Before and After Photos

These photos and X-rays were taken both before and after my double jaw surgery experience. They do a decent job of showing the drastic change that took place on the operating table.

Before the surgery

These X-rays show my bite when I first got braces in 2008 and again two years later when my teeth are aligned. The photos demonstrate what I looked like just before having surgery.

A few things to note here are how poorly my teeth fit together and the fact that my lower jaw extends beyond my top jaw (ie. underbite). I never realized quite how crooked my bite was before the braces worked their magic.

Feb 11, 2008 — I just had braces put on in this X-ray. Notice the underbite!

Feb 11, 2008 — Are you convinced my bite was poor enough to warrant surgery now?

Feb 9, 2010 — This is after wearing braces for two years.

Feb 9, 2010 — I challenge you to try biting an apple, or even a chip, when your front teeth refuse to touch.

Feb 9, 2010 — These photos were taken just before having surgery. Notice the underbite and the awkward smile.

After the surgery

These photos and X-rays show the state of my bite three months after having surgery. A few things to note here:

  • I look much more confident when I smile.
  • My teeth finally fit together like they’re supposed to.
  • Sadly, my molars aren’t touching on the left-hand side of my mouth.
  • Oh, and I have 8 titanium plates permanently holding my skull together… cyborgs unite!


May 10, 2010 — These X-rays were taken three months after surgery. My underbite is no more!

May 10, 2010 — My journey to becoming a robot begins here.

Jun 22, 2010 — I’m still a bit swollen in these photos, but notice how my upper jaw now sits ahead of my lower jaw. As a bonus, my smile is more confident now!

That pretty much sums it up! If you have any questions about jaw surgery, feel free to post them in the comments!

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  1. Sara Fleming-Shepherd

    June 27, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Well, just to give you an update, my surgery is set for the end of Aug and I couldn’t be more excited. I am looking forward to the end results and just want to thank you for being so public about what you went through. Whether you know it or not, you have been an inspiration to may people.

  2. Gretchen, extend her an invitation to fire any questions she may have my way. I miss those “riches of Canada” at the moment—I’m in Peru right now!

  3. Hi Graham- thank you for sharing your story! My daughter, Kelsey, is having the surgery next week. FB – Kelsey Johnson. Your blog has helped prepare her. She’s 21 and enjoys the riches of Canada- eh?. Not super at Math, though!

  4. Hi Lottie,

    That’s great to hear that your healthcare covered the entire cost of the operation. Lucky you!

    I wasn’t able to eat soft foods until 7 weeks post-op. It’s different for every person, but having to maintain a liquid diet for 6 weeks is not unheard of.

    It’s frustrating, but this will all be in the past for you soon enough! =)

  5. Hey hey,
    I absolutely LOVE reading your blogs and everything. I’m on day 9 now. And everythings going fine except eating because It’s so hard when others around you pig out lol.
    I also can’t believe how much you all paid for this! In England i got it free on nhs which is great! I’m 18 now and cannot wait to go out showing my new look off.
    Just wondering really how long before you ate soft foods like mash potato and pasta etc? My surgeon said 6 weeks. But seriously?!
    Thankyou again. Everyday im reading your blog and Its so relatable and true it’s scary! Lol
    Lottie x0x

  6. Insurance is an incredibly frustrating business, isn’t it? I lucked out and had the majority of mine covered, but I’ve heard a few horror stories.

    We can all rest assured that it’s just money, though, and it is possible to pay it off, slowly but surely.

  7. My surgery cost me $28,000. I live in Miami had united health care which say they cover tmj, after fighting with them for about a yr with my doc saying its medically necessary they took it off their plan completely. I hate united health care. They make you pay 2000 deductible just to see a doctor and then on top of that its expensive….for what?
    Any this US my 1 month mark…I’m so happy with my face right now its worth not having my dream car. Lol. I’ll get it later

  8. Hi Jackie! Props to you for doing your research before undergoing the operation.

    Swelling is noticeable for about two and a half months, but it’s only a hindrance for the first six weeks. After that, it won’t affect your day-to-day life.

    The surgery is relatively painless because your face is numb during the worst parts of the recovery, so you don’t actually feel the pain. Your body will be tired because it knows the pain is there, but it shouldn’t be too uncomfortable for you.

    Hopefully you get have this all done next summer!

