Hello, darkness, my old friend…
Currently, I have an appointment on October 31st to see Dr. Dillon at Harborview to discuss when my teeth come out. All my friends say to wait until after Thanksgiving, but the truth is, I don’t think it’ll matter anymore.
Since the entire process is going to take between nine and twelve months? I’d rather just get it done and over with. This is the last thing I need to do to put all this cancer business behind me. I had a clean scan last week (OMGYAY!), which means that if I can keep THAT up over the next (toothless) year, then I really will have beaten this thing.
I’m a survivor.
I just can’t keep smiling (literally) with nasty teeth. I have one broken already, and others are going faster than I can get into the doctor. Thankfully, they don’t hurt nearly as much as they could. There will be photographs as soon as I can muster up the courage. It’s embarrassing. As much as I know that this isn’t because I just refused to brush or floss (since that wasn’t the case at all), it’s still awful since people put pretty teeth in such high regard.
But it’s okay. This one last thing and then I’m done… even if it takes a year and costs $30,000. I already have the first $5000.
If you have any questions, my ask is open!
A new mess for a new day.
When most people think of implants, they thing of boobs, they don’t think of teeth.
On Friday, the 26th, I was told in no uncertain terms that my mouth cannot hold a lower denture. In fact, most people can’t. It’s a small space, it erodes the soft tissue and leads to the destruction of the jawbone.
In radiated people, me, this is called OSTEORADIONECROSIS. Bone death due to radiation.
The only solution? Implants.
It’s a long and scary process and what it entails is this:
1) EXTRACTION: They’ll remove the teeth I have now.
2) HEALING: Because of the radiation, healing will take about 4-5 months, but the hyperbarics I did is going to help a LOT. We already knew this and going toothless for five months was never going to be a joy (in fact, it caused me lots of tears), but okay. It was going to be a great diet and whoo hoo! Right? Sure.
3) THE PLAN: They’ll build a 3-D impression and scale of my mouth and take a peek at what I have going on in there to see how I can have my teeth made for after. He’s fairly certain I can hold an upper denture plate. I have a ‘nice curvature of the palate’. Score.
4) IMPLANTATION: Sounds scary, right? It is. They cut open your gum line down to your jaw and stick in a plate with five titanium posts attached. It looks like this, more or less:
Healing time from that? 5-6 months. Yeah, a no-chew, no bite diet for almost a year. I went from 4 months to 9 months (on a generous estimate) real quick, folks.
5) Once that’s done, they make the ‘crowns’ that sit on those screws and THEY look like this:
Yes, I can technically wear an upper plate during those six months I’m healing but it won’t be comfortable because I’d have teeth rubbing against open sores and I still can’t use them to chew. It’d be kind of useless.
When it’s all said and done, uppers and lowers look like this:
Approx: $2500 for the upper plate, $12,500 for the posts themselves and 12,500 for the surgery & crowns. Not to mention incidentals like oh, anesthesia.
SOOOO, this is where things stand now.
A new mess for a new day. Here we go.