Mesha’s Orthognathic Surgery

Finally getting everything straight…

I’ve got some kind of nerve……….. damage. August 28, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — meshamcd @ 12:28 pm

Well. Perhaps I’m not as “done” as I thought? Perhaps I am? I don’t know.

I went to the surgeon yesterday for my 6-month check up. Everything went great right up until the end. I mentioned to him the fact that the left side of my tongue is still numb–like serious numb, not tingly like my bottom lip, but dead numb–and he got pretty concerned. He seemed a little miffed that whichever of his residents I mentioned it to last visit didn’t mention it to him. He pretty much told me that I’d need surgery to fix it.

He said that the fact that it has been 6 months with zero improvement makes the odds pretty low that that the feeling could come back on it’s own there. To fix it, he would need to call in a different surgeon, as he said the surgery is very specialized and he doesn’t do it. He said the nerve they’d need to get to (I believe, from the little bit of research I’ve started, he’s talking about the Lingual Nerve) is on the floor of the back of my mouth… so they’d slice open, remove the damaged area of the nerve, connect the ends, stitch me up, and hope for the best. He said the surgery is pretty intense, and isn’t a sure thing. Then he asked if I wanted him to get me an appointment with the guy.

I don’t know.

On February 25, 2009 I said I would NEVER EVER EVER EVER NEVER EVER EVER NEVER have another surgery again unless it was life or death. I’d never volunteer for it again. And I fully intended to stick by that decision. And now I find out that unless I have surgery, I most likely won’t get feeling or a sense of taste back on the left side of my tongue. It’s not a huge problem, I guess. I am always aware of it, but…. I can eat, chew, and talk just fine. (well, 99% talking…. words that end in an “sh” sound don’t quite sound right) It is annoying, but not as much as a giant chin with a complete inability to eat normally was. Will I eventually get totally used to it? Or will it slowly start to drive me more and more crazy?

I don’t know.

I went with my gut reaction and told my surgeon that I didn’t want tongue surgery. Right now. He said if I change my mind all I’ve got to do is e-mail him. So I’ve been doing a little bit of poking around on the internet, trying to see if I could find anything about any kind of success rate, risks, what recovery is like, if insurance pays for it, or maybe, oh, I don’t know… a blog of someone who had it done. So far I haven’t found anyone who has had the surgery, just people with nerve damage, wondering what to do about it. Count me as part of that group for the time being.


The big finish! August 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — meshamcd @ 6:42 pm

Well folks, I’m FREE!  The braces came off a few days after we got back from Fantastic Beach Vacation.  The Snickers was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!  The removal process wasn’t bad at all…. A few teeth were a little sensitive but nothing was even as painful as an adjustment.  They popped right off and then the ortho polished off all of the glue.  They took molds for the reatainers, took some photos, and sent me on my way.  A few hours later I went to pick up my retainer and get a lesson on putting it in, taking it out, and cleaning it.  I’ve got the invisalign-type, and they are tricky to get out at first because they kind of “suction” in there, but I’m getting the hang of it. 

Today I went and got my veneers put on……. what a process!!  It started two weeks ago.  The day after I got the braces off, I went to the dentist to get the two teeth prepped and to take impressions.  Prepping the teeth was the WORST.  I am lucky in that he didn’t have to do too much, I don’t know if I would have made it!  He had to etch the surface a little, because the “glue” bonds better to a rougher surface.  That wasn’t so bad.  Then he had to shape the teeth a little, with the water jet.  That wasn’t so bad.  Then.  Then he had to fine tune the shaping, and shave them down a little with what looked like a skinny nail file.  ON MY TEETH.  A NAIL FILE ON MY TEETH.  It was the awful.  The sound.  The nails on a chalkboard made of sandpaper feeling…… bleeeeeegh.  He then took the impressions, I forked over money I don’t have, and we said we’d see each other in two weeks.

I spent the next two weeks eating EVERYTHING.  Snickers, movie theatre popcorn, chewy granola bars… and my favorite, I ate a cheeseburger and some sandwiches and didn’t have to think twice about how bread turns to cement on braces, and most of it gets wedged right in the front brackets.  Biting through my first cheeseburger after surgery was awesome, and now it’s even more so.  I do think it’s a little funny that after eating, I still take a swig of water to “swish”.  OH, and…. flossing is SO easy now!!  Oh man, so easy!

