I have two anniversaries this week. In 3 days it will be our 3 month anniversary of arriving in Dublin….more on that later this week.
Today however, is the 6 month anniversary of my oral surgery, and I thought it’d be a good time to do a quick update on how things are progressing.
One of the analytical tools I use on this site allows me to see what type of things people search for on Google or other search engines that eventually leads them here. Besides someone searching bob wilson’s blog, or something like that, the two most common searches are “should men wear earrings” and the other has to do with orthodontic devices.
So since it I thought it would be helpful for those who are interested, or those considering the same procedure, to know how I’m progressing.
(If you are relatively new to the blog and wonder what procedure I’m talking about, you can read more here and here.)
First off, as you might know, I had my braces off in mid-August, and am wearing a retainer while I sleep. I am supposed to be getting Invisalign braces shipped to me for some final tweaks to my bite, but they still haven’t arrived.
The two issues I have with my bite at this point, one of which the Invisalign will not be able to fix, is that the molars on the left side of my mouth don’t meet. We’re not sure if this is a result of the surgery or the orthodontics, and it may resolve itself in time…or it might not. The other is that the front teeth are still not exactly where they should be. But compared to how my bite was previously…I’m very happy.
Of course, my treatment was complicated by the fact that I was moving out of the country within a few months of the surgery, and a bit earlier than the braces actually should have been taken off. So my orthodontist decided that rather than having me switch to an orthodontist here, we’d switch to the Invisalign. Still waiting to see how that goes, however.
As far as how I have healed. There is no pain and hasn’t been for months. I do have 3 molars that are sensitive when I brush & floss them, but I don’t think it is anything other than my jaw and gums still being in the process of healing.
The biggest issue at this point is the continued numbness in my lower lip and chin. While some feeling has come back, it still feels like there is a shot of Novocaine there all the time. And it feels like, while the nerves are healing, they are a bit screwed up at this point.
For example, if I tap my chin in various spots, I feel in my teeth. If I tap my teeth, I feel it in my chin. If I drink something cold, (specifically milk) it feels like there are a couple of streams of milk running down my chin. )I’ve finally trained myself to stop wiping the imaginary trails of milk, but that means when I actually do have something on my face, I can tend to miss it).
I’ve heard from my surgeon and others that the lower lip and chin can take up to a year to heal fully and have a return of feeling. And while it can be annoying at times, it is not that big of a deal.
And as I’ve mentioned before…I can breathe through my nose now, and I’ve even heard that I don’t snore anymore.
I’ve even started to get used to my reflection in the mirror…although that did take some time.
Over the past several months, I’ve been contacted by a number of people who are considering this type of surgery. In addition to asking what the process is like, (which you can read on the posts referenced above) wanting to know if it was worth it. And without question, I would say it was…my only regret was that I didn’t have it done earlier.
If you’re going to do it, however, keep in mind, that in addition to the procedure itself, there is the time involved, (for us, several trips to Rochester, NY…really, find a good surgeon…it’s worth the drive) and the cost. In addition to gas back and forth to Rochester, a hotel for Liz during the surgery, there was the cost of the braces ($6200) as our insurance only covered braces for people under 18, and the copays for all of the medical procedures, and gear that now sits in my head (about $1600).
If you are thinking about having the procedure done and had any questions as far as how it went for me (sorry I’m not qualified to give medical advice), please feel free to contact me, and I’d love to answer any questions I can about my experience.