Sunday, 21 June 2015

Penultimate Day Tomorrow

Tomorrow (Monday 22nd June 2015), is the penultimate day for this whole braces, jaw surgery and implant adventure. Thank you to everyone who has read and/or commented on my blog thus far. I hope it has helped at least 1 person who may be on a journey even just partly like mine.

So, we passed the 7 yrs since the braces went on mark on 27th May.
I am now almost 10 months post BSSO.

In respect to my BSSO surgery, I can now eat an apple in 'normal' time, not like the 15 minutes it took me a few months ago. I can now eat pretty much anything, dried banana chips are probably the most difficult thing now but nuts, etc are all fine.

I will say though, I have had a LOT of jaw pain on the right hand side. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme nor reason to it, there's no specific time it hurts, the pain just begins round about my tempromandibular joint and spreads upwards. It's very much the same jaw pain I had post surgery, the feeling like someone is smacking me in the side of the face. And it's been accompanied with increased tinnitus. I've pretty much had to take painkillers on a daily basis. Although I did start going to see an osteopath and I can highly recommend that if you are reading this and having similar pain, try an osteopath. Initially, I didn't really know what an osteopath did or if they would be able to do anything for my jaw pain but I knew the hospital wasn't going to do anything about it, so I went with an open mind and if it worked great, if it didn't, well at least I tried it. And I can say, that after 4 or 5 treatments, the pain and tinnitus was definitely reduced. Unfortunately, I can't see my osteopath at the moment due to having had surgery for my bone anchored hearing aid and the pain has come back but I'm hoping to go back to see my osteopath as soon as I can.

Now, back to teeth.

I was at the dentist on Thursday for the first of my fillings. The restorative dentist was going to do them, but then the date I was given clashed with the date for my bone anchored hearing aid surgery so I ended up having the fillings scheduled with my dentist.

On Thursday, I got my inlaws to take me, given my history of fainting after getting a local anaesthetic.
I also mentioned a problem I was having with my lower left premolar (was giving me pain when I bit into food). So I got a small xray which showed there was nothing wrong with the premolar (possibly still not liking feeling too mobile after the braces) but the xray revealed that I have root resorption in the first molar next to that premolar. The root is pretty much half the length it should be. Good news though is that it is not giving me any bother so we need do nothing more than keep an eye on it.

Then came the filling and then came the violent shakes. I reacted to the adrenaline in the local anaesthetic. Dear Lord! Took an hour and 15 minutes for the shaking to stop! I have the other 2 fillings to get on 6th July and the dentist has told me she will try me with a local anaesthetic without adrenaline. At least I didn't faint. I'm not sure what is better, fainting or shaking. Didn't feel too great the next day, I'm definitely not one of these people who can get a filling done and then just go back to work afterwards.

And now, today, we are just about 12 hours away from the first part of my surgery for my implant. I'm to check in at 8.45am tomorrow. No breakfast and I'm guessing I'll see a return of the jaw surgery diet for the next few days :( That, I am not looking forward to.
I am getting IV sedation and have to tell them to give me local anaesthetic minus adrenaline.

I am nervous, although not as bad as before my jaw surgery. I have blocked the rest of my diary for this week and I *WILL* take time to recover....well, for the week anyway :)

After 7 years, we're nearly at the finish line!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The Dental Saga Continues

So after my visit to the restorative dentist, I then went to my regular dentist for my regular 6 month check up.

My dentist tells me I have enamel loss in 3 teeth...the 2 back molars and a premolar.

She said she could fill them, it would take 15 minutes but she wanted to see what the restorative dentist said.

Now, I'm beginning to wonder, was all this worth it? Was all the braces and surgery worth it to restore one tooth when recovery from surgery was hard, it took its toll on my physical and mental health and NOW, all my teeth are wobbly and I'm facing 4 or 5 fillings?

