I am 63 years old. I just had the remainder of my...
I am 63 years old. I just had the remainder of my upper teeth removed, 8 total, and 5 implants installed and a temporary loading on the implants. I have almost a lifetime history in the dental office due to baseball bat to the mouth when I was young. I eventually lost all eight of my front teeth, 4 upper and 4 lower. I was fitted with multiple partials and bridges over the last 40 years. I cannot say that I had the best dental care during the first 20 years after the accident. I was basically told I would likely wind up with dentures by the age of 40. Without going into specific detail the dentists I saw in the rural area where lived pulled teeth and sold dentures. I lost some teeth I could have kept I'd there had been the knowledge of repair and root canals. I finally found a dentist in the early 1980s that was willing to tackle and save the mess I eventually had in my mouth. Cracked molars and partial dentures hanging on the remaining teeth had taken their toll. 6 unit brides were made the replace the partials. Getting rid of the hardware in my mouth made a world of difference in dental hygiene. A lot of irreparable damage was done to my teeth from the damage and poor dental care. I have had a couple of extractions and multiple root canals and crowns since that time. The last couple of years have been pivotal concerning the state of my teeth. My dentist is phenomenal and has become a good friend since I helped put his kids through college! I had my upper front 6 unit bridge replaced in 2012. Shortly thereafter, a fistula appeared on the gum above one of the canines supporting the bridge. The tooth had a root canal twenty years earlier. I saw my dentist who referred me to an endodontist for evaluation. The tooth root had become reinfected from a branch that was not seen originally. A reverse root canal was attempted in order to preserve the bridge but was unsuccessful. A few months ago, as expected, the canine failed when I was biting and the bridge was loose. Upon evaluation the canine, which had a post supporting the bridge had cracked through the root and could not be used. My dentist temporarily re-cemented the bridge and referred me to Dr. Kenneth Parrish for an implant evaluation. After scans, Dr. Parrish discussed the options with me. Option one was to do bone grafting in the area where I had lost the teeth as a teenager and place implants for a bridge in that area as well as a couple of premolars I had lost. Option two was an All on 5 that would replace all the upper arch. Many of these had large fillings and all but 2 had root canals. Scary as it sounded, after working and spending most of my life trying to save these teeth, I knew he was right and agreed.
I went for the extraction and implant procedure yesterday. I was pretty Caplin until the appointment time but was in panic at the end thinking of the what-ifs. Mainly, what if It turns out I cannot get the implants but I finally got sedated and woke up with a mouth of brand new upper teeth. Temporary is in now and perms in a few months. At least my teeth look a lot like the bridge but it reminds me of my youth when I got the upper and lower partial. I have a mouth full but already getting use to it plus I know the perms will be much better. I had some pain on the afternoon of the surgery and took painkillers to sleep but have not used anything but ibuprofen since. Mostly just swelling in my face today that I am fighting with ice packs. Looking forward to my permanent bridge.
I read a lot of other comments and it really helped me understand a lot so I thought I should pass it on.
2 weeks since surgery
It has been 2 weeks since my surgery and things are going fine. I am getting accustomed to my temporary but looking forward to my permanent. The temp looks great but it is obviously not what I would expect in function. I have had bridges for years and still have a 6 unit lower bridge that has been in since the early 80s and I think of it as my teeth. I loved my upper bridge as well (they replaced partial dentures I wore for a time after the accident) but you have to have solid teeth to anchor it and I literally just ran out of them on the upper.
I have had no pain after the first week and even then, it was bearable after the first couple of days with taking ibuprofen. No narcotic after the first couple days. Swelling was the worst and it didn't really go away until 8 days. That was really uncomfortable since it was sinuses, upper lip, and roof of the mouth all involved. I have heard this from others and I have a really tender spot in the roof of my mouth like a really bad liquid burn but is not. It is much better but at first it bothered me much more than any other area and made it hard to eat even soft food. I plan to ask the surgeon what gives with that on my next visit, which is a week from today.
Now that my mouth feels better, it also bothers me that I cannot eat my normal diet that seems to be everything I can't have now. Looking forward to not thinking about what I eat again.
