10 September 2009
My top teeth have moved a fair bit but my bottom ones havent budged. I think because my top teeth have been manipulated so much since surgery they are alot easier to move. Eating is almost back to normal (by normal I mean before the braces but with the expander). Nuts, biting into apples, lollies, crusty bread etc are all no nos and pretty much impossible to eat anyway but it was like that before the braces so no big deal. I do miss biting into things though... right now it gives me goosebumps just thinking about it! Its hard to explain how my teeth feel right now, especially my front ones but its almost like they are half falling out and have cavities in them so they are sensitive and unstable... not a good combo if you were to bite into something. I mean they arent falling out or have cavities but you get the point.
I see my surgeon tomorrow for my 3 month check up. She hasnt seen me in braces yet so I'm looking forward to her reaction. Alot of people I know find it strange that both my ortho and surgeon are females but I've always had female dentists so to me its not so strange. I never planned it that way it just worked out that my surgeon worked in the same building as my orhto so it seemed silly not to use her. I've been very happy with my choices so far which is really lucky I think. My orhto is the kind of person who just dives in and does what she needs to do then says ok see you next time and doesnt tell you whats going on. I have to actually say ok so what are you doing? I trust her though so I'm not really worried. I am one to research things to death though so when she does give me some info I'm right on it then by my next visit I'm an expert (not really, I just think I am) on the subject :)
31 August 2009
13 August 2009
10 August 2009
05 August 2009
You can see that my teeth are coming in faster from the bottom which my ortho tells me is normal. She was happy to hear that they are coming together because it means that my teeth will move easily when she puts the braces on. 3 weeks this Friday until they go on! I have to get a veneer removed the Wednesday before which sits over my tooth beside my front tooth. I know this is going to look horrible but it has to be done. I found out from my old dentist who fitted the veneer if she ground down my tooth much before the veneer was put on and she said no, it was very minimal so I was over the moon to hear that. I was thinking oh no, my tooth is going to be like half the size because I know some dentists really grind the tooth down alot before a veneer is put on. She mentioned why she didnt do it and it was because she thought I would get braces down the trach cos I was so young when I got it fitted (17). Very smart :)
So not much else is going on with my teeth really. I still cant chew some foods like steak, nuts, apple with skin on and stuff like that but I am definitely more used to the expander now. I still dont speak normally but I'm kinda used to that too.
I will post again if my teeth close up more (and I'm hoping they are touching by the time my braces go on!) Woohoo!
27 July 2009
So onto my teeth now - my front 2 teeth feel kinda weird at the moment. Like they are loose or something and they are also a bit tender as well. My ortho and OS told me that this was normal so I'm not panicking - I just dont like the feeling that my teeth are gonna fall out!
I think my gap has closed up about half a mm in the last week which is encouraging. I'm hoping it closes up a little more each week :) I'm an optimist. Other than the front teeth situation, I'm feeling good and I was chewing alot better on the weekend which was nice. I'm pretty sure I'm grinding my teeth in my sleep too which is not a nice feeling to be woken up to! Lots of pops and scraping noises - gross. I am however breathing through my nose when I sleep for some of the night which is a whole new experience for me. Even though I cant quite hold my lips together comfortably yet I'm still managing to breathe through my nose. Amazing!
23 July 2009
21 July 2009
I think its amazing though how fast our body adapts to new things - like chewing with only 4 teeth, and swallowing with a big metal thing in the roof of your mouth, and smiling without revealing too much of your humungous gap to strangers. When I first got the RPE put in I couldnt swallow at all and was worried I would be drooling for the next 6 months, but it only took a matter of hours before I worked around it. Something that I find really strange is not being able to bite food with my front teeth. I tried to bite off a prawn last night but couldnt and had to shove it in whole! You really need to cut up everything in bite sized peices otherwise you end up putting too much in your mouth or just giving up and not eating it. Sometimes I look at my bf when he's eating and say 'you know how lucky you are you can chew that!' I dont think you can appreciate chewing and eating all foods until you cant chew and eat all foods. I cannot wait until I can eat a steak again, or nuts, or crusty bread, or bite into a pizza... how I miss you :(
20 July 2009
16 July 2009
13 July 2009
I put a heat pack on my cheeks and upper lip last night to try and get the last of this swelling down. I dont know if it worked - if it did then its only a tiny bit. It felt nice though and at least it promoted some blood flow in the areas.
My bite is completely stuffed at the moment too. I think only my back two molars are touching on both sides and thats it. I also have a lovely overbite going on. I did have a very small one before but now its full on. Apparently this is all part of the process so I guess I just have to trust my ortho. I was told in the beginning that there might be a very small chance I will need a 2nd surgery to correct my overbite, but after more review my ortho said it wouldnt be worth it for 2 or 3mm. I couldnt agree more! I am not keen on a 2nd surgery AT ALL!
Chewing is a real chore at the moment because everything either falls to the front of my mouth and I cant pull it back in without using my finger or its just too hard. I struggled with a chicken caesar salad on the weekend because the lettuce wouldnt stay in the back and would hang out of my mouth... nice huh? I have to laugh about it because I know in a few months it will be a distant memory.
Onto the positives now... I am really liking my new smile. I feel like my mouth is a little wider too because my teeth are alot closer to my cheeks. Before my smile was empty but now there are teeth from ear to ear! I have to focus on what is really going on rather than the gap and eating. Although its hard because I love food and eating... now I'm hungry.
08 July 2009
6 more turns of the expander then hopefully thats it. But in saying that my arch is so much wider its incredible so I dont really mind doing the extra expansion if it means gaining a great smile. Someone said to me today that going through all of this is 'character building'. I think thats just something people say to make you feel better about looking ugly :) I just have to keep reminding myself that this isnt permanent!
