Anyone choose NO Surgery for an Open Bite?

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cocomi
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Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:58 pm

Anyone choose NO Surgery for an Open Bite?

#1 Post by cocomi » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:46 pm

Hi All!

New member, I'm 23 and from the Northeast.
I just went to an orthodontist for a consultation (and I will be seeing more for second opinions).

Basically, I have a bad open bite. I think he estimated about 8 mm :oops: :cry:
I did have braces when I was in middle school/high school, but after they came off, I started to get an open bite.

Due to being a poor college student, I didn't visit the orthodontist, because I wanted to wait until I had a job (to actually be able to pay for treatment).

The ortho said my upper jaw was pushing down on the lower jaw, and that I would need to extract FOUR teeth, with or without the surgery.
He highly recommends surgery, but I am absolutely TERRIFIED (of the procedure and more importantly, the cost!). I have insurance, but it doesn't even cover cavities, so I am 99% sure it will not cover any jaw surgery as well.

The second option is to just have braces and maybe use TAD's to push the teeth up (he said I would have a very gummy smile) :cry:

Does anyone have (or had) a similar issue to mine? Anyone decide to NOT go with the surgery option? Browsing through the forum, it seems that almost everyone goes with the surgery. I'm just not sure I can afford it-- I only graduated college last year, it's my first year of working, and I also owe about $30k in school loans (and the payments I make at the moment are barely even touching the interest!)

If anyone here also had an open bite like mine, please share your experience and advice! Any reply is GREATLY appreciated. I am just so depressed right now, it kind of feels like the end of the world to me. :cry:

Marisama
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Re: Anyone choose NO Surgery for an Open Bite?

#2 Post by Marisama » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:21 pm

If your bite bothers you enough, I'd say to go for the surgery. Are you able to get a job with a good PPO insurance plan? There are plenty of plans that will cover jaw surgery at 100% if you stay in your network. I've chosen to go out of my network in order to have my surgeon of choice, but I could have had my surgery cost me $0. The other cost you have to consider is braces, which range from $5k to $10k. Sometimes insurance covers 50% of braces.

CaliforniaKid
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Re: Anyone choose NO Surgery for an Open Bite?

#3 Post by CaliforniaKid » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:28 pm

i wouldn't be so fast on the insurance. a lot of insurance companies separate dental from health insurance - yes, I know. but this is america, the consumer must be always be screwed in our healthcare system. it's just cultural. :P

unless your insurance company exclusively prohibits orthognathic surgery, and a lot of new insurance companies are because jaw surgery is becoming more popular, there is a strong chance your insurance covers parts of it. just go on the website and look up covered procedures.

also, i would consult with more orthos and surgeons before getting your teeth pulled.

cocomi
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Re: Anyone choose NO Surgery for an Open Bite?

#4 Post by cocomi » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:32 pm

[quote="Marisama"]If your bite bothers you enough, I'd say to go for the surgery. Are you able to get a job with a good PPO insurance plan? There are plenty of plans that will cover jaw surgery at 100% if you stay in your network. I've chosen to go out of my network in order to have my surgeon of choice, but I could have had my surgery cost me $0. The other cost you have to consider is braces, which range from $5k to $10k. Sometimes insurance covers 50% of braces.[/quote]

It does bother me, as it makes biting into things difficult and I feel self-conscious when I speak (I've started lisping on certain words :oops: )

I like my job and plan to stay here for a while-- the ortho quoted me 4,500-5,500 for braces (not sure if insurance will help me out with that), but it doesn't include taking out the 4 teeth (yikes!).

Can I ask how much you have to pay for your surgery?

cocomi
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Re: Anyone choose NO Surgery for an Open Bite?

#5 Post by cocomi » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:38 pm

[quote="CaliforniaKid"]i wouldn't be so fast on the insurance. a lot of insurance companies separate dental from health insurance - yes, I know. but this is america, the consumer must be always be screwed in our healthcare system. it's just cultural. :P

unless your insurance company exclusively prohibits orthognathic surgery, and a lot of new insurance companies are because jaw surgery is becoming more popular, there is a strong chance your insurance covers parts of it. just go on the website and look up covered procedures.

also, i would consult with more orthos and surgeons before getting your teeth pulled.[/quote]

HAHAHA! Agree with you on our healthcare system.

