Gosh...it's been a little over four years since my jaw surgery and sliding genio and just thought I'd post an update to how I'm doing four years later. I love smile, I give Dr. Kawakami in Sierra Vista, AZ all the thanks!! He did an awesome job for going into braces for the second time around. I had braces in my early twenties and was told I needed the surgery back then but didn't have the insurance to cover it back then. Dr. Wood in Tucson who did my lower jaw advancement surgery was great! I've had no issues at all except with an ongoing slight numbness in my lower lip and chin area. Overall, I have had so many compliments on what a great smile I have and I tell people that I paid a lot of money for this smile but it was so worth it in the end.
Wow...it doesn't seem possible that it's already been a year since my lower jaw was advanced and my chin reduced. Where has the time gone???? I have to tell you after getting my braces off in July I was quite happy with having gone through all the poking, proding, snapped rubber bands, pain etc...it was well worth the journey.
I still have some numbness in my lower lip and chin area which seems to be dissipating ever so slowly. That has been the hardest part of my recovery is the numbness to my lower lip and chin. My oral surgeon referred me to Dr. Day in Phoenix for a consult to see what his thoughts were on the numbness. He felt that I had probably 80% of the feeling back and that I would NOT be a candidate for micro nerve surgery. He felt that it could be a good two years before I get most of the feeling back due to the chin reduction and advancement. So...I am thankful for the little numbness I still do have...although at times it feels like it's NEVER going away.
My biggest concern with the numbness of the lower lip was...how will it feel to kiss someone with a numb lower lip??? Well...I have recently found out and it's a bit strange as I don't have all the feeling there...but my lips are still kissable and I'm able to kiss just like before...well I think anyways...LOL!!! The recipient of my kisses thinks I kiss wonderfully so there you have it... :)
So...all in all I am very happy with having gone through with my surgery at such a late age in life. I turned 49 this year and it's the first time in my entire life I can actually close my lips naturally without forcing them closed around my teeth...it's a beautiful thing I must say! Thank you to everyone who's followed my journey over these past months and for all the encouragement and support you provided me through it all.
Wow...it's been since July 15th that I got my braces off and I was so excited showing everyone my new smile...I almost forgot to post so you all could see my final results!! I am BRACE-FREE...and it feels so wonderful! I can tell you it was quite painful getting those darn things off and Dr. Kawakami is NOT a gentle man....I felt like swatting him! :) So, I just went in last week and got them all clean and shiny and a few more trips to the dentist and I will be done with anyone having anything to do with my mouth for a LONG TIME...well...except my dental hygenist...oh...and my annual check up.
I am quite happy with my results and still am working on getting more feeling in my chin area and lower lip. I have noticed improvements and it seems like some days are better than others...or more noticeable than others. It feels wonderful to have my lips close naturally and not have to force them to close, something I always wanted to be able to do!!
So, I am being a good girl and wearing my retainer like a I should...I do take if off occassionally so as to enjoy being bad...LOL...but then I pop it back in. I'd just like to thank everyone who's followed my journey and all the friends I've met along the way. It's been a long road but one that has been well worth the journey. I'll be posting updates on the numbness from time to time so as to keep up to date on that but otherwise I wish you all the best on your journey too, it may be long...but it's worth the beautiful smile in the end!
Here I am today just messing around at work...not real busy today! I went to see Dr. K last week for my impressions for my retainers...YAY!!! Only three weeks before I will be done with my braces and I have to be honest with you...I CAN NOT wait! My favorite assistant Shelly handed me this binder and asked me choose what color I wanted my retainer to be...LOL...I choose Red Glitter with a heart, we'll see what they come up with. I'm just so elated that I am almost done as the last few months have seemed to drag on and on.
Let's see...I am still dealing with some numbness in my lower jaw and chin area. I'm praying every day that this will all come back. It will be six months on June 30th and I'm still hopeful that I will get most of it back. That has been the hardest part in all of this...wondering...will I get the feeling back?? I thought with the screw removal on that right side that would help to allevieate that numb feeling but so far it feels the same. If I was a marrionette with those lines that come down their mouth where their mouth opens to talk...that where I am numb. It's also effected my sense of taste which is dulled quite a bit since my surgery. Some days seems to be better than others where I can taste things really good...other days not so good.
Overall though I am still happy I went through with my surgery even with the numbness and lack of taste and I'm hopeful that it will all heal in time. :)
I was up and out the door this morning for my screw removal. Dr. Wood removed all six, four of which were poking through under my tongue so they needed to come out. I'm hopeful I won't have that metal taste in my mouth after the numbness goes away. They knocked me out with that funny stuff and I awoke to hear them still working in my mouth...last few stitches...wow...it's a good thing they were just about done as it was a bit painful when they were tugging on the the stitches. The wonderful news was that they were able to remove them from inside my mouth so no more stitches on the outside of jaw so I was so thrilled about that news. I have a bunch of stitches and I'm very sore and they sent me home with some Vicadin so that's helping with the pain. I'm on soft foods again for a few weeks as eveything heals back up and I go back in for my follow up.
It's pretty exciting to be nearing the end of my two year journey, the next pictures I post with be me bracefree!!
Yay...it's been a few months since I updated you all on what's been happening. Not much really...just have been patiently waiting to hear those much loved words "let's take them off"...yay! I had an ortho appointment yesterday and Dr. K said..."let's do it"! So...who knew it would take two more months to actually get them off but...hey...I'm not going to complain.
With my appointment yesterday they cut the wires right behind the canines and removed them from the back molars. I still have to wear one rubber band on each side until they say so, which is fine. Next visit in June they will remove the molar bands and let the teeth close up from that and they will take the impressions for my retainer. Then my next visit in July I will get them off and be sporting a brand spanking new retainer! Phew....
My bite is just perfect and I'm loving having my lips close naturally together now. That has been 48 years coming and it feels great!! I still have numbness from like my first molars forward on the lower jaw and I have prickly feelings to the touch in my lower lip and just in the middle of my chin area is still numb as numb can be. I'm hopeful that this will all resolve with more time as I've heard it can take up to a year and more to fully get most of the feeling back...so I will put my patient hat on and just wait and pray that I get most of it back.
I will post an updated picture soon but for now that it! Getting excited for the big debracing day!
I haven't posted in a few weeks because there really hasn't been much change with my numbness which is really the only thing I've been dealing with. In the picture the blue line shows you where I have some feeling in my lip...and it's just in that blue area, I'm still numb below that blue line and the rest of the lip. This is a major mild stone in the last few weeks and I just noticed it yesterday. It feels really weird when talking with someone because I feel like I'm fumbling over my lip to talk but it's just the numb feeling...no one is noticing but me...LOL. My chin still has swelling in it and I was told that would go down over the first year.
I'm eating soft foods still, although I've been temped a few times but decided I should just be patient until I hear from my doctor. I went in last week to have some brackets replaced and Dr. K gave me triangle rubber bands on the left and two rubber bands stretching back to my back molar and the one in front of it...not sure what they call that one. I've noticed my jaw being tired as I think they really should have given me a splint to help give my back teeth something to bite into...but Dr. K didn't think I'd need it. They're trying to pull my mid line over to the right. I'm not quite sure how the rubberbands all work to do that, but I'm wearing them all the time except when I eat so I'm sure I'll get an "A" with that...LOL!!