Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Braces are off!

First, I have to apologize for not posting for a couple months. It is amazing ... a few months after my orthognathic surgery, life does not revolve around my mouth anymore! It is true ... there is life after orthognathic surgery ... and it does not consume my every waking thought anymore (or while I'm sleeping for that matter)! So, unfortunately, I am quite sure I will leave out a few of the details in my brief recount of the last couple of months, but the meat of my blog I really do believe is during the 6 weeks post-op recovery period, anyway. I do apologize for all my spelling errors and typos during the first couple weeks after surgery, but I didn't want to go back and edit because I was reminded by the blurred vision, so my horrific writing is a true reflection of a part of my post-op recovery.

So, January was relatively uneventful orthodontically. I traveled quite a bit for work, so that made the month fly by. I had a couple of migraines, but not alcohol induced. They were most likely hormonal, given the timing. I guess I need to be more diligent about taking my magnesium again. On February 2nd, I had another orthodontist appointment. Got a powerchain all the way across the top, and no longer on the bottom. Elastics only on the right side at night. Here is a progress pic from that appointment:


The following day, I had an appointment with my OS. Everything looked good, except my ROM, which I expected. I was only at about 30 mm, and I don't think I've progressed much more since then. So, I am not released yet from his care until I get up to at least 40 mm. I have a follow-up appointment for May, at which time I hope to be to where I need! I will be working on it daily, as I am afraid that if I don't I will loose it. He doesn't want me to do tongue retractors or put anything physically in there, for fear I could damage my teeth. So, stretching exercises it will be.

At some point in February, I thought I had a piece of food stuck in between my tooth/band on my upper left side, so I started digging with a toothpick. Well, I don't have the feeling back in my upper gums, so little did I know that I was actually picking at my gums. I made a mess out of them, and with the band around the tooth, it didn't allow it to heal very well, so it is still a bit of a mess. Things should get better now, though.

One week before debanding, I had a DOUBLE power chain put on my upper teeth, one below the archwire and one over top of it. That was fun. While putting it on, one bracket popped off my upper right tooth. We got the bracket repositioned and back on, and wouldn't you know, the other bracket popped off the upper left tooth. Geez! The objective of this torturous dual powerchain configuration was to close the gaps next to my upper canines. Soon after the visit, the one on the left was closed. But the stubborn one on the right persisted, and I was incredulous that I would really get my braces off yesterday. So, skeptically, I went to my debanding appointment.

I am not going to sugar coat it. It was a painful experience. With the feeling starting to come back in my upper gums, everything is ultra-sensitive. I used to love brushing with my sonic care, and even that was not a pleasant experience any more. The vibration against the brackets is annoying. The wierdest part, when sanding off the glue, the feeling is criss-crossed along the gumline above my top front teeth. My bottom teeth didn't like the pressure when taking off the lower brackets, either. I felt bad for the hygienist. She was trying so hard to be gentle, but I felt like somewhat of a baby. I usually have a pretty good threshold for pain. But, I got through it, and I was willing to endure ANYTHING to get those babies off. Before getting the brackets off, she put a double power chain on the upper front teeth to close the remaining gap. It opened back up after taking off the chains, but the tooth is mobile, so the retainer will put it in its place.

I need to forewarn those who have bands on their back teeth. Although I felt I've kept very good hygiene throughout this process (except for the weeks post-op when I wasn't allowed to brush), there was a very disturbing stench when taking those bands off. Luckily, the hygienist wears a mask, otherwise I would have fully expected her to gag.

Since debanding, I do have to admit I have been obsessively narcissistic, looking in the mirror incessantly at my new shiny teeth and bite. "This isn't my mouth!" I exclaimed when I had my first look. The results, using the words of my orthodontist ... "Perfect".

