Saturday, 5 June 2010

First hospital appointment

I had my first hospital appointment on Thursday. I'd been waiting so long for this appointment after initially seeing my old orthodontist in April, and to be honest, the appointment just made me really frustrated because it felt like a such a waste of time!!!

I only got to see an orthodontist at the hospital, not the surgeon, so most of the questions I had planned to ask he couldn't answer anyway! He didn't tell me much I didn't already know, and just gave me a couple of leaflets about orthognathic surgery and wearing fixed braces. But when you've done as much research on this as I have, there's not many 'general facts' that I don't know about it!

Anyway, he did tell me a couple of helpful things, which were:

1) Just having braces for a second time round has its risks - apparently there's a small risk of damaging the roots of the teeth, and there's also the risk of being left with white marks where the braces have been glued on your teeth.

2) 5-8% of the patients at their hospital who have had the surgery have some permanent loss of feeling/numbness after the surgery - most people have some temporary loss of feeling after the surgery.

3) On average they carry out 2 orthognathic operations a week at the hospital, so for anybody like me who lives in the UK and is getting the surgery on the NHS, I found this quite reassuring as it's obviously fairly common and they've had a lot of practice!

He also told me that I'd probably have to have my wisdom teeth taken out as well, and he also noticed that I have a kind of 'mottled' effect on the surface of my top front teeth. My mum had noticed this before, but it's not something that I've ever been particularly bothered about, but the orthodontist seemed concerned about it and even said that they'd put veneers on them after the surgery! I thought veneers were just something that celebrities had to make their teeth nice and white, but if I'm getting them for free, then I'm not complaining!

When we were talking about what I'd look like after the surgery he made me hold up a mirror and push my bottom jaw forward (which I've already done a million times anyway!), and said that this is what I'd look like after the surgery. Now I understand that this is what the surgery would do - make my lower jaw be in the same place as my top jaw - but I'm hoping this isn't a true reflection of what I'd actually look like after it, because to me it looks like I'm pushing my jaw forward, and when I smile naturally with my bottom jaw pushed forward, to me it looks really stupid and worse than my smile now, cos it looks really gummy and you can hardly see any of my teeth! I said to him that I assume I wouldn't look exactly like this after the surgery, and he was just really dismissive and said 'well this is what the surgery would do'. But from all the pictures I've seen of people who have had it done, all of them have normal smiles and don't look like they're pushing their jaws forward, so I hope at my next appointment I'll have some reassurance that it will all look normal after surgery!

Anyway, so my next appointment is on 22nd July - 7 whole weeks away :(. I'm meant to be seeing the actual surgeon this time, but I'm just so annoyed because if I'd been able to see the surgeon at my last appointment, then the whole process would be 7 weeks ahead of what it is now! That appointment just seemed like a waste of time and I just want to get it all started!!!

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