Chompers

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My teeth have never been perfect. At one point in my adolesence it did bug me, but with my family being dirt poor & uninsured I came to terms with my wonky grin & moved on with life. I had the occasional dentist appointment here & there growing up. They were mainly for when I had a code red abcess & if it couldn’t be fixed by pulling the tooth I didn’t go.

Ahhhhh dental care for the incapable.

As I hit my early 20’s my wisdom teeth began to come in & I had 2 of them pulled. I recall the dentist taking an x-ray, referring me to someone else and before you knew it my 2 top wisdom teeth were pulled with no discussion of what my x-rays looked like.

Fast forward to 30 year old Lisa, she’s insured by the grace of her husband & ready to get her teeth cleaned. I mosey on into the dentists office pumped on life, getting a pro flossing in, having those cavities addressed when suddenly they bring up my x-ray they just took……

Behold the fucked up glory of it all.

Now before I get into the details I would like to preface this by saying that I was well aware of the fact that my 2 upper canines were baby teeth. I just had no idea that the adult teeth had decided to stall out literally 2 STEPS AWAY FROM FREEDOM but i digress. Anyway……so what you are looking at are quite a few variables & issues:

-Ok so the obvious issue is the 2 upper canines. Basically I held onto my baby teeth (apparently its hereditary) and my adult teeth never came down. The dentists think it is due to crowding in my upper jaw.

– In my lower right jaw I have a wisdom tooth that decided it was cool to never leave the warmth of my gums. Cool story bro.

– And finally if you look at my lower left jaw you will see a baby molar with no adult tooth in sight underneath.

As the dentist reviewed my issues I knew I was on a one way train to shitsville. He ordered a CT scan & a follow up.

CT scan of my mug

CT scan of my mug

A few weeks later I was in his office reviewing just how screwed I was…….but what he was proposing to me didn’t sound right. Homeboy was hell bent on getting me in Invisaline and THEN doing some medieval procedure to pull down my adult teeth stuck in my gums. Now I am by no means a dentist but even I know that there is no way in hell that I am a good candidate for Invisaline. So needless to say I got a second, third AND fourth opinion until I found a orthodontist and oral surgeon that I felt were up to the task.

In the beginning of May I began my treatment by putting on the braces but only on certain areas. Brackets & wires were only applied to my first top 4 teeth and lower right jaw. The reason for that is they needed to create a large enough space for my adult teeth to come down……..with a procedure called a tooth exposure. Basically the plan is to pull my baby teeth, make an incision on my upper gum, expose my adult teeth hiding in my jaw, attach an anchor to the adult tooth then wrap the adjoining chain around one of my nearby brackets (see picture below).

Roughly every six weeks the orthodonist will take a link out of the gold chain to slowly move my teeth down over the course of a year. Seems simple enough, but since it’s me, here is a list of the complications involved with my case:

-Since I am 30 (and this should have been addressed 15 years ago) I have a 50/50 shot of this working. Basically the teeth could be fused to my jaw bone from being up there for such a long period of time. The only way to know is to do the exposure and wait a few months for movement. Rad. But I do have a few things working in my favor, nothing is impacted and the adult teeth have come down quite a bit on their own. If those adult teeth don’t budge then they will have to be broken out of my jaw & then 2 back molars would have to go as well to even out my bite. Implants are too expensive so there is that…

-The solo baby molar could start to become loose (or could not) with movement from my braces. Since the jury is still out as to whether this will surgery will work its been left alone. But it is one of the teeth on the chopping block if the worst comes aka a second surgery.

-The wisdom tooth that never came to be will have to be cut out to avoid any further complications. This tooth is also VERY close to a nerve. If disrupted this nerve could cause permanent numbness to the right side of my face.

Getting these things put on is a 2 hour event filled with me being mad at life

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At the beginning of July I moved onto phase 2 which was prepping my mouth for surgery on July 13. This involved the addition of 3 dental springs. These push teeth apart to create space in a targeted area. My mouth has become a boxspring mattress.

 

 

From this point my teeth began to separate pretty quickly. I went into surgery Monday morning, was knocked out for over 2 ours & awoke to some good news. Everything had gone well with no complications. The surgeon even went on to say that he did detect some movement/wiggle out of the 2 adult teeth in question. Does that mean they will for sure come down? No. Is it a good sign? Yes. My back molar came out with no problem & no nerve damage either.

Swollen and groggy my husband took my hydrocodone and I home.

I am on day 4 of recovering and am finally starting to feel like myself. Of course there was pain, swelling, jaw stiffness &  bruising but the 2 day debilitating migraine I had was like nothing I have ever encountered. Holy. Shit. It was like a demon was eating away the brain tissue behind my eyes. But there is no greater feeling than being able to get down solid food.

I miss tacos you guys, seriously.

Below are some recovery shots. It’s a lot of sexual.

 

 

 

Fresh out of surgery

Fresh out of surgery

 

 

So now all I can do is wait. If there is no movement by month 3 then it’s onto plan 2. I am optimistic though & thankful that this is finally being addressed. I am also hoping to be able to eat a cupcake on my 31st birthday. Now if you don’t mind me I have a bowl of applesauce with my name on it.

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