For those who are just joining the story now, I had a severe Class III maloclussion [underbite] for most of my life, which was finally corrected by jaw surgery the day before New Year’s Eve last year. Talk about a rough way to end 2009 or to start 2010. Luckily, I have very supportive family and friends, and I made it through all of that. Jaw surgery was considered medically necessary because of just how far apart my teeth were. I had an open bite, and really none of my teeth touched when I ate. I don’t know HOW I survived the 28 years prior to surgery.

The surgeon widened the upper jaw and cut out a piece of the lower jaw and moved it back. Not a pretty surgery to imagine. I was banded shut with a splint for about six weeks before I was allowed to get off the liquid diet and start feeling “normal” again.

I have waited long enough to put the side-by-side comparison of the side view on the internet, so here it is:

Before After

Please excuse the extremely frazzled look due to lack of sleep. I schedule my orthodontist appointments for the morning, so I don’t have to take off too much time from work.

I’ve said goodbye to the old and am getting accustomed to the new. After eating solid foods since mid-February and exercising for the last three weeks, I have to come to terms that this is probably what my face will look like for the long haul [plus a few extra wrinkles and gray/white hair when I’m older]. I have the same prominent jaw line and tiny titanium screws in my face!

It’s interesting how jaw surgery changed the face shape completely simply by moving the jaw back. Very little will change from this point forward other than regaining feeling in parts that are still numb. I’ll be able to open my mouth wider and wider as time goes on.

It’s all just a part of the process.