I am struggling with the decision to have jaw surgery and would love some advice.
The short version is I have an open bite, it's causing me pain, but I don't know if the surgery would 1. fix my pain or 2. dramatically change my face (not a good thing in my opinion).
I am 23 and have had an open bite since I was 10. Had braces and other orthodontics from ages 12-17 but never wanted to have surgery. I don't think I look deformed (certainly not like the before and after photos in brochures), and this problem has never affected my quality of life, other than being a slightly messy eater
So I never saw any reason to have the surgery. My mom and my sister (she's 30) both have open bites as well, and they haven't had any problems or pain due to their bites, so I hoped I wouldn't either.
For the past 4 months, though, I have had minor jaw pain and it is getting worse. So I had a consultation with an orthodontist and he referred me to an oral surgeon. The surgeon made me feel even more scared than I already was. I asked if the surgery would fix my jaw pain and he said probably, but not for sure (well, why do it then?!). I asked if it would change my face and he said yes, my chin will be more prominent and shorter. And I was shocked to find out it is not an outpatient surgery, but in fact requires a 1-2 night hospital stay. 8 weeks eating soft foods and 2 weeks off from work, ouch. Not to mention the expense and insurance hassle. Overall, the surgery and braces process sounds like a big pain in the a** that would significantly impact my life for the next 1-2 years.
I really don't know what to do. I want my jaw to stop hurting, but I dread the thought of having braces again as an adult; it seems so embarrassing. I know my face would probably look better, but what if it doesn't, and I'm stuck with it? And what if I go through all this, and my jaw still hurts? My plan now is to get a second opinion from another surgeon - maybe this guy just isn't the right one for me. But overall, I feel like I'm at an impasse. Should I go to a TMJ specialist, maybe? I would love to hear similar experiences and advice. Thanks!