Fast forward to yesterday, 24th March 2015 and I'm back at the restorative dentist to get, what I thought, was the second filling.

Poor man, I had a list of questions and stuff to cover.

First up, my teeth are still wobbly. That's been 5 weeks since I had my braces off and if anything, I think my top central incisor is more wobbly.
He tells me not to worry too much about it, they have the backup plan of implanting it need be (and actually that will give a better aesthetic finish if they have to do a double implant). He explained that my roots are definitely shorter than they were before I started treatment.

Second, I tell him about the enamel loss my dentist picked up. He wondered why my dentist didn't just fill them but then I explained that she wanted to know what he said first.
So then he thought I could just go to the dentist and get them filled because, understandly, that is basic dentistry and he was concerned with restorative. Fair enough.
Then he looks through my notes and sees that my dentist is out of town and decides that instead of me having to travel to get the fillings done, he'll do them instead.

Third, I ask if there is anything they can do about my top central incisor and top right lateral incisor which have been chipped with the brackets of my braces.
That he could fix! So that was a case of taking out what looked like a burr with a disc on it and he just gently filed the tooth. It's now a bit squint but maybe only I am noticing that. But it looks better than it did.

Fourth, I ask if there is anything in my notes about max fax seeing my 6 months post op. I could swear when I saw them immediately post op that they had said they would see me 6 months post op. I remember at the time thinking 'oh my goodness, I've just had this big op and you don't want to see me for 6 months...that's ages away!'. But with it being so close to my surgery, by now, I wasn't sure if I had remembered that right.

The dental nurse didn't seem too happy that I had asked, and was totally like 'you need to phone max fax yourself'. Fair enough, I can easily phone (if someone will give me the number) but I'm not sure if they said 6 months or not. That was all I was really looking for. I wasn't asking them to DO anything about it, other than check my notes.
Cue a conversation with receptionist and still not really any clearer on that topic.

Finally, I asked if I would be allowed to go to my GP to get some diazepam or something to help calm me down before my implant. Considering how I was after the local anaesthetic for one filling, I'm really not looking forward to spending 90 minutes in the chair for the implant.

I have always had a fear of the dentist and it's only been in the past couple of years that I've been able to go to the dentist for a checkup without fainting. Give me an injection and I'm always in a heap on the floor.
So on discussion with the restorative dentist, having seen what I was like after he did the filling last month, he said he did wonder if I should get something.
He thinks I'm an ideal candidate for IV sedation. He's doing a course in it at the moment.
He will discuss this with his senior and will let me know when I go back for my 3 fillings.

He took impressions so they can make guides (or something) for when I get my implant done and for making me a blown denture. A blown denture will be like my retainer but will be better for the healing process after the first stage of implant. He didn't do the filling I was expecting.

Now some pics

The Green Seats

On the 19th February 2015 I had, what I thought, was an appointment with the hygienist.
Great stuff! My teeth can get a really good clean now my braces are off.

I was disappointed that I had some staining on my teeth, the teeth that had the big metal rings that anchored the braces on. I was keen to have this staining removed.

So I was super excited because I was getting to sit in the green seats today instead of in the orange seats. Green seats are for restorative dentistry, orange are for ortho.

I was called in and to my surprise I was seeing the restorative dentist instead.

I got a full teeth health check. No gum disease, surrounding tissue healthy.

He wobbled every tooth individually, most are wobbly, some are grade 1, others grade 2.

Wobbly teeth can be a sign of root resorption. My ortho said on Monday my teeth were wobbly due to being in heavy elastics for so long. Restorative dentist hmmmed.

He said that if my top central incisor remains wobbly, then they will take it out and do a double implant instead.

Then he explained the procedure for getting my implant done.

It will be 90 minutes in the chair, under a local anaesthetic. They will cut my gum, place the screw and then stitch it up and allow it to heal. Then I'll go back at a later date to have the tooth part fitted.

I'm really not looking forward to this. I had hoped this would be a general anaesthetic job.

