I had my four week check up on Tuesday. Dr. G told me that I can start leaving my bands off for one hour, three times per day! Plus I don’t have to wear the front band anymore that attaches to the skeletal hooks in the front of my jaw!!! That is such a relief because of the terrible pain it had been causing me!
Last Friday I got a call from Dr. G’s office asking me to come in for an extra appointment. Dr. G explained to me that when I was saying good-bye the previous day, he noticed that my archwire wasn’t perfectly straight. So he thought about me overnight and devised a plan using the bands on my braces to straighten the front piece of my top jaw. (My top jaw had been split into three pieces during surgery, and the front piece was trying to tilt, making my left canine tooth higher than my right one.) I had to walk around with VERY tight bands on for a couple of hours to get the front piece of my jaw moving. Then Dr. G checked it and taught me a different pattern to use on the bands when I put them on my braces. This new pattern was much tighter than the old way. I had another appointment today (my second of the week) and he told me that the treatment worked! So I got a new band pattern that I started using today and it feels much better! He also said things are looking so good that we can probably start doing just one appointment per week.
When we first decided to come to Santa Barbara from Iowa for this surgery, Dr. G’s office told us to plan on staying three weeks post surgery. We elected to stay for six weeks. I am so happy we did! Otherwise, we may have needed to come back out for this jaw straightening, as this doesn’t always happen to patients post op. The other option would have been to have my ortho align my teeth using the braces. I do NOT want anything to prolong the time I have to have these babies on!!
My left front tooth is turning a little purple at the top, looking bruised around the gumline. Dr. G says that means it is having a hard time getting enough blood flow after the major surgery. About 50% of teeth that do this come around with no problems. If it doesn’t come back, it may need to be bleached from the inside to restore it to the right color. I am keeping my fingers crossed, but at least I won’t lose the tooth!
On a personal note, last weekend my Mom and I went to visit the Gentle Barn in Santa Clarita, CA. Ellie Laks, who started this nonprofit, does amazing work. She takes in the most needy of animals, heals them, and uses them to help at-risk kids heal as well. Check out their website at http://www.gentlebarn.org. If you are coming here for surgery, I highly recommend this daytrip when you are feeling up for it! I really connected with what she is doing and wish I could find something in like this in Iowa to take my students to!
Oh, and we have decided to stay in California a couple of extra weeks! We will be here eight weeks in all. Dr. G wants his out of area patients back for an eight week check, so we are going to stick nearby and explore a little more of the California coast. 🙂