The emotional side of the journey

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jon2413
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:09 am

The emotional side of the journey

#1 Postby jon2413 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:37 pm

Hi all!

I am hoping to start the process for double jaw surgery at the end of this year. The orthodontist told me that the process should take 3-4 years. I am currently 21 and so this would mean I’ll be 24/25 when I’m all done and dusted.

The severe underbite which I’m hoping to get fixed causes me speech issues and i have a massive cosmetic concern –both which have contributed to a poor emotional state. I’ve been pretty unhappy for the best part of 5 years I’d say and it really daunts me to know that I am going to live like this for another few. I feel like my life is completely limited.

I was wondering if anyone is or was in a similar position to me? Maybe not the exact same issues but centring around the idea that your jaw causes you to have poor mental health and knowing just how long the journey is

If not I’d still love to hear any tips or stories which might help me :)

Thank you!

SinkFullOfDinner
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 2:25 pm

Re: The emotional side of the journey

#2 Postby SinkFullOfDinner » Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:13 pm

Hey jon - I have no experience with double jaw surgery, so I probably have no business replying. But FWIW...

It's understandable to feel like the solution is pretty daunting. It's a big commitment. I can say that once you decide to move forward, even though you're anxious about the process, you'll probably feel a bit of relief because you're taking control of the situation (well, actually your ortho's in control, but that's a different topic!). You probably felt a bit of that when you finally went in for your first consultation. The good news is that you're only 21, so if you just address it straight up now, you'll get more years of satisfaction from the effort than most of us shmucks that procrastinated.

I think once you jump in and start seeing results, any doubts that you had will evaporate pretty quickly. It seems that people with the biggest issues to address are the ones that have the most enthusiasm after a couple months when they start to see things finally happening. They're smiling long before they're done and have no regrets. That will likely be you, too! My guess is that the results will definitely be worth the effort and will have a tremendously positive impact. Good luck getting started!

jon2413
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:09 am

Re: The emotional side of the journey

#3 Postby jon2413 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:12 pm

SinkFullOfDinner wrote:Hey jon - I have no experience with double jaw surgery, so I probably have no business replying. But FWIW...

It's understandable to feel like the solution is pretty daunting. It's a big commitment. I can say that once you decide to move forward, even though you're anxious about the process, you'll probably feel a bit of relief because you're taking control of the situation (well, actually your ortho's in control, but that's a different topic!). You probably felt a bit of that when you finally went in for your first consultation. The good news is that you're only 21, so if you just address it straight up now, you'll get more years of satisfaction from the effort than most of us shmucks that procrastinated.

I think once you jump in and start seeing results, any doubts that you had will evaporate pretty quickly. It seems that people with the biggest issues to address are the ones that have the most enthusiasm after a couple months when they start to see things finally happening. They're smiling long before they're done and have no regrets. That will likely be you, too! My guess is that the results will definitely be worth the effort and will have a tremendously positive impact. Good luck getting started!


Hey SinkFullOfDinner - of course you have business replying, thank you very much for your kind words :)

I think I agree with you! I think right now whilst everything is a bit uncertain im feeling quite anxious but once the braces are in I think ill be fine :). In the hospital i've been offered the surgery; they said that 99% of the patients do no regret having the surgery so probability is on my side too! There are some concerns i still have, notably that my family aren't really understanding about how my underbite affects me. I didn't really open up about it until very recently so they think im making a rash decision with the surgery. I hope things will change in that regard because i do feel like i'll struggle if everyone is against me

Also, a big part of my unhappiness isn't anything to do with the surgery. It's just the fact that i've got to live with this severe underbite for another 3 years or so. As i mentioned before it causes problems with my appearance and my speech (on top of others). It hinders basically every aspect of my life and quite often i feel low because of it. I'm worried that i'll find it difficult to cope with that as well as the anxiety from the operation.

BlondeCam
Posts: 129
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:53 pm

Re: The emotional side of the journey

#4 Postby BlondeCam » Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:07 am

I say go for it! You're young!!! Time will go by so much faster than you realize and I second what Sink said, just taking the action to start the correction will likely give your self esteem a boost.
This is coming from one of the wierdos who actually likes my braces and walk around with a big giant smile all the time. I'm 41 years old and in braces for the second time to correct slight crowding from not wearing my retainer as a jerk-teenager. :gavel:
Best of luck! Chances are you will NOT regret bettering yourself.

