Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The verdict

Going to the dentist AGAIN yesterday just left me with more decisions and things to think about. After talking to the ortho, my dentist decided to look at the lower teeth again. They decided that the size of the fillings in the lower left are large and that I will eventually need to have crowns put on them. The fillings in those teeth were just replaced less then 7 years ago (that's how long I have had this dentist, and he replaced them, just can't remember when). So they aren't that old. So my dentist said that I could either have it fixed orthodontically or with one or two crowns. I asked him what was best for my teeth in the long run... putting time, money, pain, everything like that aside. He never really did answer that. But he said that I will eventually need to crown those two teeth. He can just crown one of them and make up for the two spaces. I have NO idea if insurance will pay for these crowns since the teeth are fine right now. So they have sent in a pre-authorization. At over $800 a tooth, I want to know how much I will have to pay before I give the go-ahead.

Here are my choices as I see them:

  • Fix the lower spaces with InvisAlign and run the risk of messing up my bite (don't want to do that)
  • Put crowns on one/two teeth (depending on what insurance will pay). I REALLY hate the thought of grinding down teeth that are still healthy to put the crown on. And in 10 - 20 years from now I will need to have these crowns replaced. How much more of my tooth will be left for them to grind down then? But, this will save my teeth from possibly breaking, which would lead to me getting a crown... or worst yet cracking which would lead to having the tooth pulled and the whole stud process again (once is enough!) (But if I didn't have this space I wouldn't even be thinking about what "could" happen. I would just be going on my marry, and if something happened, dealing with it then)
  • Do nothing for now and wait until I get a cavity from the space. I could also get gum infections because of food getting wedged in there and my CONSTANTLY having to floss or something to get it out.

For right now, I have 4 - 6 weeks to wait for the pre-auth to come back. In that time we will move the top teeth and I will be back to my dentist to get more done with the implant. It really just is too much to think about sometimes. Here I thought that once the braces came off and I got the implant I would be done. But I really think that until I put my foot down and say "NO MORE" they will come up with something else that needs to be done. I have to decide how much time, pain, and money I am willing to spend and after that just say "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!".

That's the new news for now. I go on Tuesday to get my top InvisAlign. Yeah, "braces" for a THIRD time. My sister is going to be SOOO jealous. (she has ONE crooked tooth and wanted braces as a kid. The ortho said it was just cosmetic so my parent's did get them for her. She was jealous when I got mine as a kid, even more jealous when I got them as an adult... and now for a third time. She is going to FLIP. Hey, she's an adult now, she could pay for them herself. But after paying for her son's braces, I think she has changed her mind). I'll let you know how Tuesday goes.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Dentist appoinment today

I have yet ANOTHER dentist appointment today. I got a call on Thursday from my regular dentist saying that he wanted to see me on Monday. So I have to go there today at 3. The scheduler that called me said "Do you want to know why he wants to see you?". And my answer was "Honestly... no." I'll find out today at three. I'm going to assume it has to do with these spaces and with him talking to the ortho. So I'll keep you updated on what the new plan is going to be. It's just too much to keep straight anymore (no pun intended!!!).

Thursday, April 24, 2008

My Decision... for now

So I have done a LOT of thinking about what to do with these spaces that the braces left. I have talked to my regular dentist and my ortho to try to come up with the best plans to maintain my current bite as well as maintain the health of my teeth for the future. And right now, we are going to go with moving the top teeth and see how that works out. From talking with both of them, the chances of messing up my current bite is VERY minimal. The risk with doing caps on my teeth is greater then the risk of possibly messing up my bite. And the main reason for this is that the gap on the top that needs to be fixed lines up with where the implant still has to be finished. So basically, they will make the implant to mesh with my “new” bite, and not my bite now. (who would have thought it would be a GOOD thing to have a missing tooth?!?!) As far as fixing the spaces on the top, it won’t mess up my bite at all.

So for now we are going to go with fixing the upper spaces, and see how that works out. Then we will deal with the lower spaces. My ortho and regular dentist were going to talk some more and discuss the pros and cons of each way. Because when I talk to the ortho he leans towards caps, and when I talk to my regular dentist, he leans towards ortho. So I asked them to talk to each other and see what they can come up with. I can see the points in both of their cases, which makes it SOOO hard to make a decision on the lower teeth.