I looked it up online (I have United Healthcare- Oxford, which my dentist told me sucks a lot) and I didn't really see anything covered for that type. I would need to ask the doctor I choose, I guess.

Yea, I definitely need to consult with more orthodontists and maybe a surgeon. :|

CaliforniaKid
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Re: Anyone choose NO Surgery for an Open Bite?

#6 Post by CaliforniaKid » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:55 pm

cocomi wrote:
CaliforniaKid wrote:i wouldn't be so fast on the insurance. a lot of insurance companies separate dental from health insurance - yes, I know. but this is america, the consumer must be always be screwed in our healthcare system. it's just cultural. :P

unless your insurance company exclusively prohibits orthognathic surgery, and a lot of new insurance companies are because jaw surgery is becoming more popular, there is a strong chance your insurance covers parts of it. just go on the website and look up covered procedures.

also, i would consult with more orthos and surgeons before getting your teeth pulled.
HAHAHA! Agree with you on our healthcare system.

I looked it up online (I have United Healthcare- Oxford, which my dentist told me sucks a lot) and I didn't really see anything covered for that type. I would need to ask the doctor I choose, I guess.

Yea, I definitely need to consult with more orthodontists and maybe a surgeon. :|
i found this:

https://www.unitedhealthcareonline.com/ ... ery_CD.pdf

some oral surgeons have extremely militant insurance reps (natasha of AG is known for being quite competent in dealing with insurance companies) while others don't seemed to care. when my old expensive insurance covered jaw surgery, a local surgeon i met with told me he would forward my records to the company for review.

9 months later and he NEVER DID IT. then we changed insurances and our new insurance excludes orthognathic surgery outright unless you have a disease (PR syndrome) or experienced trauma like a car accident or something.

not sure how many great oral surgeons are in mississippi. definitely do your due diligence.

cocomi
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Re: Anyone choose NO Surgery for an Open Bite?

#7 Post by cocomi » Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:05 pm

Thank you!!
I scheduled another appointment with an orthodontist for a second opinion and will schedule another appointment for a third.

Hopefully they can provide a little more hope for me and my mouth :(

Marisama
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Re: Anyone choose NO Surgery for an Open Bite?

#8 Post by Marisama » Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:50 pm

You need to see a surgeon, not just an orthodontist.

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bbsadmin
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Re: Anyone choose NO Surgery for an Open Bite?

#9 Post by bbsadmin » Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:38 pm

If I were you, I'd get more opinions from oral surgeons and orthodontists. There are many ways to solve these types of problems. Before you get surgery, make absolutely sure that there are no other better alternatives.
I'm the owner/admin of this site. Had ceramic uppers, metal lowers ~3 years in my early 40's. Now in Hawley retainers at night!

krc202
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Re: Anyone choose NO Surgery for an Open Bite?

#10 Post by krc202 » Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:05 am

I have an an open bite for most of my life and I refused the surgery for years because I had no pain or symptoms. I also don't think I look deformed the way people with a underbite or overbite do, so I did not want the change to my face. Now I am 23 and just this year started getting jaw pain. It hurts whenever I eat and it's really not fun. So after going to several orthodontists and surgeons I decided to go for it. It's a tough surgery but recovery is easier the younger you are. However, my medical insurance company just denied the coverage so I may not be doing it now after all! I will appeal the decision but I've been told not to expect a positive outcome.

Oh, and my sister is 30 and has no symptoms from her open bite. So there are people who don't do the surgery and are happy with that choice. If I had no pain, I would not do it.

cocomi
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Re: Anyone choose NO Surgery for an Open Bite?

#11 Post by cocomi » Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:54 pm

krc202 wrote:I have an an open bite for most of my life and I refused the surgery for years because I had no pain or symptoms. I also don't think I look deformed the way people with a underbite or overbite do, so I did not want the change to my face. Now I am 23 and just this year started getting jaw pain. It hurts whenever I eat and it's really not fun. So after going to several orthodontists and surgeons I decided to go for it. It's a tough surgery but recovery is easier the younger you are. However, my medical insurance company just denied the coverage so I may not be doing it now after all! I will appeal the decision but I've been told not to expect a positive outcome.

