Monday, March 19, 2012

11.5 Weeks: Orthodontic Torture Devices, Chewing, and More!

I had appointments with my orthodontist and surgeon today. Lucky me.

There has been no change in the mobility in my front segment and my orthodontist is still concerned. He spent a good 5 minutes studying my teeth as I opened and closed, looking at how much the segment moved, which teeth hit and in what order, and then put some new bends in the wire. The newly bended wire will move my top front teeth up and my bottom front teeth down so they stop banging into each other. He also put me into class III elastics to pull my upper jaw forward and my lower jaw back and offset some of the movements happening on the top (orthodontics is one big game of push and pull). The elastics gave me an instant headache, but they did pull my lower jaw back far enough that my teeth aren't clashing anymore. Small miracle - I'll take it!

My surgeon still maintains that the amount of movement in my front segment is normal. He also thinks that the amount of movement is less this time than the last time (it isn't - but there was no point in arguing). He said that my upper and lower teeth mesh together well with good overlap (this is true - when they're not banging into each other) and it will all work out. I wish I was as certain, and I'm sure my poor husband wishes this, too. He will get the moral support medal of honor when this whole ordeal is over. On a positive note, my surgeon gave me the OK to chew very soft things like pancakes and eggs. I'm so excited about this!!!!

I'm seeing another surgeon for a second opinion next month. I really hope surgeon #2 can confirm that everything is normal so I can stop worrying, although part of me feels like the appointment will be a waste of time. When I made the appointment, the only thing they wanted to know was who did my original surgery. That is irrelevant and they were not happy that I wouldn't tell. I feel like it violates my surgeon's confidentiality if I tell, just like it would violate my confidentiality if they told my surgeon I saw them for a 2nd opinion. Geez.

My next appointments are in a month and I hope to have better news by then. Fingers crossed!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Day 65: Can 2 out of 3 Dental Professionals Be Wrong?

I sure hope so. 

In my last entry I noted that my upper front teeth were mobile when they took the splint out. Turns out it isn't just my teeth, it's the entire segment (from canine to canine) that's mobile. I was elastic-ed shut for the past 3 weeks in the hopes that it would firm up, but nothing has changed. 

My dentist and orthodontist are both concerned about it - apparently it is not normal to have your jaw still moving around 9 weeks post-surgery. However, my surgeon says it's completely normal and my dentist and orthodontist don't know what they're talking about. He told me to wait another 3 or 4 months and it should firm up by then. If it doesn't, I will need another surgery. And just for fun, I'm not allowed to chew until it firms up. That will make 5-6 months of not chewing, and potentially 9 months if another surgery is required. I left his office and cried. I made the best of the past 2 months of recovery and not chewing, but I am beyond irritated at the prospect of another 3-7 months of not being able to eat properly. I really, really, really don't want to go through this surgery again, but if I do have to, I'd rather get it over with sooner than later. 

Readers, have you or anyone you know had an upper jaw segment that is still mobile 9 weeks after surgery? Is this really normal? In addition to my dentist and orthodontist believing it is not normal, everything I can find online says it is not normal, so I'm working on finding another surgeon who will give me an honest 2nd opinion. I'm not sure I will be able to find one, professionals in my town are a close knit group, and they don't like to comment on another's work (even when you don't disclose your current provider's name, which I wouldn't do). I want to believe my surgeon, I really do.........I think he is amazingly talented and dedicated to his patients.but I don't want to let another 4 months go by only to find out that something should have been done right now.