My Braces & Jaw Alignment Journey

My Journey for Braces & Jaw Alignment

When i was young, my friends and classmates would always tease me for my bunny teeth. It is really distinctive that everyone would recognize me as that. My parents, especially my mum would always tell me to save up get a braces when i'm older as we were kinda poor at the time.

During my Secondary school, i have friends who did braces and i feel they looked so weird like some metal freak or Frankenstein. That gives me 2nd thoughts about it. However, people start calling me cute bunny, rabbit teeth, and all the cute names so i decided.. Nah.. I'm not gonna do braces anymore. Haha~ I kinda like those names, especially my ex-boyfriends liked them in a way so another.

Now, as i became older, getting into work life and all.. I feel that appearance do take part in everything. Of cos, everyone around me told me i am ok with that teeth. Yes it is, but because my teeth has caused a gap between my lips, so when i stressed to close them, i look darn fierce or unfriendly. This i believe would give me a problem in my future business and relations with people because of my "fierce or unfriendly" look. Hence, upon recommendations and research, i decided again, to look for a orthodontist specialist at Mount Elizabeth.

My appointment with Dr Alfred Cheng was last month, 21 June 2016 at 9am. I sat on the dentist chair, nervous as usual. Upon a short check, he said: " Oh! U need a jaw surgery. Braces will not help much. I refer you to Surgeon Winston. If don't want to do surgery, we'll just extract 2 top teeth and do the braces. But i tell u, nothing much will change. If decide on the surgery, you can keep all your teeth without extractions. And so i asked, my concern is my bite, will braces change that? He said NO. So go and see Winston den u decide what do you want and quickly end the whole consultation. I was like duh~~

Consultation is free for both Alfred and Winston. Hence, i made a call to arrange for an appointment for the visit, at the same time i made another appointment with Dr Alfred's clinic because i didn't want to wait too long. I did a few research, reading and some consultation form friends and my family and i was firm about NOT going for the surgery because it seems like it's mostly for cosmetic reasons. Braces can also slightly sharpen your face angle as well. And i was firm. I was afraid of the risk involved in the surgery.

I visited Dr Winston on 11th July 2016. I was brought into the waiting room. Shortly, he came. Dr Winston is a much friendlier and a man full of smiles and that makes me feel alot more comfortable. So his started the conversation with:" Doctor Alfred sent u here yah? What's ur concern?" I pointed to my protruding tip of my lips. And so the conversation goes:…

Doc Alfred's visit was a quick one yah? he asked.

Yea..I don't know why he's so fast in ending everything

"Haha. He always likes to make me the bad guy. Because i'm here to tell you in details why you need a corrective jaw surgery."

First, i have a cross bite, which is also known as malocclusion. Which means the upper and lower jaws are misaligned. My jaw is a V-shaped jaw instead of a regular U-shaped. Malocclusionmay be seen as crooked,crowded, or protrudingteeth. It mayaffect a person'sappearance,speech,and/orability to eat. These are symptom-less or theymayproduce pain fromincreased stress on theoralstructures.Teethmay showabnormalsigns of wear on thechewingsurfaces or decay in areas of tightoverlap.Chewingmay be difficult.

Over the years, it has worsen. I realized my gums are always bleeding and sensitive. When i made a visit to Q&M dental, the dentist told me it is a mild gum disease because of uneven teeth that lead to small food particulars stuck in the gums causing all the gum problems. That was also when i thought, maybe i should go for braces to prevent that. I also realized my chewing has a problem. I could not use all my teeth on the sides of for chewing, resulting in slow chewing and food that cannot be chewed down properly causing indigestion.

cross bite photo

Doctor Winston mentioned the risk of not fixing this problem.

  1. My lips are not meeting, causing the front teeth to be exposed and can lead to higher chances of bacterial and decayed teeth, dry lips, frequent sore throats and snoring.
  2. Over the years, the protruding teeth will worsen and protrude more as the lower ones will push it out more, ending up biting onto my roof of the mouth.
  3. The sides of the teeth which couldn't meet so i would mostly used the last few teeth to chew my food causing excessive wear and tear.

Click on this link for a video of —-> Different Types of Jaw Surgery – Surgical Orthodontics

I also searched for a few videos on the surgery. It's too gross and looks scary so i don't want to post it out here.

Here are some examples of teeth and jaw problems.