  9. Hello!
    First, I would like to say congratulations! Your transformation looks incredible! My name is Jackie, I am currently 15 years old, and I have to under go jaw surgery because I have a severe under-bite. I get made fun of and picked on at school all the time. Im what you can say, fed up with it. My orthodontist said I have to be done growing for a year to get the surgery. I have some questions for you, how long does the swelling stay for? How much pain were you in? The summer of 2012 may be the summer I will get it. Thank you so much! And it was very helpful for you to post this blog! I’m just trying to get as much information in as possible before I get the surgery. I’m so nervous for it, well thanks again(:

    -Jackie, MI

  10. Dawn, do you have any dental coverage? I have no coverage, so I paid the full price for everything. I can’t imagine orthodontics are only $1900 unless a solid portion of that is covered by insurance.

    If your son is already past the first week, the worst is behind him. It’ll be exciting for him to get back into the swing of things!

  11. My son had that surgery last week. It cost us about 4000$ total. His Orthodontics were about 1900$, the dental surgeon was 1900$ too. We’re in Northern Ontario, though. Maybe that’s why the cost difference?
    I hope he recovers soon. It looks SO sore. He’s tough, but it really looks sore!

  12. Hahha My reply to, “you packing a lip?” eventually became, “NO DUDE.. I’m packing my face.” Then Id often leave them with no explanation haha

  13. Tim, that’s funny–I used to get asked the exact same thing at parties.

    “Hey man, I see you’ve got a dip in. Got any extra?”

    Our underbites gave us mad street cred!

  14. I just read that you never got made fun of for your class three.. well I didn’t either. It made me remember though I used to get people at parties asking me for chewing tobacco they’d say, “Hey man you packing a lip? Can I get some?”

    This was due to my under bite being so bad that my gums and teeth pushed the area right beneath my lip far enough out that it resembled tobacco lump… haha Thought you might appreciate that one.

  15. They’ll have to move your nose around because the entire structure of your face will be altered. It’s a very subtle change that, while noticeable, is easily adjusted to.

    It’s certainly nothing to worry about. Just make sure you give yourself a few months of adjustment before you throw any rash judgements upon your new face. 🙂

  16. Hi Graham, thanks for sharing your experience here. I’ve read elsewhere that upper jaw advancement may change the shape of one’s nose and I’m a bit concerned about that. How did that affect you?


  17. Hi Jen, nice to meet you!

    I had no treatment when I was younger. No braces. No teeth pulled (that I can recall). My dentist always told me to wait until my jaw stopped growing, and I highly recommend this. For boys, it’s usually sometime in our early twenties.

    Prior to having the actual surgery completed, I had my wisdom teeth pulled and wore braces for 1.5 years. I also had to wear braces for 9 months afterward.

    I got opinions for my 2 different orthodontists on which surgeon to go with. I also met with my surgeon 6 months prior to going in for the operation.

    As far as growing up with a class 3 jaw, I was never made fun of for it. I think it becomes a personal thing for some people, but if your kids don’t let it bother them, I doubt anyone will even notice. It’s a fairly subtle thing to people not in “the know.”

    My advice is to hold off on braces and surgery until they’re at least 20 years old. I’ve met a few people who had braces in junior high and then had to get them all over again 5 years later for jaw surgery. That wouldn’t be much fun.

    Let me know if you have any more questions, Jen!

  18. Congrats on your surgery! Thank you so much for blogging/posting on this topic. I am the mother of a 3.5 year old boy and a 9 month old both of whom have a class 3 jaw (my father had it although I don’t). We have a long road ahead of us for correction in both boys and so I was wondering if you could tell me a little bit about your treatment for this when you were younger. Did you have braces early as a child, did they pull teeth to help correct things? Are there things you wish you did or that you wish your parents or doctors could have or should have done earlier? Did you get several opinions before starting treatment?

    Also, do you have any tips for me as a mom in handling this with my boys? I love them dearly wouldn’t change a thing about them unless they wanted it or unless medically needed. I do worry if they will be teased and taunted over this at some point as they grow? Any tips from that perspective would also be appreciated.


  19. Hi Kenneth,

    In Canada, a good portion of the surgery is covered by our public healthcare.

    Braces cost me roughly $7,000 while surgery cost around $5,000 (plus $500 for my splint and another $500 for my retainer).

    It’s definitely an expensive venture!

  20. How much did the braces and surgery cost you roughly? Did you go private of public hospital?


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