Then I had 3 x-rays done.
I have 2 caries on the bottom molars where the anchor metal bands of my braces were.

Restorative dentist decided to fill one of them there and then. I really don't do well with local anaesthetics. By the time he was finished, I was shaking, likely with the effects of the adrenaline in the local anaesthetic. I had to phone my husband at work to come and take me home.

I was told to come back for the other filling.

Spent the rest of the day feeling quite sorry for myself. I had managed to reach the age of 37 with only 1 filling and now here I was with another one and another one to come.

Apparently it is common for there to be caries in the back molars after braces because you can't clean those teeth properly with the metal anchor rings on.

But still...

Implant date is set for 3rd June 2015

De-Bracing Day!

De-bracing day was 16th February 2015.

That was 6 years, 8 months and 20 days in braces.

I woke up at 6.45am REALLY nervous! Is there anyone in this world who gets more nervous than excited about getting their braces off?

My husband dropped me off at the orthodontist and I while I was sat in the waiting area, I could feel myself shaking!

What if when I got my braces off, I'd be left with little white squares on my teeth from where the brackets had been on for so long.

What if my teeth moved really quickly in the wrong direction whilst waiting for my retainers?
It's not like we can just make an adjustment or change the configuration of the elastics.

What if my jaw moves?

What about my false tooth on my retainer...I'll have to take it out for eating and that will mean no eating in public until I get my implant done.

As I was sat in the waiting area, my orthodontist came in...late as usual...and then I heard her tell the receptionist that she had a cold so if any patients didn't want to be treated, then to reschedule their appointments.

I know I've picked up lots of things since my surgery but there was no way I was rescheduling my appointment so I said I'd take the germs.

It took about 20 minutes to get the braces off. Was ok actually, even the dreaded burr wasn't too bad.

It felt really weird though! And my teeth looked HUGE!
I admit I did burst into tears when I saw my bare teeth in the mirror!

After that I went home and didn't really know what to do with myself except for look in the mirror 20 million times :)

I had bought an apple. A nice red shiny apple. I'd not eaten an apple for nearly 7 years.

Except my teeth were wobbly so I only manage to eat a little bit of it before envisioning my teeth coming out in the apple.

Back to ortho in the late afternoon to get my retainers.
At this point I told the ortho that my teeth were wobbly. She said it was just because I had been in heavy elastics for so long and that they should settle.

I got a Hawley retainer with my false tooth attached for the top. The good news was I could keep it in 24/7, that meant I don't have to take it out when eating!

I got an Essix retainer for the bottom.

I had a good few days where my teeth just really ached with the retainers and all I wanted to do was take them out to get a rest. But I persevered. I didn't really struggle with lisping or gagging with them in, actually just sleeping with them in overnight really helped in that respect I think.

Both retainers in full time for 2 weeks. I can take the lower retainer out for eating.
Then move to both retainers in from just after 6pm to next morning.

Now the pics!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Reverse Polarity of the Elastics

Yesterday I had an emergency trip to ortho. Last week, I was keeping a super close eye on my teeth and could see my top midline creeping ever so slowly towards the right. But on Friday I saw gaps! Gaps when I bite together, diagonally between top and bottom either side of my left canine.

Argh! Debanding is next week! No, no no no no.

There's no way I'm having my braces off and having to look in the mirror and be annoyed by gaps.
It's taken so long to get to this point, it should be as close to perfect as possible.

So back to ortho who wasn't really convinced but there was no way I was not having her do something about them.

But the solution was simple. Change the direction of the elastics on the left.

Teeth have mow moved back to where they were. Midline back in the correct place. Gaps almost fully closed again. Happy Fay :)

I'll admit, I am nervous about getting my braces off. Nothing to hold my teeth or jaws in place. I'm having heebie jeebies that I'll get my braces off in the morning and then by the time I get my retainers in the afternoon, my teeth and jaws will have moved all over the place!