So, now that I have completed the majority of this process, I feel that it is high time to give due credit to the amazing team of professionals that have gotten me to this point. I have added a list on the left side of this page that includes a hyperlink to my OS, OD, and dentist. I wouldn't have started on this journey if it wasn't for my dentist, Dr. Villwock, referring me to see an orthodontist. From there, Dr. Lin, my OD, took over and diagnosed me with vertical maxillary excess with mandibular AP hypoplasia. Dr. Lin referred me to Dr. Parmar, my OS, who is the most empathetic surgeon I could ever ask for! Combined, they have provided me with a result far superior to what I could have ever envisioned. I am so grateful for their expertise, patience, and professionalism. I wouldn't change a thing about any part of my treatment. I was and am truly blessed. And, I could never forget everyone at their offices who were always my biggest cheerleaders, along with my family, friends, and of course all of my fellow ortho bloggers! Cindy, Lisa, and Traci at Bellevue Family Dentistry have always been wonderful to me, and especially through this process! The countless number of techs at Orthodontic Specialists who worked on me and always had positive and encouraging things to say. And the receptionists at Bay Oral office who I got to know very well since I was there once a week for oh so many weeks post-op while waiting for that exposed plate to heal over. Sorry if this sounds like an Oscar acceptance speech, but I am forever grateful to everyone involved in this process, the results have been truly amazing. Now, when I place my hands on each TMJ and open my mouth, I no longer hear the cracking in the right joint and feel the popping out of the left joint. I can actually see my bottom teeth when my teeth are together, and at the same time I can feel the back of my upper teeth with my tongue! There are so many functional differences, not to mention the relief that I am not continuing to wear down my joints. The cosmetic improvements were a very positive side-effect. This was all so worth it.

So, I am sure you want to see pictures of my naked teeth! I'll start off with a picture of Dr. Lin and I, freshly de-braced!

Below are my before and after photos. The befores were taken in June, 2007, and afters in March, 2009. I now introduce you to my Class I bite!:

Front view, no smile. Notice the lack of lip incompetence! No more puckering of the chin when my lips cme together. Also, the nose has changed. I didn't think I wanted my nose to change from this surgery, but I definately think I like my new nose better!


Front view, smile. No more gummy smile! I no longer need to posture my jaw forward so I don't have a double chin!

Right profile. I have a chin! Nuff said. Also, look at the difference in the angle of my upper lip. Dramatic difference.

Front teeth, closed. My lower teeth are now visible ... no more deep bite!

Front teeth, slightly open. Dramatic difference in the crowding of the lowers.



Left and right occlusion. Check out that Class I relationship. No more overjet or overbite. Very swollen gums from lots of torture, but an extremely satisfied patient!!




Upper Arch. Check out how much it widened and rounded out.


Lower Arch, a picture is worth a thousand words.



For retention, I have a fixed lingual retainer on the bottom, and an essix retainer on the top. I am to wear the essix day and night for 3 months, until instructed otherwise. My gums are too swollen at this point to get floss in at my gumline on my lower teeth, so I need to allow the swelling to reduce and work on that with some oral pix. I plan to give my mouth a rest for a while, and next year I need to have one of my molars crowned due to a large filling, and will slowly get my metal fillings replaced by composite ones.

I will post again soon with some of my reflections on this whole process. I still follow all of your blogs, and look forward to your updates. Hopefully, my blog will serve to educate future orthognathic surgery patients as your blogs have educated me! In the process, it has been incredibly therapeutic and I have created a diary of my journey along the way.

59 comments:

Katherine (Kate) said...

Congratulations! Both on the debracing AND reaching the point where you don't think about it all the time. Toss up as to which is the biggest milestone :)

Thanks for the head-up on getting those molar bands off, will definitely be shoving vicks up my nose to ward off the smell, should that days ever come.

Amazing results, Stephanie, and cheers to you for the wonderful bite you've earned and can now show of with pride. Will be rooting for those stretching exercizes to pay off and ROM is finally and fully restored.

Woot-woot!

Katherine said...

