So remember how a few months ago I had to have oral surgery? If not, you can read about it here. Anyway, I have had a lot more going on with my mouth since then. We knew that I wouldn't have teeth in my mouth for about 6-8 months because it takes that long for new bone to grow and for the gums to be receptive enough for the new teeth. I have been going back about once a month to my oral surgeon for him to check on my gums and make sure they are healing okay.
He has thought the tissue is healing really well, but he didn't really like the shape that it was growing in. All I had for "place holders" for my teeth was the mouth guard that my dentist made me. While it was good, it wasn't pushing on my gums, so my gums didn't "know" what shape to take. So, my oral surgeon generously said he would make me some temporaries that would actually go on the posts and push against my gums so that they would start to take the right shape. The first time I went to him it took about 3 hours to mold and shape the temporaries to fit in my mouth. We finally got the basic shape, but there was still the polishing to do. I went back two days later for another hour and a half for him to polish them and get them just right. The next morning, I woke up, stood up, and one of them fell right out of my mouth! Turns out we didn't have the contact just right and I was clenching and grinding on it all night. I had to go back again that day for about an hour so he could shave it down so that I wouldn't hit it when I bit down. Its been two weeks since then and so far, so good. They haven't fallen out again.
There are a few things that bother me about them, but I'm so glad to look more "normal" that it doesn't really matter. There is a rubber sleeve inside the tooth around the posts. This allows it to give a little bit if I were to accidentally bite down on them. Because there is that rubber in there, the teeth wiggle quite a bit and it kinda drives me crazy :) I'm getting more and more used to the wiggle though and I'm not always telling Rick that they are going to fall out any second (I think he is so sick of me saying, "Oh no! I think they are about to fall out!" :-P) They are also not the exact color of my real teeth, they are a little yellow compared to the rest of my mouth. I also am pretty nervous to eat very many things. Anything that I have to bite with my front teeth, I try to avoid. I'm not supposed to bite down on the temporaries at all. So, if there is anything like a sandwich, or a taco, etc, I usually cut it up into small pieces and stick them in the back of my mouth where I can chew. It was definitely a process trying to get these temporaries just right but I am so grateful to have them in! It looks like I won't be able to get my "real" teeth until January so I hope these bad boys last a while!
|This is April, right before my surgery. The last time I had my "real" teeth in my mouth.|
Sidenote: between the first and second picture I lost 10 pounds with all this mouth work!
|This is my mouthguard. I only wore it at night and when I went out. When I was just home during the day I wouldn't wear it so Daci and Rick saw "hill billy Kori" a lot :)|
|What it looked like with my mouthguard in. The teeth in the tray weren't the same color as my regular teeth either.|
|My lip would get caught on the top of it when I smiled and you could still see the posts. Can you see how there is no way for the tissue to know which shape to take? There is nothing pushing against the gums.|
|This is after the first day that I had the temporaries put in. They still weren't quite the right shape and I was hitting them a bunch when I bit down. I forgot to take pics after I had them fixed to the right shape.|