Getting over an underbite

blogging my way through double jaw surgery

Archive for the month “December, 2014”

One Year Post Surgery

It’s been a year (and 3 days) since I had my double jaw surgery. It’s felt like a long year, coming after a very long ramp-up time. However it’s over now, mostly! Not much has changed since my last post. Here’s where I see it at one year out.

Pros of Having Surgery Done

  • The most obvious is probably that my teeth fit together perfectly now, and this was my main reason to have the surgery. The results were top-notch; I am thankful for an excellent ortho and surgeon.
  • Just as importantly, I can bite and chew easier than I could before. Sometimes, I still find myself reverting to my old habits in eating, and have to consciously change it. For the most part, though, the eating process has become automatic again.
  • My face looks proportional on the outside. Although I really didn’t mind my face before, I do like my new profile a lot.
  • If my teeth fall out when I get old, I’ll be able to wear dentures.
  • The retainers I wear now are smaller and easier to manage than the ones I had before.
  • I can make a cheesy smile, and it looks like a cheesy smile. Before it just looked weird.
  • Through blogging and sharing about this, I’ve gotten more used to being open and vulnerable in public spaces. Good pictures and ugly pictures. Good days and bad days.
  • Bonus: I learned how to manage a blog.

The Not-so-Good Effects

  • As a result of being banded up for a month, I lost some enamel on three teeth (right where I would squirt my food in), and experienced some gum recession. But last week the dentist said I am doing A-okay with my mouth health. The damage isn’t bad enough to merit enamel or gum treatment, and is not really visible when I smile.
  • My nasal spine is slightly off-center now. But I got used to it months ago, it’s not noticeable unless you stare up my nose. Thankfully people are not staring up my nose with any regularity.
  • Recovery is a beast, physically, mentally and emotionally (I’ll just reference my blog posts from 1 year ago). Swelling takes months to go away, and I still have days where my face looks strange to me.

Things That I Still Hope Will Go Away

  • The nerve right under my nose hasn’t healed all the way. The healing of it feels infinitesimally slow. I hear that some people heal more even after a year, so I am still expectant. When I pinch that spot right under my nose, it’s still sore. My upper jaw (gums and teeth) are partially numb and partially extra sensitive. The outer ends of my upper lip are still numb. BUT it is a teeny weensy tiny bit better than 6 months ago. So, I hope. I’m used to it all now, but it would be nice to have that normal feeling back there.
  • My lower jaw has some random places that, when I touch then, sensations shoot along to somewhere else. It’s not pain, just a sensation; it’s a little hard to describe. The surgeon said that’s a pretty rare result. It would be nice if this goes a way but I’m not sure it will.

So, here are some pictures (for the new people that stumble upon this blog). For complete before and after comparison, you can look at this older post.

Pre-surgery

Post-Surgery

Even though I am getting used to my face and getting used to the new way of eating, I am pleased that I had this done. While I would never “do it again” as so many ask me (once is enough, people!), I’m happy with the decision and the results.

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