I am thrilled, absolutely thrilled for you! Don't you love how smooth and glassy your teeth feel?

Your side by side photos really show the postive changes. Tonight, I was especially struck by how you still look like you, but an even healthier version of you. :) An you look very happy, too.

Thanks for posting your update. I will follow your progress on your ROM in detail.

Sophie said...

You look absolutely radiant! Your smile and profile is gorgeous now! Congratulations!

Michelle said...

Stephanie! This is awesome news. I actually read your post over the weekend, and I've been happy for you ever since. You look amazing, like a zillion bucks! Congratulations for completing this orthognathic journey!

:0)
M

stephanie said...

I can't believe I didn't comment on this post already - I meant to say (thought I had already said) that you had such amazing results from braces/surgery! You look fantastic.

Also... I just posted another entry on my blog as I'm going through major issues... maybe you can help?

stephanie said...

Okay, now I posted it on my blog (my computer is weird lately)... I was wondering if you had to write a personal statement, and if you did, what did you say in it? I can't figure out what to say....

Cali Girl said...

Stephanie,

You look beautiful! I'm 3 1/2 weeks post op from upper/lower jaw surgery. How long did it take for all the swelling to go down on your nose and around your nose area? My nose has changed a little bit but it looks like it's still swollen or at least I'm hoping it's still swollen. What do you think?

ladyanjen said...

I have been at the mercy of orthodonture since I was about 8 years old- my permanent laterals came in essentially facing one another, requiring the use of the old fashioned quad-helix (the kind the ortho had to tighten weekly with a winch- no plastic, no plates, no key). Excepting a short stint around age 11 of just retainers, I wore full braces until I was 17 years old. Sometimes this treatment included headgear, sometimes cross-lateral elastics, always pain, always diligence regarding gums and tongue, a grim and dull diet (no gum, no soda, no fresh hard fruits or veggies- all this was before the days of meal supplements like Ensure), continuous visits. Once the things were finally removed I was elated, I couldn't believe I was finally going to graduate high school with clear and clean teeth for the first time I could remember.
I am now 32. Two weeks ago I tripped on the asphalt getting the mail and landed square on my chin, breaking it, the right condial joint bone in my jaw, necessitating 25 stitches from a plastic surgeon and the full wiring closed of my jaw. I realize I'm lucky in that it could have required invasive facial reconstruction, but so far my oral surgeon is proving really adept. I am happy to report that today I had the wires cut and my bite pronounced beautiful, and after another x-ray (my right bicuspid is broken in back but that's gonna have to wait till I can open my mouth all the way)... I am still in upper and lower bands and am using two elastics, over each canine, to help keep the jaw aligned and allow for flexibility and mobility in the joint. I am freaking out just a little bit because I cleaned my teeth again as soon as I got home and can't quite remember if the bands go over the canines or bicuspids, but it feels right over the canines. I've come quite far, I truly did not think I could endure the first few days, the pain was unbelievable but worse was the feeling and knowledge that I could not open my own teeth . . . and I'm sure it resurrected many dormant panics from those long years of braces.
I mention all of this in light of reading your entry because I first want to congratulate you enormously on not just surviving but thriving throughout what I know all too well to be a miserable procedure. I only wish some of this advice had been available when I was a kid- I still remember every horrible smell, the sound and feeling of those mallets pounding molar bands in place, the constant taste of blood from abraded lips. . . the entire practice has certainly come a long way.
I also write because while I'm not dealing with braces at the moment, what I am dealing with is honestly not that different, although necessary for a medically different reason than my crooked permanents and severe overbite. One of my biggest concerns throughout all of this is that I'll have MY face back- which is easy to doubt, between the broken bones and the gouged chin. You detail in some of your picture commentary the difference in your appearance (positively, and I'm really happy for you!)- it's a giant comfort to know that the changes I saw in my face were far from imaginary but absolutely related to the damage done in the nasty fall I took.
Enjoy your neat bite (especially the lower, that's fantastic work and I know how much it hurts as those teeth slowly align to a better position), smile and laugh a LOT, cherish the smooth teeth you've got with the brackets off . . . and if anyone has any advice/info about what happens post-wiring, well, I'd love to hear it.
Congratulations and thank you again for giving us all such a positive, detailed account of what is all too often a misunderstood, minimized, serious dental and medical procedure.
My Very Best,
A Fellow Survivor

June said...