Inoah
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:29 am

Re: The emotional side of the journey

#5 Postby Inoah » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:32 am

I am starting to think about the treatment myself, but I am 10 years older than you. I wish I started early. Go for it and good luck!

jon2413
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:09 am

Re: The emotional side of the journey

#6 Postby jon2413 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:33 am

BlondeCam wrote:I say go for it! You're young!!! Time will go by so much faster than you realize and I second what Sink said, just taking the action to start the correction will likely give your self esteem a boost.
This is coming from one of the wierdos who actually likes my braces and walk around with a big giant smile all the time. I'm 41 years old and in braces for the second time to correct slight crowding from not wearing my retainer as a jerk-teenager. :gavel:
Best of luck! Chances are you will NOT regret bettering yourself.


I do hope so BlondeCam - thank you! I just hope i don't struggle through these years and instead reach a point where i'm still enjoying my life. As of now I feel like these three years are pointless and i wish i could just skip ahead. I guess my self esteem might rise a bit because right now when i meet people I try and hide my jaw as best as i can. Whereas when i get my braces in it's a bit of a talking point so hopefully ill become more comfortable with myself

Ooo i've never heard anyone say they like braces - good on ya!

jon2413
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:09 am

Re: The emotional side of the journey

#7 Postby jon2413 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:33 am

Inoah wrote:I am starting to think about the treatment myself, but I am 10 years older than you. I wish I started early. Go for it and good luck!


Thank you Inoah :D

Jennrho
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:32 am

Re: The emotional side of the journey

#8 Postby Jennrho » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:44 am

Hey Jon!

I'm in a very similar situation. I'm about to turn 20 and just decided to pursue lower jaw surgery to fix my asymmetry. I completely understand what you mean when it comes to how this all affects mental health. When i was 14, I had braces in preparation to get the surgery, only to have it not get covered by my insurance. At that point, i had very crowded upper teeth along with a misaligned, angled lower jaw, so I was kinda just happy to have a smile i could enjoy and didnt think about the surgery much. Now, as i'm going through college, i've realized how much it weighs on me day to day. I constantly monitor my talking as to not show my bottom teeth. Its just very difficult, because its pretty commonplace for any person you're speaking to to have a normal bite. When i think about how it will be to be able to eat normally and smile and sing without worrying about my teeth showing I actually cry. Thats why i decided to go for it. I just got my expander, and I'll have to get braces again in a few weeks. I know its going to be an immensely difficult journey for me going through college with braces, mentally and emotionally. Luckily, i have the MCAT to study for, so I have a great excuse to lock myself away from everyone. I just tell myself its worth this little slice of time to feel more confident in myself for the rest of my life. You should find it in you to do the same, while you're still young!

Best,
Jen

jon2413
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:09 am

Re: The emotional side of the journey

#9 Postby jon2413 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:13 pm

Jennrho wrote:Hey Jon!

I'm in a very similar situation. I'm about to turn 20 and just decided to pursue lower jaw surgery to fix my asymmetry. I completely understand what you mean when it comes to how this all affects mental health. When i was 14, I had braces in preparation to get the surgery, only to have it not get covered by my insurance. At that point, i had very crowded upper teeth along with a misaligned, angled lower jaw, so I was kinda just happy to have a smile i could enjoy and didnt think about the surgery much. Now, as i'm going through college, i've realized how much it weighs on me day to day. I constantly monitor my talking as to not show my bottom teeth. Its just very difficult, because its pretty commonplace for any person you're speaking to to have a normal bite. When i think about how it will be to be able to eat normally and smile and sing without worrying about my teeth showing I actually cry. Thats why i decided to go for it. I just got my expander, and I'll have to get braces again in a few weeks. I know its going to be an immensely difficult journey for me going through college with braces, mentally and emotionally. Luckily, i have the MCAT to study for, so I have a great excuse to lock myself away from everyone. I just tell myself its worth this little slice of time to feel more confident in myself for the rest of my life. You should find it in you to do the same, while you're still young!

Best,
Jen


Hey Jen

Thank you! I haven't seen too many threads on how all this affects mental health but it's nice to know that I'm not alone in feeling this way. It really does suck doesn't it! I'm glad that you've found the courage to go through with it and just think, in 3 years or so it'll all be over :). I'm completely with you on the idea that seeing everyone else with a normal bite is a little depressing, and i don't know about you but my family don't seem to understand that! They have an attitude of "why change yourself? So what your bite isn't normal, that's what makes you, you!" Which is really easy to say when you look normal. I think you have a much better attitude than me though! I know that im young and stuff but it makes me feel sad to know that these young years of mine have been completely hindered by something which is of no fault of my own. I'll never fully experience these years in the care free manner that most people get to :(

