2008-08-19

Huzzah for my jaw!

Back story: In eighth grade my orthodontist informed me that no amount of headgear would correct my overbite. It couldn't be fixed without surgery. So my mom and I drove down to Salt Lake City for an evaluation by her cousin, Dr. Greg Egbert, who is an oral surgeon. Dr. Egbert took molds, X-rays and bite indentations and sent all this information to my parents' medical insurance company for review.

The entire procedure was rejected because it was "cosmetic."

Unfortunately, that's not the real story. I haven't bought gum since I was 13 because it hurts to chew it. I can't eat Skittles without later regretting it. In addition to occasional pain and discomfort, I recently found out from my current orthodontist that the teeth on the right side of my mouth are worn down considerably more than those on the left side because my bite is incorrect. And, to top it all off, I've had a cavity (or three) almost every time I've gone to the dentist since I turned 21 because I sleep with my mouth wide open due to the overbite. Apparently that leads to gum tissue problems and cavities.

Jumping ahead to earlier this year: Seth and I decided that we ought to pursue oral surgery again because my jaw situation isn't getting any better. I began making phone calls near the beginning of the year, and back in April we went back to SLC to see Dr. Egbert once again. We did the same stuff: X-rays, pictures, etc. and submitted them to our insurance company.

And then we waited. And waited. And when I finally called the insurance company to see what was up, we found out that our pre-authorization had gotten lost in the shuffle. So we had to wait some more for the medical review board to look it over. And then some more.

Finally we received a letter from the insurance; they needed more information to make a decision. Instead of going to Salt Lake for molds and impressions, I made an appointment with my orthodontist and had them send the necessary information in.

I didn't expect to hear a final answer until sometime in September. So today when I found a letter from our insurance addressed to me, I nearly fell to the ground in surprise.

Shakily, I ripped open the envelope and scanned over the contents. As you can probably determine from the title of the post, it was good. For the most part. All of my reconstructive surgery will, in fact, be covered by the insurance. However, my chin implant will not. Ha! Kinda makes me laugh.

The next step will be to get braces (hence me seeing an orthodontist as of late). And then sometime next year I will go down to Salt Lake once more and come back looking (and feeling) drastically different.

Huzzah!