Saturday, 4 July 2009

About Me...........


I'm Natalie (now aged 25) and on 3rd July 2009 I had Jaw surgery at The Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead. I am starting this blog as I wanted to write down my feelings before and after surgery which will hopefully offer information, reassurance and support for others in or considering going through a similar process.

At 18 I wanted to correct my 12mm overbite (where my top teeth/jaw hung 12mm over by bottom teeth) When I was told I would have to have train track braces for 18-24 months prior to jaw surgery I was horrified! but my decision not to go on the NHS waiting list back then was a decision I later regretted at 22 when I decided braces
wouldn't be so bad.

So, at 22(and a half:0) I had just started up my own company and had decided that the complex I had about my side profile wasn't going to go away and was getting more noticeable to me.

I booked an appointed with Dr Ken Sneddon at his Maidstone surgery in Kent (a jaw surgery surgeon who had been recommended to my mum) Dr Sneddon agreed that jaw surgery with a brace first would be the only way forward and so transferred me to the NHS waiting list at The Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, West Sussex. Here I stayed for about 15 months until finally I was at the top and it was my turn. I have started this blog as at the time and now I really struggled to find information on SARPE (Surgically Assisted Rapid Palatal Expansion) and Jaw surgery of someone in the UK who had gone through a similar process.
Braces as an adult are hard enough but walking around looking like you have no front teeth after SARPE and a face like a football after jaw surgery is even harder! At times I just wanted someone to chat to who was going through a similar thing.

So, first things first! The main reasons I wanted to go ahead with this were as follows:

  • My teeth were straight but I hated my side profile!
  • From the side my chin looked too far back and I appeared a bit "gormless" if that makes sense
  • One of the downsides of a 12mm overbite means that your can't actually shut your lips together and that your mouth naturally hangs open (not a good look!)
  • Snoring and breathing through the mouth rather than the nose
  • Not being able to bite from the front and having to tear pretty much any food I ate....even a sandwich
  • Advise which told me as I got older the problem would become more obvious and my hanging jaw would pull my whole face down causing premature aging and the possibility of jowls
When I had made the decision at 22 that braces wouldn't actually be so bad I literally wanted them right then and there and couldn't wait to get my jaw (or jaws as I later found out broken) Knowing I had to go on a waiting list was extremely frustrating and given the choice I probably would have paid quite a few thousand to bi-pass the waiting list but unfortunately as the process is a combination of orthodontics and surgery you are not able to have the braces privately and the surgery on the NHS...booooo! Unfortunately it's all or nothing and the purse strings meant NHS all the way!

In Decemeber 2007 I was finally told it was my turn and that my treatment would start with SARPE (Surgically Assisted Rapid Palatal Expansion) something I wasn't aware was even necessary! This meant an opperation before I even got the braces!

On the 18th January 2008 (aged 23) I was admitted to the Queen Victoria Hospital for SARPE which was thevery start of the whole process!

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