My prosth gave me my temps and we had an appointment about 3 weeks later to do the permanents. The office called right as I was walking out of the door to get to the appointment for the permanents and the assistant called out sick, so my appointment was canceled. Womp wwwoommmmppppp. So that got pushed off another week or two. At first they wanted to see me yesterday, but then it dawned on me that I was leaving for a diving trip out of the country today and there is no way my orthodontist was going to have time to make me a new retainer after getting the veneers. So in a whirlwind week of appointments, my prosth was able to squeeze me in last week, then I went right over and got fitted for new retainers. Then back to pick up retainers a day or two later, then a cleaning with my prosth this week and another check on the veneers, then back to my ortho for another retainer (more on that later in this post), and then I had my 1 year check up with my jaw surgeon this week. Needless to say, I am tired of driving all over the Bay Area the last week or so, but I am SO glad to have all of this done and my team work with me to get me all finished up before my dive trip. It would have been a disaster going to Bonaire with temps in. I wouldn't have been able to dive, and the whole point of this trip was a celebratory dive trip to mark me being done with jaw work and being able to dive again. That would have sucked!
Anywho.... I get the permanent veneers last week. They're gorgeous. Really gorgeous and I am SO happy with them. I was joking to my prosth that I was really feeling bummed about spending 7500 bucks on something so vain, but he reminded me those teeth were so compromised and the bonding so hacked that there was bacteria, cavities, and everything else going on with those teeth and medically they required restoration. So, that makes me feel a little bit better. Regardless, I actually was glad about these after I got them. They're gorgeous and really perfect my smile. When we were done my prosth gave me a big hug. I could tell he was proud of where we got after the last few years and reminded me that basically I was a tough case but he enjoyed doing this with me and I had a great attitude through everything. I headed over across the Bay to my orthodontists office and everybody gushed about my veneers, basically saying that they see a lot of dental work come through and they know what good work looks like, and mine is REALLY good work. I already knew that....my prosth is amazing, as is the rest of my docs, and he finally got his time to shine here as he was mostly on the bench through majority of my treatment up until recently. So, needless to say I've been smiling ear to ear after these final touches on my teeth has just really been the icing on the cake at the end of a long bake in the oven of a journey!
When my prosth canceled on me I had to reschedule the visits to my ortho to have molds and a new retainer done. They were nice enough to accommodate me as always. They take a look at my old retainer and think it's still in decent enough shape and fits well enough to send it back to the lab to fix up some acrylic on the front wire to protect it from the veneers (it will scratch them and leave black marks). This was Thurs and new retainer couldn't be ready until Tues. I saw the wheels turning in my ortho's head, and I am sure he saw the look of worry on my face when I thought about being without a retainer for 4-5 days. Right away he said, "for a normal patient that would be fine by now, but for you with everything we've been through and all your loose teeth.... not worth it. Let me make a phone call." And he phones his wife (also a local dentist) and has somebody drop my molds off to her to make an essix retainer with that I could pick up the next morning. Amazing and so thoughtful. Freaking love my orthodontist, and his wife was super nice for helping me out too. I hated being in the essix for 5 days. I clench like a banshee in those and causes me jaw fatigue and a huge headache. So I was happy when Tues rolled around and I could get my hawley retainer back. Ortho takes a look, puts it in my mouth, and I can see the wheels turning in his head again. No go. He said he feels like it took a beating going through the heating/curing process again, the arch bar was still too bent out (my prosthodontist bent it out to keep it off my temps after he put them in), and there appeared to be a weak point in the wire he said would eventually break. Again, because of everything I've been through, not worth the chance of handing me off this retainer and having it bust on me while i am out of the country for 10 days. Even if I wasn't going out of the country, he's the kind of doc that wants to do it right, and I really appreciate that. So, new mold and ordered a whole new retainer. I was sweating bullets thinking I'd be stuck with that essix for two weeks until I was back from my trip, but to my great surprise, he was able to do a quick turn around with the lab and get my retainer in today.... just hours before I hop on my red eye to Bonaire. PHEW!!! So thankful for all the hoops they jumped through for me to get this all done this last week AND get it done right instead of half assed!
My 1 year follow up with my surgeon went great. He got to get a look at the final restorations on the implant he did and see the new veneers too. He said my bite is dead on perfect still and we're officially past the point of bone relapse threat and now we're just watching for condylar resorption threat. I chatted him up about that more and for anybody else who would find the information useful, here is what he said: ICR (the joint resorption I was just talking about) is more common in women, esp if they go through hormonal changes like pregnancy. It's more common in revision cases. My systemic joint issues don't help me out either. Luckily I am probably not on the baby making train in this life time, so at least I've got that going for me in terms of ICR threats. He said my condyles look great though. Nice, big, round, and they appear well centered and happy in their home. So, lets hope that business stays like that! My opening is around 40mm, which is well within normal limits. New pano shows bones have healed nicely, and when he was in getting my plates and screws he got to get a visual on that and said everything not only healed nice, but REALLY nice. Even nicer than some first time surgery patients, let alone a tough revision. All of this is WAY awesome news. Only hang up is my scar tissue is lumpy after screw removal. This isn't news to me. I knew going in to get the plates out that we were probably going to have to battle that. Nothing my surgeon can do about it. When you slice and dice in to tissue this many times, this is what happens. So, he can go in and free that up if it bothers me more down the road. I do get a little food stuck up in the pockets between some of the scars, but I am waiting to see how much more settles. I want to say it took a good 9-12 months after my surgeries for the scar tissue to fully settle. No big deal to have him free a little of that up real quick at an appointment. All in all though, everything is looking really great and I left the office is really great spirits. And I left the office feeling really odd, because I don't have an appointment on the books now until May 2018. Crazy!
This was a lengthy update, but a lot going on the last few weeks. Bringing this to a close because I am literally about to walk out of the door to go catch a flight for my first big post op dive trip. My husband has talked about doing this with me as a celebration when I was done all of this mess, and now it's here! We're flying first class and everything, so this will be a real treat. I am crossing my fingers that the jaw gods will be good to me and I have little to no soreness and I can dive as usual. Last time I tried to dive a year post op from first surgery it was a disaster. I had to cancel a few days of dives because I could barely open my mouth after the first day of two tank dives. I really hope that doesn't happen again, but it very well might and I am walking in to this one eyes wide open, but hoping for the best. Here are a few shots from recently as well as the new records from my check up. So weird seeing the pano without the plates/screws around my nose!