I don’t go back to the ortho for two more weeks, so we’ll see if I change my mind again before then (knowing me, I’ll change my mind again before I even hit “Post”!) Thank you all for your concerns, and please keep sending the advice!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Will it ever end? Please help!

When I was at my regular dentist two weeks ago to get my teeth cleaned, he mentioned the large “contacts” between my back teeth. He had noticed these spaces when I was there getting my implant put in. They concerned him because food gets stuck in there, and he doesn’t want to see me get cavities in there or the gums get irritated because I have to constantly pick food out. He said that the only way that he could fix them would be to have crowns, or veneers put on. And of course that would cost me several thousand dollars. He was so pleased with my results from my orthodontia that he wanted me to go talk to the ortho.

So today I went to the ortho to talk to him about these spaces. Sorry if these seems jumbled, but I’m a little frazzled right now. He first mentioned possibly making the fillings in those teeth cover the gaps. I told him that my regular dentist at first thought that would be an option, but once he looked at them more, he didn’t think that option would work because of the size. So basically, what he came up with was to give me new retainers, like InvisAlign to move those back teeth. Sounds all good and like an easy choice. But of course NOTHING is when it comes to our teeth. My teeth all mesh so nicely now and by moving them, even just a little bit, we run the risk of losing that meshing. I expressed my concern about not wanting to lose all that we have worked for already. He said that if they start to feel “off”, I can stop wearing those retainers and they should move back to where they are now. The operative word being SHOULD. What if they don’t? He suggested that we start with the top and see how that goes, and if it works out well, then move on to the bottom. But he still thinks that getting crowns on the bottom would be the way to go.

I just don’t know what to do. If I do decide to go with the retainers to close the gaps, I run the risk of my teeth not meshing well anymore. The ortho said that if I stopped wearing the retainers they would go back, but is he sure? Then there is a small gap between my number 1 and 2 (between the front tooth and the first one to the left on my uppers) from where the button was. So he said that we could fix that with the retainers as well. But if we do, doesn’t that mean that ALL of my teeth to that side will move? Will this screw up my bite? I have just spent so much money, time, and pain on these teeth that I want them to be perfect. They are so close right now and I am SO afraid that if I do this last step that I will screw it all up. I just don’t know what to do. I am going to call my regular dentist and see what he thinks. I may also call my surgeon and see what he thinks too. This is a new ortho to me because my original one retired and sold his practice. It’s not that I don’t think this ortho is capable, but I just haven’t had enough experience with him to completely trust him. Does that make sense? I am just SO confused and don’t know what to do.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

6 Months Post-Op

WOW, I can't believe it's been 6 months to the day that I had my jaw surgery. It truly is amazing how fast the time has gone. I remember reading other blogs about how fast the time flies. I just never thought that my turn would actually happen. But it did, and I don't regret one minute of it!

I posted some pics from today. I took them myself, after a LONG day at work, so excuse the warn out, greasy skin look. After how you all have seen me, I didn't think you would mind!

I go for my first cleaning post-op and post-braces on Thursday! I'm actually looking forward to it. It will be a much nicer cleaning then with braces on. I go back in June to get the next part of my post done, then two weeks later for impressions, then three weeks after that to get the actual "tooth". Then I am DONE!!! WOW, this whole journey is about to come to an end. I still can't believe all that I have been through.

Well, I say it is coming to an end, but who knows. I always hear how people get "addicted" to plastic surgery. I always thought that was odd, but I can completely understand now how that happens. I was actually thinking of getting the TINY gap between my two front teeth at the top filled in. There is one other one from where the button was and the wire wrapped around that I want to get filled in (you can't see it at the angle the pics were taken). But then I read Brandy's blog about how expensive Luminaries are. Well, that won't be happening for me. But I am thinking of getting them whitened. We'll have to see what the dentist says on Thursday.

Anyway, nothing else really new or exciting teeth wise.