What was your life like before the surgery? What problems occurred because of malocclusion and incorrect position of jaws? In what way, if at all, have you tried to handle this problem by yourself?
I had many complexes, and I was ashamed of my smile, used to be taunted for my big and crooked teeth. I often laughed with my mouth covered so that people couldn’t see my smile; however, I’ve never thought it’s related to the jaw or occlusion. During the consultation, I clearly saw wherefrom these problems are coming. For instance, to others, it often seemed that I keep my lips tightly pursed, which was true. If I relaxed my lips, then due to the incorrect position of the jaw, my mouth looked open. So, instead of looking open-mouthed, I preferred to keep my lips pursed.
Who encouraged you to choose this type of treatment?
The treatment became an obvious choice when my orthodontist doctor Dalia Latkauskienė told me that wearing braces without further treatment and surgery will not bring the desired result. I wanted to have a healthy and pretty smile, so I had to brace myself up and get ready for anything on the way towards this desired smile and self-confidence.
Where did you learn about this treatment method?/strong>
First and foremost, my mom and I visited several specialists – we wanted to hear as many opinions and propositions as possible on how to straighten the teeth. One of the orthodontists, after getting acquainted with my situation, immediately said that I need to have jaw surgery and recommended to turn to a specialist in orthognathic surgery.
Have you considered any other alternatives?
We considered many other alternatives; however, I saw only two options: to leave everything as it is and stay with the current smile and jaw or to muster courage and have jaw surgery and wear braces. At that time, we already knew that despite the beauty, correct occlusion, I also need it for my health. Also, a great desire to be able to smile broadly without any feeling of discomfort pushed me to choose the treatment and cease looking for alternatives.
Before choosing orthognathic treatment, have you made inquiries about the experiences, opinions of others?
Frankly, until I learned about my problems with the jaw, I’ve never been interested in such surgeries. Back then, I didn’t even know that such treatment existed. Only after it was proposed to me, we started making inquiries, went looking for information on the internet, sought stories and testimonials of other people.
ere you in need of support from relatives or friends? What was their reaction like when they learned that you’ve decided to have surgery?
Before the surgery, nobody understood what for that surgery is needed. When I used to tell somebody that I’m waiting for surgery, everyone reacted differently; however, most often, they were frightened and surprised. I suppose it all became apparent to those around me when they saw me already after the surgery. Support was indeed necessary to me back then.
The way you see it, how did the treatment process go? What moments were the most difficult? Most comforting?
Perhaps the most difficult moments occurred on a night before the surgery when my entire body trembled. While looking in the mirror, I kept thinking about what will happen next, how will I look, will my appearance change drastically… Of course, the first month after the surgery was incomparably more difficult. I won’t hide it, and there were many times when I asked my relatives and friends with tears in my eyes: “Why do I have to suffer so much?” “Why have I made this decision?” However… after those difficult times, comforting moments also came. Back then, I felt extremely joyful because all changes related to my appearance were only positive! I felt positive changes in my health too, and that was the most important thing of all. Moreover, not only my appearance changed, but I also changed within.
In your opinion, what is critically important when deciding and choosing orthognathic treatment? What would you advise other people who encounter a similar situation?
Well, in my opinion, choosing the doctor is one of the essential things when deciding to have treatment. Before the surgery and after it, I felt partially comforted by the fact that I chose one of the best specialists in the field for such a tremendously important step. Disposition of the person, psychological preparedness, and support of relatives and friends are also necessary.
How did your life change after the treatment?
To be honest, life has changed immensely… Since childhood, I had many complexes because I wasn’t happy with my appearance – my teeth, extended chin… and when I wore braces, a bump was visible beneath the lower lip. At present, when everything is ultimately healed up, and the pair are taken off, I feel very self-confident and proud of my broad smile. It seems that even those same big teeth that had previously caused dissatisfaction with my smile and provoked sneering, now I like them very much. Indeed, all difficulties after the surgery helped me to begin seeing things differently. Partially it even changed my attitude towards life.
If you could turn back time, already knowing and experiencing as much as you have now, would you still choose to have orthognathic treatment?
Surely, without a doubt! Except now, it would be easier because I wouldn’t be afraid of every movement after the surgery, and I’d do more exercises.