Sunday, November 22, 2015
So.... Here is a look at my smile 9 months after surgery, braces off.
I am glad to be out of brace bondage finally!! I was so ready to get those things OFF! Although the upper retainer is cumbersome....
I have to wear the upper retainer for 6 months 24/7 except when I eat. I wasn't able to get one of the nice, clear plastic retainers that fits over the teeth like an in-visiline. It is one of the clunky, over the palate resin retainers that has a metal bar that goes across the teeth in front. I don't like it at all, so I begged my Ortho to let me wear one of the clear ones. He says after 3 weeks, I can come in and have one made, but I must wear the resin one as much as possible. Something about my "open" bite that makes the resin one much more effective. I also have a permanent bar type retainer across the back of my bottom teeth. It isn't too cumbersome. Easy to deal with.
My front tooth that had the discoloring after surgery has pretty much returned to an acceptable color. Except when the brackets from the braces came off, the tooth is discolored underneath!! I can't believe it. After all these months of hard work trying heal well, I have a purple discoloration right in the middle of my big front tooth!! I am using lots of tooth whitening products in the hopes that it will fade, otherwise I may have to get a root canal and/or cap over it.
Overall, I am pleased with the outcome. I still have a tremendous amount of paresthesia (numbness) in my upper hard palate where the surgeon placed a bone graft. I am not sure whether or not any of the feeling will return. This may become my new "normal." My gums around my front 4 teeth are still numb. Underneath my upper lip where my nose connects to my face, where they lifted it for the Lefort osteotomy and the bone graft, is still quite tender and healing slowly.
I am thinking that at my age, healing is slower than it would be say for a 20 or 30 year old.
I have a lot of crepitus (grating sound or sensation produced by friction between bone and cartilage) in the left jaw joint...more than I had even before the surgery! This side of my jaw was manipulated much more than the right side. I still have a significant amount of pain in the left side jaw joint in addition to the grinding.
I often ask myself if I would have done this major surgery if I had an opportunity to rewind the months and the experience of the past year and I have to say..... I can't really answer that!
I am happy that I can now have nice straight teeth that can bite easily into a deli sandwich, but the journey hasn't been easy.
It's difficult to remember how things were before the double jaw surgery. I can say that I have about the same level of discomforts as I did before, they are just different. The discomforts are in different areas of my jaw and mouth.
So sometimes I feel that I just traded one discomfort for another. But my teeth are straight and my smile is nice.
So, there it is. A somewhat "end" to my jaw surgery journey.
I will post some other photos of the healing journey next time.