Hi Stephanie. I'm new to this jaw surgery "club" and I don't know if you still read the comments, but I wanted to ask how you are doing? I have a very similar bite to yours (well, your previous bite) and I'm considering the surgery. Are you still happy with the results? Do you notice the plates and screws? Do you still have pain or weird feelings? Was it worth it? Thank you so much for your time. This has been such a difficult decision - one day I want to do and the next day I'm too scared to. June

Jaw Surgery Brandon said...

Wow, awesome before and afters, and lots of them!

I'm Brandon from the Jaw Surgery Blog.

I just wanted to congratulate you on a successful surgery, and it would be a great help to others and future patients that are going to be going through the same thing you did if you could share your story and experience.

I'd love to get as many people to share their story as possible in one organized place, so people just like us won't be as scared, and they too can have a successful surgery.

All you have to do is write a quick summary of how the process was for you, in as much or as little detail as you like. For example, you could include how you felt right before surgery, how you felt after, what the sensations were like, what you wish you had known before, or anything else you can think of that will make the process a little bit easier for someone else.

To help, just go here:

http://www.jawsurgeryblog.com/forums/topic/help-future-jaw-surgery-patients

If you have any questions at all or trouble posting your story, just let me know, and I'll be glad to help you help others!

Thanks again,
Brandon

Anonymous said...

i dont understand, what happened to you? i have to get my bottom jaw lengthened and im kind of scared about it. i mean, im only 12. so i was wondering if you could help me through this.
please and thankyou verymuch ,
lola

Olive Tree Guitar Ensemble said...

Hi, it's a very great blog.
I could tell how much efforts you've taken on it.
Keep doing!

非凡 said...

I'm appreciate your writing skill.Please keep on working hard.^^

唱歌 said...

正點喔 多謝大大無私的分享 感恩拉( ̄∀ ̄)........................................

皮膚 said...

Actions speak louder than words. ........................................

Ryan & Cortnee said...

Do you still check this blog? I would love to ask a few question because I have the exact same problems you had. If so, please email ryanvaughnmurray@gmail.com

Thanks so much

火吟 said...

adult成人情色激情成人聊天網情色影片色情俱樂部性愛影片情趣淫水影音情色限制級照片live show女生自慰影片超屌成人情色留言板淫亂女自慰免費視訊辣妹巨乳鹹濕色情影音聊天自拍走光照片免費情色av圖片亞洲情色論壇淫慾免費裸女圖片裙底風光台灣色情論壇一夜正妹淫娃網情色下載a圖片全裸淫蕩女人情色影音聊天高潮自慰色情圖片成人自拍女生自慰亞洲成人色情dvd舔乳頭女生自慰影片台灣色情網站台灣性樂園sex story情色影音激情聊天室嘿咻情色自拍

欣盈 said...

I do like ur article~!!!..................................................

水憲妤慧 said...

看看blog放鬆一下,工作累死了.... ..................................................

睿玄 said...

先告訴自己希望成為什麼樣的人,然後一步一步實踐必要的步驟。........................................

BurtonClary031 said...

sex女,ut,貼影,av,高潮,女優,做愛,手機成人影片,色遊戲,成人動漫,百分百貼圖區,85cc影片,成人影音,av色情影片,A片線上,a片,sex,777,三級線上看,美女的照片,視訊做愛,78論壇,打飛機,免費視訊,成人影院,辣妹視訊,視訊聊天,影片網,kiss911,a片,交友,聊天,做愛,免費影片,性交,線上成人,網路色情,聊天,美女自慰,免費a分享,免費短片,裸照,一夜情,女優,85cc成人片,美女寫真,偷拍a,情人視訊聊天室

淑婷 said...

