Where I’ve Been, Health Scares, and Why Patient Advocacy is Crucial

It’s been…quite the summer….

Lauren Como

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This is a very difficult post to write, but I’ve finally mustered up the courage to discuss what’s been going on over the past few months.

Firstly, I greatly appreciate the emails, LinkedIn messages, and even texts from those that I’ve met through this platform.

Knowing that people care makes a huge difference when you’re going through a complex health issue.

To get folks up to speed that might be new or have missed other posts about this…I had orthognathic surgery in April 2021.

In layman’s terms, I had both of my jaws cut out from my skull, re-configured, and put back in via titanium plates and screws.

Some of you are probably wanting to vomit reading this.

Why did I do this to myself?

To answer the question, my jaws never grew correctly….as you can see in the photo below on the left….I had a huge class two, anterior open bite. This means my lower jaw was underdeveloped, and my upper jaw had too much bone. As a consequence, my front teeth could not touch.

I’ve read that about 0.6% of the adult population has this issue, so it’s pretty uncommon!

I know it’s not pleasant to think about your jaws being surgically removed, but in all honesty, it wasn’t as painful as I anticipated.

Fast-forward to February 2022….I had my Invisalign removed and was super excited to be almost done with this process.

Since I had the huge open bite, I wore down my back teeth quite a bit, so I booked an appointment with a prosthodontist to get some restorative dentistry done.

Since I’m a surgical patient, I thought going to a specialist was a great idea vs. my general dentist….Oh, how I was wrong!

And here comes a terrifying misdiagnosis….

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