now that I have a perfect bite, I find that my jaw is never sore and I get less headaches (don’t know if that is even related). Just FYI, if you have any questions feel free to ask me. I became the best at finding ways to blend ALL my favorite foods up when my mouth was wired shut.

  • http://atypicalwoman.com Sueellen

    I definitely don’t think there is the same geek factor as when I got them 30 years ago! :-)