辛苦了!祝你愈來愈好!........................................

JeanBrian8544 said...

想像是什麼並不重要,想像能做什麼才重要..................................................

嘉琬 said...

新浪視訊 色妹妹視訊高雄援交 34c視訊網愛聊天室 一對多視訊拓網辣妹視訊 176視訊聊天室 av最前線 視訊交友90739南台灣視訊 性愛貼圖 視訊聊天室90739 show-live視訊情色網 援交女豆豆出租情人視訊 sogo論壇視訊辣妹 桃園兼職援交辣妹視訊 一對一視訊520sex 日本視訊小魔女自拍 av1688影音娛樂網 辣手美眉甜心寶貝直播貼片 免費色咪咪視訊網pc交友 視訊美女ggoo 免費視訊情色網 咆哮小老鼠 高雄援交夢中情人情趣用品 sex888免費看影片波霸美女寫真 sex888免費看影片 視訊新竹援交留言 0401成人聊天室 甜心寶貝貼影片援交友留言桃園 sogo論壇080情人網 視訊泳裝秀拓網交友 色美眉免費看視訊 免費色咪咪影片網兼職援交 聊天室ilover99 a片天堂卡通aa片 台灣情色網無碼avdvd 色色網 sexydiamondsex888入口 高雄視訊辣妹自拍 免費a片亞洲東洋影片 hilive本土自拍天堂 西門慶成人論壇 費aaa片試看 dudusex免費影片 avdvd一夜情色妹妹免費情慾影片觀賞 qq美美色網影片av免費影片 日本a片自拍偷拍網站情色小說 jp成人a片 日本avdvd女優xxx383美女寫真

則其則其 said...

生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。..................................................

嘉穎 said...

A friend in need is a friend indeed. ....................................................

子名子名 said...

最豐滿最好之稻穗,便最貼近地面..................................................

DaltonS_Beve said...

金銀愈加磨鍊,愈加光亮,人生愈加考驗,生命愈加光輝。 ............................................................

pinky said...

做愛自拍照片打炮自拍貼圖夫妻自拍片成人無碼片線上看aa片線上觀看日本電影火影成人版火影色情片火影忍者a影片火影忍者色片火影忍者做愛片火影忍者影片全集火影漫畫火影影片線上看父女性愛父女做愛父女做愛文學片免費線上成人影片王國女優比基尼圖片比基尼的奶比基尼泳裝美女圖片日本圖貼日本寫真影片日本影片網日本影片線上看日本線上收看日本線上看日本線上無碼火辣視訊薄紗主播網友自拍露點圖正妹牆情人視訊

嘉琬嘉琬 said...

No pains, no gains...................................................................

黃佳伸 said...

Necessity is the mother of invention...................................................................

林建隆 said...

死亡是悲哀的,但活得不快樂更悲哀。....................................................................

江婷 said...

上班好累哦,看看部落格轉換心情~~~先謝謝啦!!.................................................................                           

嘉琬嘉琬 said...

成熟,就是有能力適應生活中的模糊。.................................................................

王名仁 said...

It takes all kinds to make a world.............................................................

kio said...

感謝您費心的分享您的生活!讓我也感同身受!..................................................................

賢林賢林 said...

及時行樂-快樂不需要理由..................................................................

香昱信張君林 said...

A bad workman quarrels with his tools...................................................................

蘇育維蘇育維 said...

休息是為了走更長遠的路,爬個文章休息一下!!............................................................

佳穎DennyR_Guao0506 said...

blog有留言互動才好玩~~希望留言能支持您的更新動力!!!............................................................

Dennis Wooden said...

