I am scared Post-Surgery

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Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:28 pm

I am scared Post-Surgery

#1 Post by koros »

I had lower jaw surgery about a month ago for an underbite. I waited for months to have the surgery and saved all the money I could to have it. The time came, I had the surgery and I suffered through the recovery. I suppose everyone kind of suffers the same way, but I had gotten a stomach bug on day 3-7, where I had thrown up close to 30 times. I was already thin, and already within a week I dropped 20 lbs. I looked sick, to the point where my family was scared. Time healed most things, thought most of my face is numb. When my splint came off, the bite was in the wrong position. My face went white and I immediately couldn't breathe because of the shock. I endured all this pain, saved thousands of dollars and put my life on pause for nothing. I spent days crying. I had to wear elastics for another month. It was 5 extra strength elastics that left my entire face sore all the time. I hated that the fate of everything fell in my hands. I understood the finished product would not be perfect but at the least I wanted to be able to bite right after surgery.

Needless to say I put in the work and got through it. The bit went back where it was supposed to, but now the orthodontics portion is making me nervous. My top set of teeth are now over the bottom, which is nice (though it is very close to edge to edge). My front teeth collide and the other teeth do not touch. He said I will have to wear elastics for another month to bring the side teeth and molars closer together. Is this a thing? I thought the bite was supposed to mesh after the surgery. So many people talked about the day they got their splint off and how they were overjoyed with how they could bite, and I didn't get that feeling. I craved that moment, and I at the very least deserved it.

I am still hopeful, though I feel I am going insane and through extreme depression. I almost regret the surgery, though I am better off than I was before.

Can anyone tell me about their surgeries?

Did you have to have post op orthodontics to fix anything?

Did elastics fix any shift permanently?

Did you bite shift?

How did you combat any sort of depression, or lack of confidence?

I never used to be this way. I have always been tough as nails, but this surgery knocked me down hard. Any reassurance?

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Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:12 am

Re: I am scared Post-Surgery

#2 Post by senecastudent »

Don't panic. I went through all the same fears, and it all gets resolved.

I had both upper and lower to fix an underbite, because my upper jaw was set too far back. I was ecstatic when the splint came out and I started working on soft foods, only to find that none of my back teeth even came together and my midline, which had previously been the only perfect thing about my smile, was way off. I also thought the doctors had done too much, because I now appeared to have an overbite, with my lower jaw looking nonexistent and my upper jaw hanging way over the lower.

All of this faded with time.

When you get surgery, the surgeons are moving your jaws into place--not your teeth. The surgeons move the jaws into the proper position and then the orthodontist finishes up by moving the teeth into the proper position now that the jaws are correct. Before my surgery, my teeth had all fit together, but that was when my jaws were in the wrong place. Post-surgery, my jaws were in the right place, but that meant that my teeth now had to move so that they could be in the right place as well. Make sense?

I didn't care about my midline much at all. It was off by about half a tooth, but when I looked up midline corrections, I read that it would take an extra few months in rubber bands to fix. That was disappointing, because I wanted the braces off as quickly as possible. I resolved to tell my orthodontist that I didn't care about the midline whenever he brought the subject up. Except, he never did. Over a few months of healing, my midline just naturally shifted back into place with no extra rubber bands. My perceived overbite also vanished as well--it was all swelling. Your face, your jaws, your teeth, go through a rough experience, and they need time to settle into the new positions.

As for the depression...it was just something you have to get through. Think about the reasons you did this in the first place and trust that you'll come out ok on the other side. It takes a lot more time than you would expect. My orthodontist still tells me he can see bits of swelling, and my surgery was 10 months ago. With the self-confidence, I found it helped to crack jokes. I absolutely delighted in telling people, "Yeah, I broke my jaw" and watching the surprise on their faces. I'd invent stories: skiing accident, bar fight, etc, and see how long I could keep it going before I broke and told them the truth, and by then we would be laughing about it and I had no need to worry about what they thought. It did wonders for my self-confidence, and I say this as someone who always struggled with that. If you see it as a great story, and tell it to people as a great story, you stop seeing it as something embarrassing.

Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:28 pm

Re: I am scared Post-Surgery

#3 Post by koros »

Thanks! That helped a lot! I appreciate your story and words.

Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:30 pm

Re: I am scared Post-Surgery

#4 Post by Elucidation »

I had double jaw surgery about 6.5 months ago, and after my teeth were unwired my bite didn't come together AT ALL. Basically when I tried to bite two teeth would touch first and only, and it was extremely awkward. The orthodontist and oral surgeon were not worried, as they felt the jaw alignment was fine. I thought my lower jaw was tilted/canted:

from http://doublejawsurgery.samansari.info/ ... ay-11.html

I have been wearing various elastics over the last 6 months as the orthodontist guides the teeth to meet. My right side teeth didn't meet at all, they had what felt like a several mm gap. It's mostly gone now, still a little bit right at the back, but I can chew there now. The upper right teeth were also inside the lower right teeth, this wasn't expected to be fixed by surgery, the orthodontics has been fixing that with elastics that go from the inside of my upper teeth to the outside of my lower teeth, pulling the upper teeth outwards. You can see the change here:


from http://doublejawsurgery.samansari.info/ ... y-199.html

I was freaking out about my mid-line not matching, my lower teeth or jaw being crooked, and the teeth not meeting. It's become infinitely better after several months of orthodontics, and my bite is much better now. You should definitely bring up your concerns with your orthodontist. If your orthodontist is not worried about your final bite, they'll tell you and try and explain why you shouldn't worry.
Blog: http://doublejawsurgery.samansari.info
My arch-wired topic on my surgery: http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?p=492454

Braces from March 2015 - January 2018
Double-jaw surgery on March 7, 2017 to correct a class III malocclusion (upper -1mm, lower +7mm from normal), ie. an underbite.

Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:26 pm

Re: I am scared Post-Surgery

#5 Post by tdc10 »

Wow, thanks senecastudent and elucidation - both your posts are really helpful! I'm reading as much as I can to prepare myself for pre-op preparation and immediate post-op recovery and diet, but this is a whole other area to consider. Thank you for sharing your experiences and providing detailed overviews, I imagine it will prevent me from panicking when I notice that things aren't magically 100% perfect immediately after initial recovery. Seems like surgeons and orthodontists could better help set proper expectations early on in the process (though, granted, it's certainly easier said than done).

Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:15 am

Re: I am scared Post-Surgery

#6 Post by xjoe28 »

I had double jaw surgery 2 weeks ago. Ever since then I have been constantly worrying about everything and I have been depressed. I really cannot wait until a full year goes by I hope to make a full recovery. It’s not easy, but I suppose time is the only thing that can heal us.
We must stay strong!

How are you doing now?

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