I arrived at the hospital an hour early – I was worried I wouldn’t get parked and also was paranoid about being late. I didn’t sleep much the night before and was feeling generally very overwhelmed by hearing the verdict on if I was ready or not, I was contending with panic if I was ready and obviously huge excitement, but also the fact that I could be about to hear something hugely disappointing….
I was in such an emotional muddle I completely forgot to take my questions in with me.
I did my usual ritual of getting some magazines and a drink and went to sit in the waiting area
I was prepared for a long wait – the Thursday clinic is usually busier and there were people sitting in the waiting area already. I tried my hardest to engross myself in my magazine and kept looking up every time I heard the door go. I spotted an Asian man I don’t recall seeing before – could this be Mohammad Shorafa? hmmm, he looks quite young, but maybe it is…
“Alison Rocks” – shit, that’s me, they are calling me in now (they were running early).. I tried to pick up my coat, water, magazines and bag, I dropped my car keys on the floor – I was already an emotional mess….. (my legs felt like jelly and my heart was pounding – come on Ali, pull yourself together)…
I went in and saw two men, one of them my orthodontist and a man next to him “Alison, this is Mr Shorafa”… I shook his hand and said something along the lines of “lovely to meet you” , I sat in the chair opposite them. There were two nurses in there too – one I had never seen before (maybe she’s training?) and a dental nurse that I know, she has assisted Mr power in the past when he has been adjusting my braces.
It’s all a blur, but the long and short of it was…..(drumrole)…….. I’m ready!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mr Shorafa asked what the 3 things that I wanted to change most about my bite were, I said that the angle of the top jaw, the asymmetry and also being able to smile with my mouth closed without having to try to stretch my lips ( I couldn’t think too much, I was overcome with emotions – all good emotions but it was intense)
Mr Shorafa asked me to sit on the dental chair and hold a metal ruler in my mouth – I think he uses this to look at the angles of my jaw….
He agreed to my requests. I did say that I am aware my face is long and that I really don’t want it to appear any longer (and if possible a bit shorter) after surgery
He said that they would correct the angle of my top jaw, Mr power asked that he bring the back of my mouth in line too as I have a slight open bite (buck teeth – but only slightly)
It was then decided that they would rotate my lower jaw to correct the asymmetry, but instead of cutting the top jaw in half to widen the upper arch, to make an incision between my two middle lower teeth and narrow the lower jaw by 2-3mm – he said that the top split is such a big operation, that for the minimal narrowing it would be far safer, a faster recovery for me, would allow my lower teeth to sit under the top teeth and not narrow my face enough to be noticeable to anyone other than me really.
He said that with correcting the asymmetry, that he would get it as near to perfect as possible, but that there may be a very small relapse so it would not be “perfect” but very close – i really appreciated his honesty and the way he was clearly managing my expectations.
I was shown models of my bite – at the start and now, (which I took a picture of):
I asked if he had treated similar cases to mine, he explained that he had been doing this for 17 years and had treated lots of similar cases with successful outcomes. He was a very caring man and I liked him (phew) i felt like he was thorough and really empathetic to my case.
I said i trusted his judgement and would go with his recommendations. He asked if I thought I showed too much gum when I smiled, I said I wasnt sure, but didn’t think so as long as the angle of the top jaw was raised not brought down during the correction. he agreed and said that although they could take a mm or 2 mm off of the length of the top jaw (how much gum I show) he feels i would age better if we left it. Also I said I didn’t really want to show too much lower tooth with my smile as i prefer my top teeth.
I asked if my chin was still an area to be worked on as initially suggested by Caroline, he said they weren’t going to operate on this as it was only minimal and that actually I had a nice chin (aww, thanks – its nice to have a compliment in between words like – long face, asymmetry, open bite etc! lol). I actually prefer this decision, as if the lower jaw is being narrowed my chin will keep the fullness of my face as the soft tissues lie over the bone structure (ooh, get me and my terminology!!)
So, as I understand it, the treatment is upper and lower jaw only. I asked “when” and they have said the end of July – I will receive a letter in the post, but that the operation will take place on a Thursday (either 24th or 31st July I guess). I will receive this letter in the post in the next month.
They asked if I had any more questions, I said to my orthodontist “can I give you a hug?” he laughed and said yes. I gave him a big hug and said “Thank you so so much for getting my teeth ready” i turned to the surgeon and said “I don’t want you to feel left out, you can have a hug to” I hugged him and said thank you for doing this for me.
My Ortho joked that I wouldn’t be thanking them after surgery, but I said I would.
I go back in 2 weeks for Ortho adjustments, another in may and I have a new appointment on 27th June at 9.30am.
When booking my appointment for June the dental nurse gave me a hug and said she was so happy for my and something else like “aww, bless you” she’s lovely.
So, this time in 5 months I will have a new bite. I know the recovery will be hard, but I think its going to be much easier without the top jaw split (that was the part I was most afraid of).
I’m so excited for whats coming now. I understand that I will also be contacted by the other hospital for a pre op, and also by a man called James who will schedule me in to have impressions with him to make my “wafer” which will be used to hold my bite in place straight after surgery.
I am feeling relieved, grateful, excited, nervous, but overall really happy right now. It’s so nice to know “when”. 5 months – enough time to save (as my work don’t pay me when I’m off) to cover my wage for that month, enough time to pick up bits like baby toothbrushes, head bras etc each month and also enough time to mentally prepare. x x x