This morning I went to get the veneers stuck on.  I was so nervous they would be the wrong color and wouldn’t blend in with my teeth…. then I found out that they have a bunch of different shades of GLUE and I had to pick which one I wanted.  We tested three or four different ones and I decided.  Then he put them on which was nothing…. until…. the return of the nail file.  He used that to remove excess glue.

I gotta say, I am thrilled with the way they “turned out”.  I picked the right shades of everything and they look real.  I was so scared of them looking fake and terrible (Elliott Yamin, anyone?) but they are very thin and blend in so well with the rest of my teeth.  I’ll work on getting some close up photos of them.

Well.  Here I am.  All done.  I still have a little bit of numbness left, but I can 100% say it was all worth it.  It definitely didn’t seem like it sometimes during the process, but it all already seems so long ago.  I LOVE my smile, I LOVE my profile, and I LOVE eating in front of people and not feeling like a weirdo.  If anyone is reading this while considering surgery, I say go for it!!  It’s not easy, at all.  It’s incredibly difficult.  Insanely difficult at times…. but it is truly life changing.

A bit of life-news not really related to the surgery or my teeth but that I want to share anyhow…..  Andy is no longer the Best Boyfriend Ever.  He’s the Best Fiance Ever!  He proposed during Fantastic Beach Vacation.  We’re getting married!!!!!  I’m giddy! 😀

Here are the three of us (Me, Andy, and my New Smile) posing for an announcement photo:


All good June 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — meshamcd @ 9:40 am

I saw the ortho and the surgeon last week. Ortho once again made me pretty sore, but it was so much easier to handle knowing that it was the LAST adjustment. My little space on the bottom is closed now and the two teeth on top are where they need to be for the veneers. This weekend we leave for Fantastic Beach Vacation. We’ll be gone all week and then the following week is sweet freedom!

The visit with the surgeon was good. I told him I had less than three weeks till the braces come off and he told me that 4-months post-surgery for that has got to be some kind of record. I am quite a lucky lady indeed. I go see him again in 2 months, and then after that it will be 6 months until another visit.

While I was in the waiting room at the surgeon’s office, there was a girl there who was just starting the process to fix an overbite. She didn’t even have her braces yet. She was asking me all kinds of questions about braces and how the heck a liquid diet for 8 weeks is even legal, and if the surgery hurts, etc…. I remembered being in her shoes and was amazed at where I am now.

I look very forward to telling you guys what the braces-removal process is like! Till then, take good care, everyone!


Putting so much freakin’ money where my mouth is! June 3, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — meshamcd @ 8:24 am
I had an ortho visit on Monday. I gotta tell ya, I have never been so sore after an adjustment as I was this time; but I have also never seen my teeth move so fast! I have some coils on the top wire (three spots with closed coil, one with open) and what my ortho calls “super chains” all the way across the bottom. These are not the power chains we all know and love…. With these, rather than one lig on one bracket like normal, one lig is stretched across two brackets. Those suckers hurt!

I am so antsy to get the braces off now! I think it’s worse than waiting for surgery. I was hoping they would be off in time for Fantastic Beach Vacation in early July, but from what I can estimate it looks like it will be right after we get back. I’m not gonna complain, tho, because that is still much sooner than I was expecting.

<rant> I *will* complain, however, about the fact that I’ve got to fork over $200 for a retainer I will wear for two weeks. Yup. I’ve got to buy the damn thing just like I would a retainer I’d keep forever. When I get the braces off, I’ll get my “real” retainer for the bottom that I’ll only have to wear at night. I will also get a temporary one that I’ll have to wear 24/7 up top while waiting for my veneers. Then once the veneers are on, I’ve got to buy a new one for the top that I will only wear at night. I was a little floored when the ortho told me I’ve got to buy the temporary one *and* that it will cost as much as the “real” one. $8,000 for the braces wasn’t enough?! And he knows how much the veneers are costing me….. Would an orthodontist with three offices really miss $200? I hate to be so grumpy about it, but the out-of-pocket cost has already passed the $10,000 mark without these retainers. $200 for something I will throw away in 14 days stings a little. </rant>

I go back to the ortho in three weeks. I’m pretty busy packing, moving, and house-sitting in those weeks so it should go quickly…. I hope!

