In August 2016, I made a decision that would change my life forever; the decision to get jaw surgery. But before I get ahead of myself, let’s start with a little back story.
Here’s me as a seed: And here’s me circa-August 2016:
I know, fabulous right?
It’s interesting to note that in both pictures, I knew that I would someday need to get extensive jaw surgery to correct a cross bite that was detected at my first dentist appointment.
From the surface, everything seems to be fine, right? Straight teeth, nice smile, no complaints? Except that I have difficulties in almost every aspect of my life because of the overgrowth of my bottom jaw; medically referred to as Mandibular Hyperplasia.
As you can see in these two photos, my bottom jaw protrudes much further than normal, and my top jaw is recessed.
This misalignment causes me to experience issues with: eating and chewing, speaking, smiling, breathing, headaches, and sleeping, not to mention the consistent jaw and face pain associated with my bite. As a pre-teen, I was the target of bullying for the way my teeth looked as my bottom jaw was noticeably larger, and my teeth were very crooked. The bullying was nothing in comparison to the pain I experienced every day, which commenced braces part 1!
If I can find a picture of my teenage braces days, I’ll post it here, but that lasted from about age 11-13. The braces aligned my teeth, but the orthodontists advised me that I would still require orthognathic surgery once my jaw is fully developed, and thus there was no more that they could do.
Now that I’m an adult with good insurance, (22 in the above pictures, 23 at the time of this post) I determined that it was time to take some action, as my teeth aren’t getting any better by themselves.
Doing my research, I found an INCREDIBLE orthodontist in the Treasure Coast. Seriously, if you’re considering making the leap like I did, talk to Dr. Legler. He’s absolutely the nicest, most professional orthodontist that I’ve ever worked with.
Dr. Legler got me suited up with these beautiful, professional-looking clear braces and a payment plan, and I began my 18-month journey to jaw surgery!