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Next i asked him about the cost. Depending on which hospitals you want to stay, surgery done by him will range from 20k-30k which has increased about 5k as compared to many blogs that i have read where their surgery was done about 2-3 years ago. Medisave claimable about 8k. Doctor Winston also tells me if i have hospital insurance which can be claimable too, because for my case, it's not a cosmetic surgery but more to functional surgery and is necessary to prevent more expensive medical and dental problems later in life. But when i checked with my insurance agent, she says it's not claimable and there hasn't been a successful claim except one which poses life threatening issues.

So the process is this, i would need to fix braces for about 6 months then go for a surgery with the braces on. Recovery takes about 3 months (full recover takes up to 1 year). Braces will be left for another 6 months. The whole process is also shorten for 1 year as compared to basic braces (which it doesn't help if done alone in my case).

Here i have found a link which is pretty useful on Treatments & Jaw Surgery Procedures.

Let's see the cost for the surgery and boarding (estimate):

Surgery done by Doctor Winston

  • Mount Elizabeth: 30k
  • Mount Avernia: 25k
  • Ng Teng Fong General Hospital: 20k

Surgery done by his students @ Ng Teng Fong General Hospital 11k-12k (*gasp*)

My cost:

Let's say i choose Doctor Winston @ Ng Teng Fong General Hospital  - 20k

Braces are still compulsory @ Dr Alfred Cheng – $3800 + GST

Now do u remember i was firmed on NOT going for the surgery? Wells, it seems like i do not have a choice now. I was a little upset, confused and lots of mixed feelings. Why everyone can just do with braces and mine can't?

Doctor Winston did tell me that this surgery is very common. He did a surgery on at least 1 patient every 2 days. I checked with my best friend (Google) and also realized jaw issues happens to many people and they have done this surgery as well.

SO eventually, i am glad that this decision is supported by many to go for this procedure. There are people who disagree as well, thinking the it's just about cosmetic procedure. It definitely does have effect of the face shape and changes, but that is not the main and important factor of it.

Next, what i am worrying now is the risk and the pain, Risk of over-bleeding during the surgery, 5% experienced part of the lip or chin will be numb forever because your nerves couldn't heal. However i read in many blogs, pain is pretty minimal consider that it is a big surgery but instead it is very uncomfortable. I planned for my braces on end of this year, and will need alot of savings to go for this surgery. Of cos, before the surgery i would need to take necessary vitamins and minerals to help thicken the blood and recovery purposes.

Help me -> Donate for my medical fees (<— click here)

Till then, follow my blog for updates =)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “My Journey for Braces & Jaw Alignment

  1. Hi Judy! May I know your insurance company is which one? Because I will be doing double jaw surgery as well. And after reading your blog, I am worried that my insurance. Just would like to check with you as I have not gotten any written analysis to ask my agent about it. Thank you so much!

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    1. Hi, when is your surgery and who is your surgeon?
      I’m in the phrase of my braces now, planned surgery on end nov this year. I was arranged to meet the surgeon before deciding on braces+surgery or just braces in my first appointment. The surgeon mentioned I needed the surgery for functional purpose, so chances are claims should be successful.
      I have also came upon people who have done claims are successful. Insurance agent also mentioned it’s how the diagnose are written by the surgeon.
      From the other people’s claim experience, it is said that after surgery, you may check out from hospital, no payment is needed but need to sign forms. So hospital will come out with bills and so on in order to claim from insurance company. Upon successful claim, balanced bills (if any) will be mailed to u.
      The claims I heard that claimed successfully are prudential and mine’s AIA. It was mentioned how the doctor writes its report to get a successful claim.
      I will be continuing to update my progress as well. Do follow me for updates and all the best to your surgery ☺️

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      1. Ahhh. I see I see. Mine is great eastern. I think I will go and find my agent for a talk soon. It’s just that I haven’t get any written doc to show her. My surgery shouldn’t be so fast as I am waiting for appointment for the braces now. Mine abt one year later at least. im only getting my braces now. Kind of couldn’t wait for the surgery but I’m scared as well 😡

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      2. Ahh I c.. I’m 5th month on braces, supposedly after 6 months I can go for my surgery, but I have a holiday plan in Nov, so I planned for the surgery after that.
        It’s tough for those who have over/underbite, on braces before going through surgery because there’s so much negative comments and people who doesn’t understands how tough it is and thought that you’re going through it for the beauty of it. It sucks but well.. bear through it!! Have a good set of teeth that last you for life and they might be the ones who loses their ability to bite at the end. 😄😆
        Do it while you are young and have the ability to recover than when you gets old and lose all your teeth.
        Jia you!
        P.s: I’m scared too 😉

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  2. im also going to do the same procedures with the same dr winston and dr alfred. and it would be kind if we can talk thru fb messenger in regards of the procedures question i have in mind and since we are also consulting the same doctors…

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