One Week Out From Jaw Surgery

In 2014 I decided to do something about my teeth and jaw. I wasn’t happy with the way my jaw was or the fact that my teeth did not line up. I’d always wanted braces but I never really had the money or to be honest, the motivation to get it all done. That changed when my fiance told me that I was now covered under his health insurance for work. So I started doing my research.

I searched and searched for an orthodontist. My only criteria was that they would be located in a convenient spot to get to. I found one who had zero negative reviews online and so I called and booked in an appointment – It was July and I had to wait until September to see him.

So I met with him and we discussed my getting braces. I had two options – I could either get the braces and straighten my teeth only or I could get braces followed by jaw surgery. I couldn’t simply go with the braces and then later change my mind because the braces would force my teeth to do different things depending on which choice I decided on. So we discussed options and I decided to go the jaw surgery route. My next step was to see the oral maxillofacial surgeon.

I saw him in December and we decided that jaw surgery was going to be the best option. So I booked in to get my wisdom teeth removed in January 2015 so we could start the process of getting braces and the surgery.

The wisdom teeth removal went well. None of them had surfaced so they were all still within the gums. The surgery itself took about 45 minutes and I was home the same Friday night. All I really remember of the first night was that I couldn’t really control my mouth and was drooling lots of saliva and blood. The next couple of days were easier. I had pain medication and lots of gauze in my mouth which helped soak up the blood. By Sunday I stopped taking the strong pain medication because, as it contained codine, I was getting backed up (people don’t ever seem to tell you that this is a really common side effect) which made me nauseous and I wasn’t in that much pain. By the Tuesday I was desperate for something to chew on so I made my fiance drive to Maccas and get me a filet o’fish. I figured it was soft enough that I could tear it and slowly chew it. It took me half an hour to eat one burger but it was totally worth it.

I had a follow up appointment with the surgeon 2 weeks later to make sure everything went well and it had. I now had the green light to get braces so I made an appointment for March. At that appointment everything looked good and we discussed another important matter – how long it would take for the entire process. I was interested in this because I had scheduled my wedding for August 2016 and I certainly did not want braces on during the wedding. He told me 2 years but I decided to delay it until 2018. As everything looked good, we scheduled another appointment for April. This time, I finally got the braces on. It wasn’t overly painful, more uncomfortable from having so many instruments in my mouth and from having to hold it open for so long and so wide. It was weird afterwards too. My lips felt so big, like I was pushing them out and they felt so far away from my teeth. It took a while to get used to them but after about a week it was good. I did get a few blisters but nothing too major.

My first follow up appointment was in July where my braces got tightened. The rest of the follow ups were pretty standard as well and this went on for about a year. I was itching to see the surgeon again because I wanted to know when I’d be getting surgery. It’s a long process and frustrating because it’s so dependent on how your teeth are moving. I had a follow up appointment with the surgeon in August 2016 where I had x-rays done to make sure that my teeth are progressing well and they were. But I still wasn’t any closer to finding out when I could have surgery. The next 9 months ticked along as usual and then the orthodontist said I could see the surgeon to book in surgery. Yay!

Saw the surgeon in April and we scheduled the surgery for August 2017. So here I am, a week away from surgery. I had my final appointment with the surgeon on July 19th to get x-rays and moulds and I’m getting the surgery hooks put in on Monday. I’m staying with my parents for the first couple of weeks so they can look after me.

I’ll make sure to do a couple of follow up posts when I can and feeling up to it.

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