Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Numbness...and Lack Thereof

So, as most of you have probably realized, the majority of orthognathic surgery bloggers stop blogging within an few months of de-bracing...unless they have continuing issues. Now you all can guess which camp I fall into...

I've been in Michigan all summer, but went home to Colorado last week for some family time. It turned out that I spent more of my time at the dentist/orthodontist/surgeon. I was supposed to have three appointments: ortho on Monday, surgeon on Tuesday, and dentist for a cleaning on Wednesday. Everything went fine at the orthodontist: my teeth haven't shifted, my retainers are all good, and they took me off of active patient status!

Tuesday's appointment was a little more complicated: my entire lower lip and chin are still just tingly and the plate that is on the right side of my nose vibrates sometimes when I talk (annoying and painful!). Dr. N doesn't think that the feeling will ever completely return...though he thinks there might be some changes in the next couple of years. We also discussed taking the troublesome plate out at Christmas (when I'm home again). I think that taking it out would probably e best for me, but my parent's aren't really supportive of that at the moment.

Teeth cleaning at the dentist was fine, except for the cavities (lower right side) that they attempted to fill in December (but couldn't get me numb). They aren't bothering me or anything, but the dentist felt that we should attempt to fill them again before I needed a root canal. So I made an appointment to have them filled Thursday morning...

It wasn't my normal dentist who filled the cavities, but he knew what was going on. First he tried a normal Novocaine injection and (after trying 3 or 4 times) he couldn't even get past the scar tissue to get to the nerve. Then he tried a maxillary blocker (I think that that's what it was called) where they inject the numbing stuff up closer to the jaw joint (owwwwww). That got me partially numb. After another maxillary blocker (again owwwwwwwwww) my teeth were mostly numb, but I could still feel pressure. After a third (by this point I'd been there for nearly an hour and my jaw was starting to tighten) I was finally numb (thank goodness!!). Since it had taken so much for me to get numb they decided to drill out an old silver filling (which was going to need to be replaced eventually) on one of those teeth, in addition to the small cavities they were intending to fill. After the drilling, they filled one of the holes and went to grind it down and shape it...I could feel everything again. So the dentist came back in and gave me another injection (mouth opening now getting smaller by the second). They filled the remaining cavities and shaped those ones (the medicine was wearing off again, bad enough to make me cry, but I didn't want any more injections).

Apparently the meds take forever to work into my system, because by the time I got home they were no longer wearing off. I was numb to an inch or so over my ear. I spent the rest of the day laying on an ice pack and eating soup. Novocaine always makes my jaw extremely tight and painful; it has been 5 days and it is still tender.

Since I didn't know they were going to drill the silver filling (which was on the surface of my 1st molar) and the couple small cavities were in between my teeth, I didn't bother to bring my retainer with me...leading to the next chapter in my week of dental appointments. They built up that molar too high (possibly because I could feel the shaping of the tooth and was in a lot of pain) so my bottom retainer didn't fit at all. Phone the orthodontist. Friday: 2nd orthodontist appointment. They managed to get my retainer to fit again by grinding down both the bottom and the top...it was a close call with having to get a new one made!

So, now that I've had my rant and you are all sick of reading my long post, I'll say that in general this surgery has been amazing for me. There are some issues, but I suppose that is to be expected...

Hope all is well with everyone finishing their journeys and good luck to everyone apporching their surgery!


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