James C.

Jaw Surgery

James had an overbite and was aware of it since he was in middle school. The condition was not bothersome for James, as he did not have trouble eating, just that he couldn’t smile like everybody else because his overbite was aggressive. James and his parents went to an orthodontist for help, but were told that the overbite was too much for braces to fix and that he needed oral surgery. At that time, neither James nor his parents were ready for oral surgery – physically or financially.

“It was disappointing that the braces couldn’t fix it. My parents left it up to me to pursue or not. It was not a high priority on my list,” remembers James.

Later on, James learned of his mother’s coworker who had a similar overbite issue and had undergone corrective surgery. The coworker said he would recommend having the procedure, that his bite now aligned and that it was easier to smile. He also had the same insurance as James. With this knowledge, James decided to pursue a surgical solution.

James started his research for oral surgeons. A friend recommended Dr. Nordstrom and another surgeon. James chose to see Dr. Nordstrom because Alaska Center for Oral + Facial Surgery had a free consultation.

“Walking in the clinic, I felt nonchalant. The staff was welcoming, the waiting room was nice, clean, comfortable and has that warm feeling,” James recalls.

After his consultation, James relates he felt comfortable because everyone on staff at Alaska Center for Oral + Facial Surgery listened to him. He told the staff that he didn’t want to proceed until he had an answer from his insurance company whether or not they would approve the surgery.

“They were very helpful. I was able to get all the insurance paperwork started that day and the staff had approval straight away. Once I knew my insurance was going to cover it for sure, I went ahead and scheduled the procedure. I was pleased that the team were willing to file all the insurance paperwork before even scheduling the surgery,” James says.

James underwent lower jaw reconstruction.  Post-surgery, James remembers waking up and feeling hungry. “No pain, just hunger! I was on a liquid diet for a little while. After the first day, I didn’t use any pain medication. It surprised me that there wasn’t really any pain with the surgery. It was more comfortable than having wisdom teeth taken out!” relates James. “I was also surprised at how quickly the swelling went down; it was just about four days.”

Right now, James is just finishing up with braces, which he’s had for 18 months. James’s orthodontist, Murray Orthodontics, placed the braces to align his teeth for surgery and James underwent surgery with his braces on. It was a team effort between Murray Orthodontics and Alaska Center for Oral + Facial Surgery to make the whole procedure a success.

“When James came to our orthodontic practice, he was coping with a large overbite caused by insufficient growth of his lower jaw. I reached out to Dr. Nordstrom because I recognized that James required surgery in addition to orthodontic therapy, and I know I can trust Dr. Nordstrom and his team with my patients. Together, we came up with the treatment plan with a combination of surgery and braces to better align James’s teeth and jaws and allow a natural and functional bite,” explains Dr. Murray. “When I recently removed James’s braces, everything lined up and his smile appeared natural. We are all pleased with the outcome.”

James says he’s glad he had the procedure because it’s easier to smile now and that he has no regrets. “If you’re nervous about having oral surgery, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Dr. Nordstrom does a great job. If you have questions, just ask and he’ll answer. Also, having the surgical suite right in the office was so nice – it’s a one-stop shop and all up to hospital standards. In fact, I prefer it over a hospital,” adds James as he leaves with his brand new smile.

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