06 July 2009
Ughhh. Saw the ortho this morning and she wants me to do another 8 turns (2mm) so I'm kind of bummed. I was hoping I was done with it so I could start the stabilisation period - in other words get this gap closed up! Oh well, I guess I just have to accept it. If its going to get me the best results then bring it on. The gap is big enough now that another 2mm wont make much difference. The good news is that she said I looked great (better than before surgery) and pointed out my new cheekbones! My face seems more rounded and shapely now whereas before it was longer and had little shape. I'm just looking forward to seeing my new smile without a big black hole in the middle of it. Here's a pic as of today.
03 July 2009
I get braces on 6 weeks after I stop expanding so its not that long to wait. Once they are on the gap will start to close and also they will take notice away from the gap as well. I never though I'd look forward to braces :) but I am.
As for the freakin' expander, I hate it...with a passion. Just sitting watching TV or working is fine, but when I have to talk or eat its a real pain. I sound sort of drunk and anything with an 'eee' sound is pretty much impossible to say. My tongue doesnt play with it alot so I dont have a sore spot or anything which is one good thing. I am counting down the days until it comes off. It should be about a week before xmas - if the only present I get is the expander taken out then I will be very happy!
Swelling continues to go down a little more each day. I notice it the most on my upper lip area under my nose. I still have numb areas on my cheeks, gums, nose, and under my eyes as well but sensation is coming back slowly. All the stitches have fallen out so it feels alot more comfortable up there. It is still quite tender but thats to be expected. I'm so glad the surgery is over because that was the biggest part of all this for me. Now its just about healing and creating my new smile which is really exciting.
29 June 2009
Eating is annoying because I cant really chew properly. One reason is that it hurts a bit and my jaw is unstable. Another is that alot of my teeth arent touching because my palate is changing! With my old bite my back upper molars would sit inside my lower molars but now they are sitting almost on top of them. I still have another 7 days of expansion yet so my bite will continue to change until thats finished.
I have a lovely gap now which is about 4mm big - its not too bad but its still a GAP! Its very strange to look in the mirror and see it. Only another 7 weeks until the braces go on and the gap can close up so its not too far away.
I see my ortho next Monday and she will tell me if I need more expansion or not (I'm hoping not!) I will make sure I update here alot more often, promise :)
10 June 2009
I also bought some supplies for post surgery...
Vitamin C (meant to help with cell regeneration)
Arnica (helps minimise bruising)
Hirudoid cream (good for bruising as well as promoting blood flow to damaged tissue)
Thats it for now. Anything else I need my very caring partner will go out and get it for me :)
Ill be back to update later on the scrap metal cemented in my mouth and how super it feels...
01 June 2009
27 May 2009
Next Wednesday I'm having impressions done, then the following Wednesday I'll have the RPE fitted... ugh. Then only 2 days later I have surgery so everything is happening really fast. I am fairly certain that I am covered for surgery by my private health cover and Medicare so thats a good thing. The braces though are going to cost more than I thought...$6950... wow. Also, another cost which I didnt think about (or was told about) was the RPE device. This little sucker (the word I want to use rhymes with sucker) is worth $1600! They are giving me 20% off which takes it down to $1280. Better than nothing I suppose. It must be a pity discount because they realise I'm going to be going through all this pain and discomfort and paying so much money. I dont mind though, bring on the pity discounts!
I'm starting to get more and more anxious about it all. I guess I'm just trying to think of the big picture and the end result.
Just put me to sleep now and wake me up when its all pretty.
25 May 2009
Here's the answers she gave me to my questions:
How much will it cost? Surgery is $2500 and the anaesthetist will be approx $500 so $3000 all up before my refund from my insurance (which I am unsure of yet). Its cheaper than I thought, but still not cheap!
How long would I be in hospital? Maximum of 1 night and I could possibly go home in the afternoon if all looks good! I wont get my hopes up though.
How long would I need off work? 2 weeks but some people go back after 1... I am going to take the 2 :)
Will incisions be made in my cheeks? No!
Will it affect the shape of my face and nose? If so how? A little, my nostrils will be flared very slightly either side - but only a tough which is fine because I have a faily narrow nose anyway, and my cheekbones may become more defined... but other than that only my smile will be affected.
Will I need a 2nd surgery? 99% sure I wont (for my small over bite)
Am I a good candidate for surgery? Very good, I dont smoke, I am fit and healthy, good oral hygiene and I'm only 24
What is the success rate of the surgery? 100% from her personal experience. Only side affect is possibly numbness around the gums.
Anything else I should know? The gap. She said think of Madonna x 2 so that isnt as bad as I thought. She even said it may not be as big as that because I will only need approx 8mm of expansion. Who knows though, a gaps a gap to me whether its 1 Madonna's or 2.
I have just contacted my ortho to organise the fitting of the torture device... that part is what I dread most. I also have a veneer I might need removed before the surgery but I'm not sure yet. Its all happening so fast - but its better than sitting around for another month or 2 waiting and getting more and more anxious. My surgeon also said I will lose between 3 and 6kg from being on the liquid diet for 2 weeks, so time to gorge!
19 May 2009
23 April 2009
My teeth are pretty straight. Very minor crowding in the bottom and even less in the top (except for one tooth which I had hidden with a veneer when I was 18). The problem is that my upper palate is very narrow and I have a bit of an overbite. When I smile I have 4 great teeth in the front then I have this empty space and it looks like I have no more teeth back there! So I have known this for ages but talked myself into believing that braces and an expander could fix it... well I was wrong. I need upper jaw surgery along with braces to fix this thing, which I wasn't too happy to hear. So, I am scheduled to meet with a surgeon and discuss the surgery and if I am willing to go through with it... stay tuned.
P.s. I have read through some great blogs which have really helped with my understanding of surgery and braces so thanks all!