Starting my journey...Posted: May 16, 2011 10:20 pm
Starting my journey...
Posted: May 16, 2011 10:20 pm
10. Reply to Starting my journey... by life-is-what-you-make-it
Posted: June 9, 2011 9:17 pm
Update #8: Wow....do I have an update! It's been 3 weeks since I had my back teeth extracted. Well, I've had a few bone issues to deal with. On the top, I ended up pulling out 3 very small bone fragments from one spot. I could feel them with my tongue, but they were still buried in the skin a bit, so they weren't coming out on their own. I ended up using some tweezers and was able to provoke them to the surface and got all 3 out over a 2 day period. The area was a tiny bit sore...but it felt SO much better and I can tell it's starting to heal like the other spots. With my lower, front jaw - that's where the real story begins. When the dentist pulled my lower, right eye tooth - he contoured and smoothed down the bone. That spot hadn't bothered me too much until here recently. Then, I had a piece of bone working itself out of my gum where my lower, left eye tooth was. I told the dentist that the left side only hurt if I touched the skin (since the bone fragment was pointy and was poking out of my gum). Then I told him that the right side was hurting me on the inside portion of my gum (just like a toothache would). He said he could definitely fix the left side...but that he wasn't sure about the right side b/c everything looked good on the outside. He gave me 3 shots of novocaine and started on the left side. I was NOT prepared for what he did. I thought since it was just a pointy bone - that he would just grind it down with a dental drill. Nope, he actual scraped it...then smoothed it. I was numb and didn't feel any major pain; but the pressure was insane and my head jerked around a lot. I pretty much became one with the chair b/c I was squeezing the arm rests so hard and my body was extremely tense due to the pulling and pushing of the scraping tool. When he got done with that procedure, he had to stitch up the area b/c the incision was about 1" long and there was a lot of blood. The right side wasn't poking out or anything, but there must have been something going on b/c he did the same exact thing on that side. The only difference with the right side is it appears he stitched part of my cheek to my gum (the stitch on the left side is completely on the gumline); so any time I move my lower lip, it pulls the stitch and kinda hurts. He told me when I left that I should immediately take some Ibuprofin to get ahead of the pain. He said if I didn't catch it before the novocaine wore off...I'd probably be in a lot more pain and would have a hard time getting it under control without something stronger. When I left, I stopped to see how much my appt cost and the lady told me $0 ... that it was included as part of the treatment plan. I was ecstatic to hear this b/c my dental bill from the last time said the procedure was $250 per location. I had no idea what this appointment was going to entail, so I drove myself (it's about a 40 minute drive from home). Well, if I ever have to have this done again - I will have someone drive me. About 10 minutes into my drive, I about passed out while I was driving. I think I was in-between the novocaine wearing off and the Ibuprofin kicking in and the pain hit me like a ton of bricks. After about another 10 minutes, things started to calm down a bit. By the time I got home, I was feeling ok but I was SOOOOO tired!!! I ended up taking more Ibuprofin later that night, but I did not have to use ice or heat. Most importantly, I slept good. I was debating if I wanted to go to work this morning b/c my body was still tired from being so tense during the appt and my mouth was still pretty tender. I got up and got ready....sadly, it took me about 6 minutes to brush my teeth and I had a tough time putting on my lipstick. I ended up only working 1/2 a day because I could hardly keep my eyes open after 4 hours and my mouth started hurting from the little bit of talking that I had done. When I got home, I slept for about 5 straight hours and I felt so much better. I kinda feel like I'm back to square one with my eating habits b/c I can't open my mouth very far. I have to go back in a week or so to have the stitches removed, so hopefully things will feel better after that. Right now, I really don't have any pain unless I physically push on the areas. It was very sore after the initial procedure...but it felt 100% better after 24 hours.
