Please note: this is a sponsored review.
I just got a new sponsor for my blog, a site called www.bracesreview.com (the link is in my sidebar as well.) They asked me to review their site, and I thought it might be useful for my readers if I took a spin and reported on what the site has to offer us jaw surgery folks.
One thing I will give you a heads-up about is that there are a lot of ads on this site, so you will have to take a few seconds to orient yourself and distinguish between the ad links and the information links so you can find what you're looking for. I'll give you some of the most important links in this review, so that will help you, too.
Online Forum and Blogs
The most useful part of the site for us is the braces forums. In the forums, people can share experiences, information, photos, and ask questions of others who have gone through the same procedures. There is a forum called orthognathic surgery that could serve as a good resource for someone researching or going through jaw surgery. Some of the topics currently being discussed among members of this forum are: having to wear headgear after orthognathic surgery, questions about surgery for overbites, and updates on how people are recovering after surgery. It's a smaller forum, which can be a good thing, because there is a strong community built among regulars, offering regular support to one another.
I frequented both large and small online forums when I was researching my jaw surgery (see my sidebar under "online support groups") and found that there are advantages and disadvantages to each. The large forums have a wide variety of experiences and views expressed; however, if you ask a question, it may get lost and go unanswered; also, posts are added constantly, so it can be overwhelming to search through all of them to find what you needed. Smaller forums have a homier and more personal feel, but because there are less people involved, you may not always find the specific advice you're looking for.
I would suggest checking out a variety of online forums to find what's right for you, or, ideally, using a combination of them to get the answers you need. And, of course, once you've gone through your own jaw surgery journey, consider sharing your knowledge and experience with others on these forums so you may give back to our community.
I also thought it was cool that the braces forum has links to an area where members can post blogs about their orthodontic experiences. As I am writing this, there are 130 blogs on this page, and it is quite easy to navigate; there is a search function, and blogs are also organized into categories, including one for oral surgery. It's useful to have so many blogs in one place so you don't have to go digging for information (which is why I have so many links to jaw surgery blogs for you in my sidebar!)
At the bottom of the site's home page, you'll find links to a number of articles addressing common questions about braces. I read a number of them, and found some of the topics quite fun. For instance, there's an article explaining how you can make fake braces for a costume (might also be useful to see how you look in braces before you get them) and one about how to kiss with braces. Others are informative, such as how important it is to wear retainers for life after your braces are taken off, and issues surrounding permanent bonded retainers (something a dentist recommended to me after my teeth relapsed, but my orthodontist vetoed because they're so hard to keep clean. Whew - good thing I didn't go that route.)
Insurance and Orthodontists
The site also has links to information on orthodontic insurance for Americans, which is important because braces plus surgery can add up to tens of thousands of dollars. (I am Canadian, so this section doesn't really apply to me, as my surgery was covered under our universal health care program; however, I did purchase private insurance to cover part of the cost of my braces.) The site also has links to orthodontists in the States.
There is some good information on this site that can be useful to you in making decisions on getting braces and/or having jaw surgery. I would recommend you check out the forums and blogs for sure.