My Crown Lengthening Surgery

Fair warning: If you are squeamish, beware! I’ve posted a picture with blood.

As of writing this, it’s been six days since my surgery and I’ve got a lot to say! Most of it is good… which is good, no?

In the days leading up to my procedure, I was downright scared. I blame Google and YouTube. Something about the idea of grinding away bone from my skull, while I’m conscious, makes me a little uncomfortable. I told the office staff about my apprehension so they called in a prescription for some anxiety medication. Monday rolled around and at exactly 9:30 AM, I swallowed three tiny, innocuous-looking pills with no idea what to expect. Would I trip over the cat? Would I make fun of my doctor’s nose hairs? Would I strip naked in the waiting room?

I got in the shower and only moments later, a warm and lovely feeling crept over me. The drug’s awesomeness had clearly kicked in and I wondered how the hell I was going to finish getting myself ready in less than an hour. I managed to dry my hair. Straightening proved to be a challenge, mainly because the fucking thing wasn’t plugged in and I didn’t realize it until after I was ‘half way done’. Newsflash: I am the reason for the warnings on hair styling tools. I was feeling so good, I might’ve taken a bubble bath with my hair dryer if I could have. And then I somehow managed to apply makeup. At one point I remember stopping after the big accomplishment of drawing eyeliner on one eye. I thought, ‘This is dumb. I’m done.”.  I put my pencil down and almost zipped up my makeup bag before I snapped out of it and returned to my daunting task.

On the way to the office, I renamed my husband “Jeeves” because he was now my driver. I rode in my passenger seat in a state of complete bliss and snapped a few selfies for a before comparison. Jeeves dropped me off right up front to the building’s grandiose entrance. They had a heavy revolving door that required extra effort for someone who’s all jazzed up on benzos. Someone like me. I smoothed out my shirt, gathered my composure and walked through a packed office and up to the receptionist. She was someone I hadn’t spoken to before, so when she charged me $2,000 rather than the quoted $1,800, I tried disputing it. I was clearly not in the right state of mind to do such a thing so I just paid it and figured I’d sort it out later (which I did and actually received my refund check yesterday).

I was called back pretty quickly and from that point, I only remember sporadic moments like when I tried cracking a joke about wearing headphones to drown out Dr. K’s humming. It was totally a joke but it came out all wrong. My face was numb and the anxiety medication gave me the wit of a farm animal, so my attempt to backpedal pretty much made it worse. I just laid there like a blob and hoped he knew I was joking. God I’m such an idiot sometimes.

He got to work right away. One of the things I do remember clearly was the suction. His assistant was kind of rough with my mouth but that may have been because she was clearing out places that weren’t numb. There were quite a few shots but they weren’t an issue because the topical anesthetic they used before hand definitely did its job. The whole procedure was completely painless and took just under an hour which was surprising to me since he did my entire upper arch. I did take a photo right at the end before he stitched me up. I’ve desaturated the color it to lessen the WTF factor:

Screen shot 2014-07-19 at 11.16.24 PM

The part I dreaded most about the surgery was the bone removal and even that was no big deal. I wore my sunglasses for the duration and was pretty grossed out when afterwards I had to wipe off the layer of bone debris before I could actually see through them. Ew.

They insisted that my husband come back to the room so they could explain the post op instructions. I couldn’t understand why they just wouldn’t tell me! Well, uh, now I realize why. I put my aligners back in and covered my mouth with an ice pack as I followed them to the reception desk. He said something that made me laugh and when I did, his expression immediately changed from happy to horrified. “Put that thing back over your mouth. You’re scaring people. You’re bleeding!

When I got in the car, I opened the mirror in my visor and was immediately startled (and slightly humored). I looked like the clown from the movie It.

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This is how I rode home. With a mouth full of gross. I would’ve taken out my aligners but I was wearing white jeans and I have a knack for staining things, so stuck it out and just hoped my nosy neighbor wasn’t outside. He wasn’t.

I sauntered in and laid down in the sunroom to rest. Just as I dozed off, I heard what sounded like a raccoon rustling through trash. Apparently my husband had turned the baby loose and she’d discovered my post op literature.

 

After a while, my mouth started coming back to life. I kept waiting for the just-got-mule-kicked-in-the-face feeling but it never came. Just in case though, I took one of my prescribed pain killers. Nausea ensued shortly after so I waited twenty-four hours before I decided that I really didn’t need any pain meds. My mouth hardly hurt! In fact, the majority of my “pain” was the bruising from the injection sites. This was exactly the opposite of what I was expecting! 9/10 would do again!

Here is one of my “inebriated” before pictures:

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And here is one from about an hour after the procedure:

photo

I note the time for a couple reasons. First, the entire middle of my face was still numb so I couldn’t smile normally. If my lip stayed like that every time I smiled, I’d be a happy lady. It really is amazing how big of a difference lip level makes in how tall or short your teeth appear. This is what I hope to accomplish with the next surgery. Second, it didn’t take long for my gums to swell.

And now for the disheartening part. My teeth haven’t gone back to looking quite like this but hey, it’s only been six days so my outlook is still positive. When I put my aligners in, there is very little visible difference and it makes me kind of sad. What’s even more sad is that we’re having to move out of state one month sooner than expected and it’s likely that I won’t be able to have the second, more important procedure because it might not allow an adequate amount of time for my mouth to heal from this first procedure, which is six weeks. This all depends on how soon they’d be able to get me in.

I think my problem no longer lies in the shape and alignment of my teeth, but with the hypermobility of my lip and the repositioning surgery would very likely fix that problem. Dr. K would need to agree to do the procedure right before I move, which would still be within the six week time frame but cutting it close, and then have someone else in Texas do a follow up. I haven’t yet discussed this with him, but I think it still may be an option. Maybe if I turn on the waterworks? It’s difficult to put into words just how badly I want to have this done.

UPDATE!

The swelling went down and my teeth look bad ass. He was able to make them look almost exactly like my computer-simulated “after” picture. Awesome!