My surgeon was smiling ear to ear again when he saw me. Remarked that I look really well, my bite is solid, and he's happy with the way the implant site looks and said I'll come back in Jan for him to check the integration in to the bone. If all looks well, then I get shipped off to my prosthodontist for my crown. I have to agree with him on the looking well part. It wasn't until after I got my records from my ortho after that I saw them and said, "wow, I was still pretty puffy in the 6 month post op records I had in August." (See those records here. I thought I was just gaining weight in my face, but I am the same weight as the records taking yesterday at the bottom of this post and I see a bit of difference in my face for sure) Makes sense. I feel like I had that final settling and lingering puff drop off around 9 months post op last time, and here we were now almost 10 months post op and I think it's finally left me again. I just didn't realize until comparing the photos. Crazy how long it all takes! So, all in all I can see why he was really happy with everything. Even though this wasn't a jaw appointment, it's hard to not chit chat for a minute about it. I told him my numbness is still doing great, and if anything, I can swear that the numb patch on my lower right lip/chin is even improved a smidge. He mentioned I may have had a little compression on the nerve there and he freed it up with revision. I finally mentioned to him that I am not feeling natural at all. My muscles don't feel relaxed enough and overall just not relaxed/natural feeling. He reminded me that I am not only getting everything to settle in a new bite different than the bite I had for 30 years, but we also threw everything for a loop being in yet another new position after the first failed surgery (and a bad position at that), and by the end of the two years when it just started to get settled in to it's new home, we go and reset everything again. So, like everything else, it's going to take a lot of time for everything to calm down after what it's been through. Understandable, and I already knew that, but it's always nice to get comforted by your surgeon and reassured what's happening is OK/normal. He also gave me his blessing to be on my snowboard for the season starting soon in another month or so, and while he was less excited to give me the go ahead for this, also gave me his blessing to get back on my road bike..... but be VERY careful. Needless to say, I left the office is pretty good spirits!
I head over to my orthodontist after for final records. FINAL records. Crazy to be at this place after 4 years of hell. Quick few xrays and some photos and we were done there. Chatted with my ortho a minute and asked him how much longer for the 24/7 retainer wear. He said typically he will start pulling back around 6 months after debanding, but given everything that's been done to me and the mobility of my teeth.... he suggests wearing it as often as I can during the day still. I already figured on that myself, so that will be that. They said if they don't see me before (to get my retainers adjusted with the implant and veneer work), then expect a card in the mail in about 3 months to make a check up appointment in 4 months from now. So crazy walking out of my ortho's office with no appointments on the books.
This is all still an emotional roller coaster for me. I truly am sad to start winding down and saying goodbye to my docs. I'm also going back and forth on how I feel about everything over all. Some days I am like "omg, I love this new face. So worth going through all of this for this amazing bite!" and then other days I feel more, "meh, why did I do this to myself?" The truth is honestly somewhere in the middle for me. I'm also still trying to process my lack of closure. I'm still really involved in the jaw community and helping other revision patients out. In that mix, I've helped out more than a few cases that didn't turn out well from my first surgeon. Doing this keeps it fresh for me and probably delays my closure and moving on, but I can't help but talk to these people and help if I can. Nobody deserves to be hung out to dry by her with nobody to talk to like what happened to me. I still fear I'll never get closure. Short of one of my revision docs laying it all out for me and confirming to me what happened was that bad, or having my first ortho or surgeon reach out to admit the wrong doing and/or apologize..... I just don't think there will ever be closure otherwise. As time passes I'll hopefully think of it less, but there will always be a hole in my heart where there is still this unknown about what happened to me and why.
I'm also dealing with the decision on what to do with my teeth now. I whitened them and they look much better, but I am still dealing with a patch work of bonding on the upper fronts. They really could use the vaneers, but the thought of dropping 10K on vaneers that are basically going to be temporary for me until I am forced to do the 15-20K worth of implant/bridge work eventually...... I really don't know what to do. :( That is a lot of money, and I am starting to think it's not worth it. I notice the pieced bonding, but in pictures and just carrying on in normal every day life with people, nobody notices. I am leaning towards letting them be at this point.
Here are my records taken the other day. I also put together a 3 layer before/during/after comparison. It's really fascinating being able to look back and see how this all evolved. Part of me wishes I would have done that 1 picture a day video to REALLY see the changes. Oh well, that is an idea for somebody else pre op reading this blog!