I Am 47 and Had Dental Issues All my Life. Atlanta, GA

At a cross road in my life, having to make a...

At a cross road in my life, having to make a decision, I started my research. I had partials, top and bottom for almost 3 years; I had crowns on my upper front teeth for so many years that I don’t remember the exact time. It hurts when I eat, I perfected the smile with my mouth closed, I hate the taste in my mouth, I avoid eating with my colleagues at work, I’m sure you all get the picture. I decided to make the first appointment with CS in Atlanta to see if I’m a candidate (I’m a smoker also on top of everything) and what to expect, how much it will be, what options I have. I asked my husband to come with me, even though I really didn’t open up to him regarding my feelings and how much my dental issues were such a huge deal for so long. He knew but he always chose to let me be, not to hurt my feelings. I had my first appointment on Fed 1st and met with June; she explained everything including the cost. It shouldn’t have been such a shocker as I read the reviews, but it was. She was great! We don’t have the money, if I would have gone by myself, I would have probably walked out. We have a son in college and I want to help him financially, not to end up with a lot of student loans. June explained to us different options, different ways to finance, and all the steps. Dr. Donatelly came in and explained the scan, he made recommendations, answered questions. He was patient and overall great. Do they want the business and try to “sell” that? Absolutely! Would I ever blame anyone for that? Absolutely not! They are not a charity organization and no matter how much I struggle with the amount, that’s for me to figure it out if I chose to move forward. My husband actually made the decision for us to move forward and get it done. We paid the 1k but I made the decision not to do the first “smile design” consult at that time, as I needed a clear head. The surgery appointment will be scheduled at that time. June suggested that I bring a picture from the past, where they can see my smile and design the first bridge. I don’t have that as it’s been such a long time! I will have to see how they can help me make a decision on Monday at my appointment. I will keep you posted.

Surgery on March 2nd!

The "smile design" out of the way and my appointment for the surgery is March 2nd. It was an interesting appointment to say the least, but that’s out of the way. Everyone worked with me to make the selections, answered my questions. Am I sure on what I chose? Not really, but the first bridge is temporary and I can go with a different shade for the permanents if I need to. Really hard to decide on a shade when for so many years I had something I hate it and I really don’t want people to notice too much of the change. We have a loan for a portion of it, and we need to plan ahead for the payment on the permanent bridge. One step at the time. I asked them to schedule the procedure ASAP as I really hate to think about it for too long. It’s exciting and nerve wrecking at the same time, not really knowing what’s going to look like, how long the recovery is, is it going to be painful, etc. I have 5 teeth on top and five on the bottom to be removed and according to the doctor no bone grafting necessary. I have prescriptions to fill, need to cut smoking to a minimum and my dental insurance to harass and see what they may cover. I’m counting down the days and try to see the bare minimum that I have to buy for the Polident. I really hate that process!

17 days until the surgery

Came home from a busy day at work and got a nice card from June at Clear Choice. She is looking forward to my "new smile". Me too! Excited and nervous. I think I'm becoming a "stalker" here and other places, trying to see more experience with the procedure. I am ready for the first part of the journey to be over with. I'm looking forward to the time that I can post before and after pictures. Almost there....

Seven days....

Ughhh. I hate waiting however I got some great news from my dental insurance. It seems they wiwill cover some of my expenses. I sent the paperwork in and I'm sure they will ask for more. Fingers crossed. It's funny as today when my brother asked me how I'm doing with the "waiting" part, I asked him "what if they give me some rabbit teeth?". His answer: "they would be the best looking rabbit teeth out there for the money."
You just have to joke about it and try not counting every day.

Surgery done.

I'm out of the surgery and now in the recovery room waiting for my temporaries. I can't wait to see what they look like. I will post more later on.

First Day

After the surgery, they just had me relax, and I couldn't have done much anyway due to the pain meds. Last night I was able to sleep on and off, had some pain and took Ibuprofen at first. Around 3 am I decided to go for the pain meds to help me sleep also. I have been using a lot of ice but today my face is swollen like a watermelon and my lips are huge. I can't say that I'm in pain, it's just uncomfortable and definitely not pretty. I was able to have some soup, juices and some mashed potatoes. The antibiotics are a killer to your stomach if you don't eat. I cleaned my mouth with the mouthwash prescribed, rinsed with salt water but I wasn't courageous enough for the soft toothbrush. Overall I'm happy to have the surgery over with, the day after almost done....I'm looking forward to actually see my smile.

Day two after the surgery

Another day of ice will be and ibuprofen. I woke up with a bigger face than yesterday and I didn't think that was possible. My skin is stretched so thin and from my understanding tomorrow, the 3rd day is supposed to be worse. The pain is manageable the still with ibuprofen mostly, except at night. The inside of my mouth is really tender, which is expected with everything that was done. I can do this!!

Day three after my surgery

I was pleasantly surprised to see the swelling went down today. The teeth are beautiful but they still look so small probably due to the swelling. I'm sore but all is manageable. I couldn't yet really look closely inside my mouth, I'll do it eventually. I will try later on to brush my teeth. Up until now I just used the mouthwash and rinsed with salty water as often as possible. I'm making great progress and I honestly taught this will be worse than what I am actually experiencing. No, it's not a walk in the park but I have been through much more all my life. Growing up in eastern Europe, the dentist used to do root canals without anesthesia and boy, I had quite a few of them. I used to have panic attacks triggered just by the dentist smell. That just to give you an idea how nervous I was on the day of the surgery. People here have been a great support, I read every journey and I know what to expect. I cannot wait until I can post my pictures! It will take me a while to smile as I have to learn how, without covering my mouth. I'm not out of the woods yet, I want to see that the implants fused to the bone, get the permanent I have a while to go.... But all looks promising now!

Returning to work tomorrow...

I still have some swelling on the bottom of my face, it looks like I have candies in my mouth. I still can't open my mouth too much and there's no feeling in my chin. Does that go away? I'll call clear choice today to schedule my 10 day follow up appointment and hopefully all is healing the way it should.

My insecurities...

I haven't been updating for few days now. I am doing much better but still trying to get the swelling down completely. I still have some that makes my face look square somewhat. However, today, for the first time as my son came home for spring break he said to me: "you look great babe! Well done mom!"
It was the best thing I heard in a long time. I will be posting pictures soon. That statement from him and the honest smile on his face took away a good part of my insecurities.
I have a follow up appointment on Wednesday and I look forward to be able to use the water pik and also to really brush my teeth right.
Dr Herman Donatelli

Clear Choice Atlanta. The doctors and staff, they all get a five stars rating!

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