Fingers crossed!

Friday, 30 January 2015


Yesterday I had an orthodontist appointment,. I had an inkling this might be my last appointment and that she would be saying, next time we deband. But didn't want to get my hopes up too much.

But yesterday, 6 years, 8 months and 2 days since I first got my braces on and started this very very long journey, she said those magic words...debanding!

I only got a retie yesterday on the top and a slight adjustment to the wire at the bottom because my gum is  bit red and sore near the back left molar where the incision site was.

She told me that I could cautiously go from wearing my elastics (blue on the right and orange on the left) 24/7 to only wearing them at night. But I'd need to keep a close eye on my teeth for any signs of movement. But rather than risk it, I'm just going to keep wearing them 24/7 and put up with the blue elastics and their continual snapping. It's only for a few weeks more.

Previously, I have only ever chosen 1 or 2 colours of ligs but in honour of my last adjustment, I chose a rainbow! They are super pretty!

Jaw wise, I've been feeling my area of altered sensation quite a lot this week. It could well be because the weather is freezing. Or maybe I'm eating lots. Or both. I attempted a snickers (cut up into slices) last week but the nuts were a no no, they just rolled around my mouth. It's odd isn't it, it's not like my teeth have lost their sharpness to eat nuts. But the jaw muscles say nope.

I'm looking forward to warmer weather when I won't have to wear my scarf out.

I will get a Hawley retainer with a pontic for the top and an Essix retainer for the bottom.

Debracing date is 16th February 2015 at 9am!!!!!

Picture time!

My pretty rainbows! There *is* a pot of gold at the end of these ones!
(And don't my teeth and bite look really good too?)

Serious face
Smiley Face
Side Profiles

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

18 Weeks and 5 Days

Wow that took a wee while to count back on the calender to see how long it has been post-op.

Last night, I was looking through photos on my phone and ended up looking at all the photos I have taken since 4th September.
I must admit, now, now I am a little shocked when I look at my post op pictures from the first 2 weeks or so. I didn't think at the time that I was that bad, but looking at them now, I'm like crikey moses! How swollen and bruised was I? It was a little bit amazing to look at them and compare with what I look like now.

And at the same time, I said to my husband last night, it feels really odd because it feels like the whole thing just didn't happen. Aside from not being able to eat certain things like pork and nuts, I'm back to a normal diet. Yes things do take a wee while longer to eat (pizza, a baked potato and coleslaw took me 1 hour to eat the other night) but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

And I can say that I still have the same area of numbness, although I think the better description would be altered sensation; I can feel touch, just not sharpness or pain, it feels odd when I touch it, I still feel like I have food down my chin when I don't but I don't notice it most of the time, usually after eating something challenging or when it is cold.

I now have to wear a big fluffy scarf when i go out, no snow here as yet but it is cold and my jaw certainly feels it more than it used to.

So, where are we with teeth and bite and so on.
Well *whispers* I think we might just actually be close to debracing!!
I knew the ortho I saw on my first post op visit was lying when he said braces off in 4 months LOL! But we're not too far off that now.
I had an appointment with my orthodontist last Thursday. The gap on the left that arose with my teeth shifting wilst my false tooth was out post op, has closed.
The gap on the right (actually the exact same gap between the exact same teeth as the left) is also closing. I got a re-tie with new coloured ligs (hot pink and pink for valentine's day) and e-link put on top left and right to make these final closures.
With the pain I've felt top right, I can already see that gap is closed.

Back to see the orthodontist in 2 weeks time and I think she's going to say we're done!

Of course, we won't be entirely finished, there will still be tooth restoration to do.

Part of me is actually a bit worried, how will I cope with no orthodontist appointments after nearly 7 years! and the other part of me is excited to see what kind of retainers I'll get, what my teeth really look like with no metal in the way and to be able to eat an apple for the first time in 7 years!