Stephanie, Congratulations for the successful surgery and de-bracing. Effective dental treatment can really change the life of the patient. My sister also underwent a similar surgery last year. Dentists (Germantown) usually advice such procedures to correct the bite of the patient. Fortunately, it was able to resolve my sister's teeth alignment problems. The dentist (Germantown, TN) had been thorough and he did a lot of assessments to know the type response needed for her case.

Great pictures by the way. Hope everything goes well.

佳皓佳皓 said...

幸福沒有鑰匙,只有梯子。.................................................................

吳庭 said...

婚姻對男人來說是賭他的自由,對女人而言卻是賭她的幸福。............................................................

余憲希余憲希 said...

婚姻對男人來說是賭他的自由,對女人而言卻是賭她的幸福。.................................................................

鄭美玉 said...

人並不是生來要吃敗仗的。人可被毀滅,但不可被擊倒。.................................................................

姿弘綸穎 said...

世間事沒有一樣沒有困難,只要有信心去做,至少可以做出一些成績。..................................................

建邱勳 said...

Pen and ink is wits plough. ............................................................

凱許倫 said...

河水永遠是相同的,可是每一剎那又都是新的。. . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

陳昱陳延尹意 said...

人生匆匆-把握當下,支持鼓勵~事事如意~..................................................

子怡谷怡谷怡谷翔 said...

看著你的BLOG 好多朋友都回應 真厲害..................................................

瑰潼 said...

nice job! waiting for your new artical.............................................................

建枫 said...

很耐斯的部落格,留言支持你繼續加油............................................................

孫邦柔 said...

凡走過必留下痕跡!不留言對不起你!............................................................

佳張張張張燕張張張張張 said...

好中意你的BLOG阿~加油!............................................................

瑰潼 said...

愛情是一種發明,需要不斷改良。只是,這種發明和其他發明不一樣,它沒有專利權,隨時會被人搶走。............................................................

Wilton Winrow said...

Hi Steph!

I was scheduled next week for a tooth extraction, because my wisdom tooth is really needs to be pulled out. I'm a bit nervous because someone told me that after the extraction, I'd feel pain. I trust my dentist (Miami Florida-based) that he will do a great job for it because my mom knows him since last year. While reading your blog, I've gained the strength to face this procedure.

Dr. Ordon plastic surgeon said...

You teeth look very fine now.Surgeries go on very well when you can spot the right surgeon who can take you through the highway which is not always easy for all.

Afiliado said...

Hi. I don't know if you continue reading the comments..But i would ask you one question. why doctors removed one of your titanium plates after surgery? Sorry, I didn't read all your blog posts and only watched that you got one of them removed.
I ask you this because I'm getting surgery this year and I'm a bit concerned because I don't like pretty much the idea of having LOT of plates and screw in my face for the rest of my life. So I would love knowing more about your plate removal causes and if the 39 srews and 7 plates annoy you in any sense or are just imperceptible.
Thank you and I hope you read this
Best of luck!

Grace said...

I think I had the same thing you did. Lefort 1 and BSSO, similar problems of extreme overbite, and none of my upper teeth mashed with my lower teeth, had trouble cutting food w/ my incisors and my molars were all super jagged b/c they never ground against the opposites.
I had my operation in April 2008, so I think 6 yrs to the day today! Braces off by Oct. 2008 and it's been so much better. I also had a plate removed June 2009, from my lower jaw, left side. Mostly b/c it was the one part that was painful (and pokey, b/c one of the screws seemed to have been pushed out a little bit).
I didn't document things nearly as well as others have, so I like to occasionally look at what others have done.

One thing about the "gummy smile." I didn't have a gummy smile at all before the operation, but somehow, now I do. I also noticed that the little flap of skin holding down the top of my upper lip/mouth to the top of my gums were cut during the operation, presumably for the Lefort 1. My mom asked me if I should get that reconstructed, and I just brushed it off as being overly sensitive about my looks...but have you heard of it? Does it bother you at all?