Oh, and my sister is 30 and has no symptoms from her open bite. So there are people who don't do the surgery and are happy with that choice. If I had no pain, I would not do it.
With your open bite, can you bite into things? Cause I sure cannot :(
It's also made me mispronounce words and start lisping when I speak. Did you have these issues, when you decided to not do the surgery?

Did you and your sister get braces, by the way? And if you did, how long did you have them, did you get the metal ones (or invisalign), and did you see any improvement?
Also, did you have to pull out any teeth?

Thank you! Just very curious because I don't really know anyone else who has an open bite.

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DRG
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Re: Anyone choose NO Surgery for an Open Bite?

#12 Post by DRG » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:57 am

I had an open bite and was offered my choice between surgical or non-surgical solutions. I don't think the bite affected my speech, but it very much impacted my eating. The eating issues along with my crooked teeth are what directly lead me to seek treatment.

The non-surgery route would have required pulling two teeth and an extreme amount of time spent in rubber bands. My ortho also stated that the non-surgery approach would have been just a partial soluiton, with no guarantees that it would be 100% successful. We discussed it where he made it clear that if I was willing to go through the time and effort to resolve my bite, then why be willing to accept a partial solution? In the end, it wasn't too difficult for me to decide to press on for surgery reducing the risk of a poor outcome.

I didn't know it at the time, but in the end I had a very favorable experience with my insurance company, so there was little difference between the two options financially. The difficulty in the choice really centered upon whether I was willing to go through the surgery and recovery. After the fact, I can proudly say it was well worth it without a doubt. I think the OP (cocomi) has already noticed plenty of others posting in this forum that have also made that same statement.

Cocomi, as far as handling your own finances, my best suggestion would be to look into the advice offered regularly by radio host Dave Ramsey (give his podcast a listen). Take care of your outstanding debt first and put yourself in a favorable situation to handle the costs of treatment and surgery. More debt is only going to add stress to your life and take away your freedom to do the things you want to do, when you want to do them. If you can wait a while for the surgery so that you put yourself in the best position possible (ie. best outcome for your bite and your wallet both) rather than digging yourself a big hole to climb out of....do your best to be wise, mature, and not impatient.
//Climbing Down From My Soapbox//

DRG
Braces: 1986-1988
Open bite was not resolved
Braces again (at age 35): 15 APRIL 2010
Lefort I & IVRO: 21 FEB 2011
Unwired! 25 MAR 2011
Braces removed revealing my perfect bite: 4 JAN 2012

krc202
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Re: Anyone choose NO Surgery for an Open Bite?

#13 Post by krc202 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:49 pm

Hey Cocomi - no, I do not have speech issues, thankfully. My sister does have a little bit of a lisp.

I can't bite straight through things - I kind of rip my food. It makes me a slightly messy eater, but no one notices until I tell them. It honestly doesn't bother me because I don't know any different, but I imagine it would be pretty cool to bite straight through a sandwich someday.

I had all kinds of orthodontics for many years - maybe age 12 to 17? Regular braces, palate expander, bite blockers, retainers - they tried everything. None of it fixed my bite, although it did give me very straight teeth. The orthodontists recommended surgery, but upon hearing how serious of a surgery it is, my family and I said no. I had no pain, I liked my face (as much as any self-conscious teen does) and saw no reason to do it. Now that I am living with the pain, I wish I had done it earlier.

Most dentists/orthodontists say "you have the worst open bite I've seen - how do you eat?" I think my teeth are about half an inch apart when I bite down. But I have a nice smile - you'd never know I had this problem.

Now I'm starting to battle the insurance company and hoping they reverse the decision. Short-term pain for long-term gain.

cocomi
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Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:58 pm

Re: Anyone choose NO Surgery for an Open Bite?

#14 Post by cocomi » Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:57 pm

DRG and KRC202, thank you for your responses!

Yes, I have noticed that most of the people on this site have had surgery or will. It makes me feel a bit better knowing that I'm not all alone in this world with this open bite or weird jaw/skeletal issue!

I have seen three orthodontists so far and will be getting advice from an oral surgeon as well. Hoping for the best!! :shock:

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