Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I'm Taking the Plunge!

No, I'm getting married (I already am)! I've finally decided to get braces to fix my gaps and overbite.

To understand how huge of a deal this is for me, you need to understand what happened during my childhood. When I was approximately 12 years old, I started the process of getting braces. This involved extracting three or four teeth. Then I was to have braces and the last step would be a couple bridges to replace teeth I am missing. (They say missing teeth is usually genetic but my parents and grandparents do not have missing teeth so maybe it goes farther back??)

The first step involved extracting teeth. My childhood dentist, who I wasn't too fond of then and definitely hate now, got the honors. Well, to say the least, it was NOT a pleasant experience. I don't know if I didn't have enough local or what but I was crying and moaning and he was yelling at me to, "grow up!" From that point on, I NEVER looked forward to going to the dentist, even for a cleaning. So after the extractions, I went to the ortho my parents had chosen (because he made trips to my small town) and had my records appointment, which involves xrays and molds. He was a very large man with very large hands and was not gentle about anything. Shortly after that, I called it quits. There was no way I was getting braces!!! My dad tried to talk me into getting braces by saying, "you'll never get married if you don't get your teeth fixed." Now please understand, I was daddy's little girl and my dad & I are still close. As you may know, I did get married and my teeth did not deter him!

So fast forward approximately 20 years and here I am - making the decision to finally get braces! The number one reason - because I want that perfect smile! The second reason - because both of my kids will need braces and I will NOT allow them to refuse treatment!

Last December I had my first consult. I originally went to see if I could do the Invis*align but was told that it wouldn't work for me. So then I contemplated whether I was truly going to do this and in January, I had a second consult. Even though the second ortho is almost $1000 more, I felt better with the doctor, the staff, the office, and all the technology!

Both orthos told me I had to have teeth extracted which seems counterproductive considering I am missing teeth! The problem is that I still had four baby teeth, two of which were fused to the bone and the other two possibly were. Plus I had a partially erupted wisdom tooth that needed to come out, which my dentist had warned me about, because it was coming in at an angle. He had decided being it wasn't bothering me that we'd wait until it was fully erupted or it bothered me. But now that I was having four teeth removed, we decided to take the wisdom tooth now.

Because of my past experience with extractions, my ortho suggested I see an oral surgeon and because I had a complex case involving teeth that were fused to the bone. That appointment was yesterday! I had 5 teeth extracted!!! And I survived!!! However, it hasn't been easy road to recovery. Sure, they totally put me out so the last thing I remember was being given general anesthesia and then I awoke in the recovery room. But recovery has been slow and uncomfortable. The most pain was yesterday two to four hours after the surgery when I had let the local wear off but didn't yet have my prescriptions to take being we had the surgery in SF and had to drive back to W to get them filled. Then when I finally got everything in me - Sudafed, Ibuprofen, Vicodin, and Amoxicillin - they didn't stay in me for long. My medication schedule is crazy - take this one every 4-6 hours, take this one every 6-8 hours, take this one every 6 hours, and take this one twice day. Plus today I had to add a prescription mouth rinse, Peridex, to the schedule twice a day! The only way to keep track of this is to carry around a notepad with me and jot down each time I take a pill and when I can take it again! And let me tell you, it's not easy swallowing these HUGE pills with a sore mouth and pokey stitches!!!

I have been on a liquid / soft food diet the past two days and I'm sure it will continue tomorrow. My jaw / mouth is VERY stiff - probably from not chewing and talking. Yesterday I was icing it quite often and today it's a heating pad. I really HATE feeling all the stitches! I can't wait until I'm fully recovered. Braces are sounding like a piece of cake compared to these extractions!

4 Visitors:

Just Mom said...

OMG! I hope you got to take some time off from work for the recovery.

BTW ... I'm LOL at:

"So fast forward approximately 20 years and here I am - making the decision to finally get braces! The number one reason - because I want that perfect smile! The second reason - because both of my kids will need braces and I will NOT allow them to refuse treatment."

Tracy said...

Good luck with the recovery and the braces.

My mouth hurts FOR YOU.

Heidi Jo said...

holy tooth trauma!

is your ortho in h2Otown?

you are a brave woman--i hope it is all a piece of cake from here on out.

Andrea said...

HJ ~

Yes, my ortho is in h2otown.