9. Reply to Starting my journey... by life-is-what-you-make-it
Posted: May 30, 2011 8:37 pm
Update #7: I am very happy to report that things are going great after almost 2 weeks. My extraction sites are still a little tender from time to time, but I'm able to eat so much better. Last Wednesday (1 week after having my back teeth pulled) I was able to eat my first few pieces of pizza. Let me tell you......it was like heaven!!!!! The next day, I went to BK for lunch and got some chicken nuggets and a milkshake. I am still trying to gear towards food that is a little on the softer side, but I am able to utilize my entire mouth a little better now. Over the weekend, I ate out at Fazzoli's on Saturday, ate normal cookout food on Sunday and had some more pizza today. It feels so good to finally start eating normal again. I need to watch my eating though; I don't want to go overboard and gain a bunch of unwanted weight b/c I can eat good, solid food again.
It's kinda funny b/c I now find myself checking out people's smiles. When my Mom and I were out over the weekend, she'd ask me, "Could you tell that person wore dentures?". Some I could tell and some I couldn't. It's amazing how far technology has come along - the capabilities to replicate "real" teeth is amazing!!
I am getting to the point that I am excited for July to get here. I'm doing ok without my back teeth, but I'm looking forward to having a full mouth of "beautiful" teeth again. I look in the mirror and see what I have left of my natural teeth...I think I'm to the point that I'm ready to tell them goodbye. Even though I've had a root canal on 5 of my top, remaining 6 teeth - they are still causing me a lot of pain at & above the gumline. And my bottom, lower teeth are a bit sore b/c my top teeth will smack into them from time to time. I have to admit, I think about this whole procedure quite often every day. I always wonder how things are going to feel, taste, etc... And, I lay in bed at night and wonder how those big, bulky things are going to feel in my mouth. I can listen to words of advice (which I'm VERY thankful for), read things online - but I'm never going to know how things are going to be for me until "I" actually experience it. All I can do is hope & pray that God continues to make this an easy transition for me.
Again, just like my dentist told me: If people go into this with a positive attitude...most are successful with very little or no issues and their quality of life will improve drastically. If people go into this with a negative attitude...they will fight the process and be miserable.
8. Starting my journey... by life-is-what-you-make-it
Posted: May 23, 2011 8:06 pm
Update #6: Today was definitely a lot better!!!! I finally slept good last night and wasn't up 20 times getting ice or medicine. I took some Ibuprofin before work this morning and that's all I've taken today. I think resting over the weekend helped quite a bit. I also think my breakdown on Saturday helped me more than it hurt me. It made me realize that I can either keep pushing ahead or that I can let sadness set in.
I fulfilled my salt craving by getting some ShoeString potato chips that come in a can. They are very small, I can easily chew them with my front teeth and they satisfied my craving for something salty & crunchy. I did get a few pieces caught up in one of my openings and that definitely was not a pleasant feeling...but the pain quickly went away. Also, breakfast went over very well with the Rice Crispies. I'm definitely getting my appetite back :)
7. Starting my journey... by compassrose313
Posted: May 23, 2011 7:56 pm
Thanks for all the advice Barbara. The warm salt water technique has definitely been helpful. I think between that and me deciding to switch from Tylenol to Ibuprofin has helped me tremendously. I have felt myself getting tired on and off, so I took it easy over the weekend. I think Sunday afternoon was the first time I had a good burst of energy since the extractions.
And thank you for the vote of confidence on the mental side of this. I am trying my best to stay positive; and I'm really hoping that the whole "mind over matter" idea really works. I totally agree with everything you mentioned in your last few lines. It really is a hard thing to accept...but in the end, it's helping me :)
6. Starting my journey... by life-is-what-you-make-it
Posted: May 23, 2011 4:42 pm
Hi, You can use bags of frozen vegetables for ice packs- they are cheap and reusable. Also rinse several times a day with a solution of warm salt water. It will help with the healing of your gums and also soothe the wounds. The whole thing is quite taxing physically so be sure to get plenty of rest. With the ice packs-20 minutes on, 20 minutes off.
About the mental stuff, that takes the longest. Don't get down on yourself or worry about what others might think. Once you are all settled in with your new teeth it is doubtful anyone will know. Just like any other part of the body, teeth get sick and have to be removed. You are doing this for you- no one else. Stay positive and stay focused.