Good news and bad news.

We went to the orthodontist and he sat us down in front of the computer to look at Evan4’s x-rays.

“He has a “royal jaw”,” said the orthodontist.

I looked at him, thinking, ‘you’d better not say the Hapsburgs’. I’ve seen those portraits and they’re not pretty.

“The Hapsburg family had jaws very similar in construction to Evan4’s,” he went on. “The lower jaw comes out in front of the upper jaw.”

‘Shit!’ I thought.

For those of you unfamiliar with European history, here’s a post I found with a family tree and a few pictures. Click on the link saying “full story” at the bottom of the initial blurb to get the info.

Not that I’m suggesting that Evan4 is going to be on a par with the unfortunate Charles II of Spain, but clearly something has to be done about his mouth.

There’s good news short term and bad news long term.

The good news is that we need do nothing for the next 3 years or so. We could spend time and money on braces but it would all be for nought because of the jaw surgery he’ll have to have when he’s 17.

That’s the bad news.

He’ll need to have braces moving his teeth into position for after the surgery for about a year before the operation. Then braces afterwards to lock them in place.

“You’ll have to braces for a while before we operate. It won’t make your mouth look good during that time,” he said to Evan4. “But after the surgery it will all make sense and it will shorten the time you’ll need to spend on braces afterwards.”

So basically he’ll have braces for about a year or so when he’s 16, then an operation and then a different set of braces for about a year afterwards. (While going through year 12 and uni, most likely. What a prospect!)

I asked about the costs, based on current prices. On ballpark figures, the surgery will be about 6K, some paid for by Medicare. The braces will be about the same amount. Tony has the boys listed on his health insurance, so I’m guessing that he will have to pay for the operation. I can’t afford health insurance, but I do have extras cover (for things like braces and glasses for my sickly buck-toothed brood) so I’ll be up for the braces.

I rang my parents when I got home and told them. Mum said that it probably comes from her side of the family. A cousin had the same operation when she was in her late teens (Mum said it was very painful but I haven’t told him that and neither will she) and Mum said that it was good that she had it because “she’s a beautiful girl now and she probably wouldn’t have been otherwise.”

So maybe Evan4 will turn into a beautiful girl at the end of all this. Won’t that be something to look forward to!

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14 Responses to Good news and bad news.

  1. Pixie says:

    so you will have a daughter after all!!!LOL JK

  2. Jayne says:

    My feral Aspie kid was told he needed both braces and surgery but we’re doing just the braces as he’d just freak out at the surgery (and the pain! omg the pain!!! but I won’t mention that).

  3. Natalie says:

    I did not expect to laugh reading this post… but you did manage to sneak in some humor, didn’t you?

  4. M says:

    This post reminds me of all the potential costs I have ahead of me. Not necessarily Royal Jaw but all the other orthodontic treatments and potential operations. Our dentist told me that most children for eg. have braces these days to prevent problems later on in life. Cripes.

  5. Urspo says:

    royal jaw actually means it will take a King’s ransom to attend it.

  6. river says:

    I read about the Hapsburgs, holy cow!
    Sorry to hear about Evan’s jaw, and painful surgery to come too.
    One of my daughters has such perfectly aligned teeth, dentists have asked her if she had braces. No. She was lucky.Filling free too.
    It’s a tough age to have to deal with braces on top of everything else, but I’m sure Evan will cope just fine.

  7. frog says:

    Ah, yes. I was the only one of four not to need braces. I thought my parents very generous when they took me for an opinion even though there seemed no apparent need. I was told I could have them just on the lower jaw but only for cosmetic reasons. I firmly said no, Mum only asked once if I was sure about that.

    Besides, I figured a) I didn’t have the kind of the smile that showed my bottom teeth and b) I’d seen my older sister go through braces. I could skip that.

  8. maybaby says:

    My brothers and I all have fabulous teeth..which I’ve thanked my parents for numerous times, now.

    My kids have all needed cosmetic work on their teeth (broken teeth, yikes!) or braces, or in my youngest’s case, 8 teeth pulled, corrective appliance for three years, THEN braces.

    I should have checked the husband’s teeth before the wedding…

  9. Scott says:

    You always wanted a daughter!

  10. Netter says:

    Hmm, both my sister and one of my cousins had to have their lower jaws shortened. I’ll have to take a closer look at our family tree!

  11. saffronlie says:

    Ugh, my teeth had sympathy pangs while reading this post! I didn’t need jaw surgery but oh, was I happy on the day when my braces finally came off. Poor Evan.

  12. bettsylyn says:

    My son had surgery last November – to move his top jaw forward and his bottom jaw backwards – so it was a really big op. He was very committed to having this done – you can read what he gave up here http://bettsylyn.blogspot.com/2009/11/bit-of-family-time-needed.html
    We were covered for the hospital part thankfully but there was still quite a bit of outlay. Of course Medicare never comes close to what the doctors want. I can let you know more details if you are interested. However my point is it was all worth it. He now smiles all the time and is so much more confident. Now, we can only hope that he doesn’t get involved in any punch ups – although maybe all the titanium in his jaw might hurt the other bloke’s hand.

  13. Lauren says:

    My daughter had surgery to shorten her top jaw about 10 years ago. It improved the function of her jaw with regard to chewing, and also enabled her to breathe properly through her nose! As for the cosmetic difference, all I can say is WOW! The poor kid had 4 years of treatment which included head gear rather like a horse’s bridle, the removal of impacted eye teeth, a metal cage on the roof of her mouth to expand her palate, and braces for more than 3 years. But it was so worth it.

  14. Annie Jones says:

    Since I’m new to your blog, I’m late to comment here, but I want to give you some advice. PLEASE, if possible, shop around for the surgeon who will do this procedure.

    Here we call this condition an underbite. I had mine “corrected” surgically when I was 14. The repositioning was made entirely by cutting out a portion at the back of the lower jaw and moving it back so it was behind the upper jaw as it should be. Because it was a drastic move in one direction, and because I was young and still growing, within a year or so, I had an underbite again.

    I have learned to deal with it rather than go through the expense of the surgery again (although, surprisingly, the pain of the surgery was minimal). Many dentists have encouraged me to have the surgery again, but at my age (47), I’ve come to terms with it and don’t care, anymore, what other people think.

    What I have learned, though, is that if it were to be done again, the lower jaw would be shortened and moved back AND the upper jaw would be extended and moved forward. I would also be encouraged to have sinus reconstruction in order to make my breathing easier and my flat-cheeked appearance more normal.

    Like I said, I wouldn’t have it done again now, but I very much wish the surgeon would have done it right the first time. Please make sure you have the right surgeon for your son.

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