I think that I differ from many others since I have had nice bridges all along and really am happy just to keep the appearance I had prior to surgery. I am just looking forward to at least the same function I had with the bridges. Since I had so much bridgework I have used a water pick and dental brushes (plackers) for years and am accustomed to the maintenance aspect. I have not been told I can use the water pic on top yet but hopefully can after the next appointment. Sometimes I have this urge to get in to the top and clean it like I used to. That is something that becomes a routine and is hard not to do when I still clean the bottom teeth and bridge. Still swishing and using Periogard. Anyway, until next time...
4 weeks progress
Returned to the surgeon for my second appointment since surgery. They finally let me start flossing and using the water pic. Glad to be able to start that. They say everything is going as planned and unless I have a setback of some type we will start on the permanent denture on January 24. Once that gets done I should be home free!
I did ask the surgeon about why the roof of my mouth right behind the temporary denture was so sore and inflamed. Since there are 5 implants in that area there was a lot of work in that vicinity and he said there was a nerve in that area that they could have irritated. It is fine now but is the only area in my mouth that has any tenderness and inflammation now. I think it is going to be just fine.
Still hating the temporary fixed denture but January and snow will be here very soon. Not looking forward to the snow. Not looking forward to the holidays with the soft diet but I am getting more adjusted to that too. Excited to get the permanents and get rid of some of the bulk and lisp I can't seem to conquer. Glad I am retired!
4 months after surgery
21 Jan 2017
4 months post
Things are going well. I go back in on January 24 for a checkup to see if I am ready to start procedure to get permanents. I have gotten used to the temporary but still am excited to finally get to the real deal. The worst part of the temporary now is that the bite just does not lock in like my real teeth. I am attaching a current pic of me now with the temporary.
Started process to get permanent today
24 Jan 2017
4 months post
Went back for my 4 month appointment today. I am proud to say that after the 5 implants were torqued and imaged, the verdict was that all was perfect to plan so I am now in the hands of the prosthodontist who made impressions and will be contacting me for trial runs soon. I was amazed at how well everything had healed and how clean the temporary was when it was removed. I really didn't know what to expect there. I do think it helped that I have had a long history with bridges and had learned to clean them religiously using a waterpik, flossing, and dental brushes. Plus, I am not about to waste this much money because I failed to do my part! It is a regimen that must be part of the daily routine and it comes easier if you have done it for awhile.
I am so ready.
6 months post-surgery
17 Mar 2017
6 months post
Things have been moving along really well. I have been through 3 wax try-ins, the last being this past Wednesday. Each time the wax set has improved. The last time there was a slight problem with the left side being slightly out. That correction was made on the office. After the correction was done, the result felt really good. The staff kept asking me if I thought this was the real deal. Things felt really good, they looked really good, but I asked them if I could just get out of the chair and walk around the office building for a while. I did that with my wife along with me and simply thought I couldn't find anything wrong. I just hope they can get the permanent set to fit and look like the final wax. It is great to finally get to the point you wanted to be in since you started months prior. I have just had no real problems. I would say, so far, I would be the textbook case. There is discomfort at the beginning. The surgery makes hamburger out of your gums and re shapes the bone plus there are bog holes drilled in that bone with giant "screws" put into them. I would not choose to do this with just local anesthesia but I would say that if the choice was between doing it with a local or not doing it, I would go with the local. I do remember sort of panicking when I woke up and had the big mouth full of teeth at the top that seemed so off somehow. I kept telling myself to stay calm and I would get used to it. My advice is to go in educated in what is going to be done and get your head set on the first two weeks. First few days are definitely uncomfortable. You really have to get used to the apparatus in your mouth. Because of swelling, everything pushes at you and you are eating only soft foods. The change in your mouth makes eating different and difficult, especially at first. This too passes and I know now I could even live with the temporary and be OK. I expect the perms will be that much better. It is a lot of money but what it can do for your daily life makes it worth it. I am in my mid-60s and when I first lost part of my teeth in an accident I was told over and over there was no way to get them back. I have had partial dentures, crowns, bridges, root canals, reverse root canals... you name it. This is getting closer than anything yet to get teeth back that have been gone for 50 years. A good 40 years or so out of these and they could be a final solution for me. Since I stated my age you might find that humorous but I have plans... I would recommend the procedure at this point rather than nothing or dentures. Good luck to all that are contemplating or in process. Keep yourself healthy. Thanks to all who chronicled their journey here. I read many and it definitely helped me prepare. I think I will be ready for some good apples this Fall!