I thought I should give a “surgery aftermath” update….. I can open 4-fingers wide!! A few spots on my chin and lower lip are still numb-ish. I get tinglies when I touch them, but I can’t tell if there’s, say, food on my face yet. They are coming along nicely, though. The spot on the side of my tongue is still the spot with the most numbness. That is also the spot that I want to wake up the most! It makes me talk funny every once in a while and it sometimes makes eating feel a little strange…. but…. at least it’s only one small area and not the whole thing!! Considering the trauma that happened in the area, I am thankful I’ve only got the small amount of numbness left that I do.


You all must be really good at crossing your fingers! May 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — meshamcd @ 8:56 am

Just heard from my 410k “people”.  They are putting the check in the mail for me TODAY!


I swear I can almost taste the Snickers….! May 19, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — meshamcd @ 12:06 pm

Well! It has been a little while since I’ve updated…. I suddenly have lots going on! I went to the orthodontist yesterday and got a pretty big surprise….. He said I could be getting my braces OFF in a matter of weeks. There is a catch, tho…. The two teeth on either side of my front teeth are narrow. If he closes the spaces they make, my bite will be off. Right now one of them is exactly where it needs to be and the other has to scooch over just a little and it will be exactly right too. So, the ortho sent me to the dentist to talk about bonding and veneers for after the braces come off. I went this morning and left pretty convinced that veneers are the way to go. They look better and last longer. AND COST THREE TIMES AS MUCH as composite bonding. UGH. When I got to work I filled out a form to take the money out of my 401k. I should know by the end of the week if my request was approved. *fingers crossed*

If all goes well, I will have naked teeth just in time for moving day in mid-June. I’ll see the ortho on the 1st to check that the tooth that needed to move did, then, from what I understand, he’ll take the braces off and I’ll get a mold done at the dentist for the veneers. I’ll probably wear a temporary retainer while we wait for the lab to make the veneers (about 2 weeks). Then, I’ll get the veneers on and go back to the ortho to get molds done for my real retainer. Then I’m done!

I know I have asked for quite a lot of finger crossing from you all, but if you could do it one more time….. I don’t know how I’ll afford the veneers if they don’t let me take it out of my 401… so…. please, cross ’em tight!!


I can has cheezburger!! It’s a mastication celebration!!!! April 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — meshamcd @ 3:10 pm

I had my 8 week check-up with the surgeon yesterday.  Things are looking great, and I got the go ahead for a cheeseburger!  The one thing I’ve been craving since the start of the liquid diet, and now I can eat one whenever I feel like it 😀   In two more weeks (week 10) I’ve got the OK to eat whatever I want.  They told me at the check up I could pretty much eat most noms now, but to ease my way into the eating free for all the will likely ensue in two weeks time.

Needless to say I got Andy to take me out for a burger yesterday….  Sadly for him, we couldn’t go to his favorite burger joint yet because their burgers are a little too big for me at the moment (I can open from 2 and a half to three fingers currently…) so we went to 5 Guys.  Skinny yet delicious burgers.  We captured the first bite:

And, I think my underbiting friends will appreciate this; for lots of years I never bothered trying to bite into sandwiches, burgers, and stuff like that, I just tore off pieces and ate it that way…. but on the rare occasion when I did bite, never ever in my life did I ever see that perfect little half circle bite mark in my sandwich.  I got a little too excited about my burger arch:

A work of art, really.

I’ve got a little numbness left in the left side of my tongue, the right side of my bottom lip, and a little bit of my chin.  All of it has tingles though…  I can at least feel *something* when someone touches any part of my face now.  Best new bit of progress, though?  Smooches.  Lots of smooches. 😀

Hope all of my blog-buddies who recently had their big day are doing jawsome…..!  Hi guys!!