Best,
Jon

Collie
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:57 pm

Re: The emotional side of the journey

#10 Postby Collie » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:11 pm

Yes, this process has been very, very hard on me mentally. I had SARPE and one premolar extraction in February which I realize isn't nearly as serious as double jaw, but I guess I didn't take into effect the whole "things have to get worse before they get better" part of the process. My face looks JACKED UP now. I still have a 6mm gap (down from 11...it's closing SO. SLOWLY.), lower jaw is now canted on the extraction side, my upper jaw is now wide enough but my face is completely asymmetrical because my crossbite was asymmetrical to begin with, my speech is goofy from the expander still...it's been so hard. If it were up to me, I would never leave the house except to go to work. I'm so self-concious about the way I look and sound. I know it'll get better, I trust my orthodontist. She's very very good, Ivy League trained, I know she knows what she's doing and this will all be fixed. But yeah, this part is hard. I'm finding myself avoiding certain people and situations until "my face is fixed". Not to mention just the whole being an adult with big ol metal braces.

I'm just trying hard to focus on the end game and remind myself why I'm going through this (and how messed up my bite was before), that it's only a year and a half or so out of my entire life. But yes. It's been tough.

jon2413
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:09 am

Re: The emotional side of the journey

#11 Postby jon2413 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:02 pm

Collie wrote:Yes, this process has been very, very hard on me mentally. I had SARPE and one premolar extraction in February which I realize isn't nearly as serious as double jaw, but I guess I didn't take into effect the whole "things have to get worse before they get better" part of the process. My face looks JACKED UP now. I still have a 6mm gap (down from 11...it's closing SO. SLOWLY.), lower jaw is now canted on the extraction side, my upper jaw is now wide enough but my face is completely asymmetrical because my crossbite was asymmetrical to begin with, my speech is goofy from the expander still...it's been so hard. If it were up to me, I would never leave the house except to go to work. I'm so self-concious about the way I look and sound. I know it'll get better, I trust my orthodontist. She's very very good, Ivy League trained, I know she knows what she's doing and this will all be fixed. But yeah, this part is hard. I'm finding myself avoiding certain people and situations until "my face is fixed". Not to mention just the whole being an adult with big ol metal braces.

I'm just trying hard to focus on the end game and remind myself why I'm going through this (and how messed up my bite was before), that it's only a year and a half or so out of my entire life. But yes. It's been tough.


Sorry to hear that you've struggled so much - but you've got the right mindset :). I am in a similar position in terms of the self consciousness (except mine will take twice as long to fix) so i do really empathise with you. I also resonate heavily with the whole avoiding situations until my face is "fixed," which really does get to me because i feel like im wasting valuable time :(

Jennrho
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:32 am

Re: The emotional side of the journey

#12 Postby Jennrho » Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:57 pm

Hey Jen

Thank you! I haven't seen too many threads on how all this affects mental health but it's nice to know that I'm not alone in feeling this way. It really does suck doesn't it! I'm glad that you've found the courage to go through with it and just think, in 3 years or so it'll all be over :). I'm completely with you on the idea that seeing everyone else with a normal bite is a little depressing, and i don't know about you but my family don't seem to understand that! They have an attitude of "why change yourself? So what your bite isn't normal, that's what makes you, you!" Which is really easy to say when you look normal. I think you have a much better attitude than me though! I know that im young and stuff but it makes me feel sad to know that these young years of mine have been completely hindered by something which is of no fault of my own. I'll never fully experience these years in the care free manner that most people get to :(

Best,
Jon[/quote]


The most difficult part is definitely that we're young. It's so hard either way, but if you don't decide to go for the operation then there's nothing to look forward to that will be better! That's why I've really started to see it as necessary for me to have a good quality of life for the majority of my life i have ahead of me though. I'm not sure why mental health isn't discussed more, but I'm sure my own feelings about it are just intensified because I'm naturally anxious. My friends and family definitely don't understand either. I think it would be kind of impossible to understand without experiencing it. I just look at my siblings' perfect teeth and get annoyed I was the one lucky enough to get the messed up jaw! I feel the exact opposite of "it's what makes you, you" I feel 100% that it's what's preventing me from being me. It's one thing to have an imperfection, but it's another to have an imperfection that is relatively uncommon and is a part of the face, the part of a person that really makes them, them. It's hard for anyone to understand. My orthodontist tells me "this is the most difficult, complex case I've ever seen," as if that's supposed to make me feel good..Despite all the pain, I really hope you contemplate getting it done a little more! My orthodontist tried to scare me out of it by telling me it would take much longer than I knew it would after I had done research. I fought him on it, and now it's turning out to be the exact time frame I had thought it would be. Try to do as much research as you can do yourself!


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