Tuesday, August 13, 2013

15 months post op pics

I took these photos in June at my 15 month mark.  I didn't get around to posting them until now. It's been a fun summer with vacations and pool time but sadly, it's coming to an end.

My surgeon is extremely pleased with my outcome.  I am fairly happy about things also.  I was super happy until I started my veneer work in July.  Don't get me wrong, it's taken me a while to come to terms with the fact that jaw surgery did not and could not make me drop-dead gorgeous.  There are still things about my face I thought would be better, but I was slightly delusional pre surgery.  I mean, they sawed my face apart, had it all out on the table, why couldn't they put me back together to look like Cindy Crawford?!  I know, I know, they are surgeons not miracle workers. (Well, I know that now.)  But after a few months of coming to terms with my new, not Cindy Crawford face, I'm OKAY with it.  I know it looks a bit better and it works a hell of a lot better, so that's good enough for me.

Veneers added a new level of drama. Now I'm bummed, in pain, and worried about how to handle it.  But I'll try to stay positive and talk with my cosmetic dentist tomorrow about it.  I'll update when I have some answers. 

For now, current pictures...


Not my typical profile pics, but the half-side angle was one I avoided like the plague for years.  Now, I don't hate it so bad...

   Teeth close up (before veneers) and clear retainers (luckily NOT like the ones I had as a kid)...

My mouth is looking great these days, but what the hell is up with the bags under my eyes?! 
Damn you old age!

And just for kicks, before surgery and 5 months post op (that I thought I would look like for-evah) to compare to now...

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


After almost three years of dental purgatory, I am brace free!  I feel naked, and I like it!

Here are a few pics of the 2 hour process of removing ceramic braces...


  Here is my bite positioner I have to wear for 4 weeks.  I'll wear it 4 hours a day at least, and every night until my bottom teeth are straightened back out and ready for veneers...

Cute look, no?  I don't even care that it's foul, and tastes bad, and makes me drool and I can't speak with it in.  I'm just glad to be brace free!  Well folks, I'm off to eat me some corn on the cob, woohoo!

 I'll leave you with one last awful pic.  It's unflattering as all get out, but I love my new big cheesy smile!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

One year plus

It's been just over one year since my surgery.  I meant to post last month, but never got around to it.  So, the bad news...I'm still in braces

The good news...they come off in 17 days!

The fantastic news...I feel great!

I still have a bit of numbness around the sides of my chin. I'm sure it's as good as it will get at this point, but it only bothers me when something brushes it, like my coat collar.  There are things about my appearance that I will always wish better improved, but functionally I feel fantastic.  I can chew and bite normally for the first time in my life.  My TMJ pain is at least 90% improved from before surgery and I hardly ever get a headache.  This last point is amazing to me.  I didn't realize that my head, along with my jaw was in constant pain for so many years.  I also have great range of motion, 44mm's, which my OS says is astonishing considering my case. 

So, now I count down the days until de-banding.  I'll have an articulated bite positioner (or something like that) I'll have to wear for a while, then I'll get my lower veneers and be done.  I can see the finish line finally and I'm over the moon happy!  Hope you are all well :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Scratch Plan B

Shortly after surgery, my OS told me the plan was to complete my treatment down the road with veneers on 6 bottom teeth.  My bottom teeth are teeny tiny and have gaps between all front 6.  To prevent shifting of my teeth and for bite retention they would need to be touching.  I discussed this with my OD and asked him what plan B was.  I told him I was not comfortable with 6 lower veneers if I had another option.  I just couldn't stand the thought of altering my natural teeth which were perfectly functional even though they didn't look perfect. I shuddered at the cost, the fact that veneers would need replaced at some point in my life, and the thought of my bottom teeth looking different from my top teeth.  So, he came up with plan B for me which was to pull the bottom 6 together with braces then build up the two teeth behind my bottom eye teeth to close those two gaps.  I was much more comfortable with this plan as it only altered two teeth. So, we progressed with this plan and have been working on it for the past several months.

Skip to last week...
It didn't work.  My bottom teeth did come together.  But my jaws are wonky and not symmetrical, so to keep the midlines lined up I ended up with a very large space on the left side and none on the right.  You could almost put another tooth in that gap!  So, we've had to nix plan B and go back to plan A.  I'm very frustrated.  Not with my team or anything, just with the situation.  They tried, and I'm thankful for that.

I saw the cosmetic dentist my OS wants me to see.  He said 6 lower veneers are my only option at this point.  If I would have gone along with this recommendation from the begining, I'd be done and brace free today.  Oh well.  Now, we must spend the next few months spreading the teeth back out to where they were to prep them for veneers.  I know, I know, I'm an idiot!  I've had these braces on since July of 2010 and I'm antsy to be done.

Over the next 3 months, hopefully the teeth will cooperated and I'll get started on my veneers.  I have to come up the 10 grand ASAP to cover the cost.  Nauseated!  Between the $5,500 for braces (this round), several hundred dollars in out of pocket expenses for surgery and $10, 000 for veneers, I'm financially drained.  At least the surgery was covered I guess, but I wasn't expecting the braces to cost so much and I was never planning on 10 grand in veneers so I'm feeling quite stressed about all the money.
Sorry for the whining, I should be more grateful I suppose.  I'm just stressed about the unexpected costs.