Now that the worst is behind me, I wanted to weigh in on the recommendations of La Jolla Mom as the rest of her readers. Hopefully, my experience will offer some answers to the questions raised by her readers and followers.
- "Upgrade your drugs".
I was not offered an option in the drugs department. But I did not have any problems with just the local anesthesia.
- "Get The Modern Gum Graft Surgery".
I was not offered an option as to what happens during the surgery. The doctor pretty much said this is what needs to happen and this is how much it is going to cost to make it happen.
- "Get A Stent To Help Prevent Bleeding".
That stent will be your savior from many evils of the dental graft surgery. It will be your bestest friend for at least a couple of weeks, if not longer.
- Bring Your iPod".
I whole heartedly agree. Music will get you through anything. This time it was Beethoven, who did all the dirty work. Even the doctor was fascinated with my wireless headphones.
- "Have Someone Else Also Listen To Post Care Instructions".
I was given a fairly comprehensive handout with the major stuff. Otherwise, since I didn't have anyone else to listen and memorize them, I asked a ton of questions beforehand.
- "Eat Totally Pulverized Food For The First Few Days".
Again, she is very right on this one - you do have to get used to your mouth and all the contraptions in it. I was not even able to eat regular consistency jello for the first two days. Everything had to be of thin pudding consistency. I had a very hard time chewing with the stent in, so I was slurping my food for at least 10 days.
- "Plan Nothing For About 3 Days After Gum Graft Surgery".
Although I did not feel weak, it might be best for the sake of your sanity. I felt extremely unattractive and somewhat useless, and those are the kinds of feelings that make me want to avoid people. Plus, I had to hold my lip up when talking. Not awesome.
MUSINGS ON READER COMMENTS:
SECOND OPINION: I did not get a second opinion. My regular doctor referred me to this specialist, because even he could tell that the problem was significant enough. So I felt that I already had two opinions. Notably, my regular dentist has done some great things for me in the past.
SWELLING: The palate did not noticeably swell at any time. The stent always comfortable fit against it. The chin area did as was expected.
ICE: I never iced my face. But it may actually be a good idea in the beginning to keep the chin area swelling to a minimum.
RECOVERY TIME: I took one week off and worked from home the second week. But I was mobile and portable - out and about after a couple of days. However, I did not go back to my usual level of exercise until more than two weeks after the procedure.
PAINKILLERS: I was prescribed a narcotic-strength painkiller, but I never even filled that prescription - never even finished all the industrial strength Motrin.
MOUTH RINSE: I was not prescribed any mouthwashes. The doctor recommended to simply rinse the mouth with cold water.
SURGERY COST: The list price cost was $1,095 per tooth plus $1,200 for the stent and $600 each for Emdogain gels. However, since my insurance was not covering much, my doctor was able to offer me a fantastic discount. Please contact me directly for final cost and doctor recommendation, if you are interested.
REALITY: At the time I simply tried to take it one day at a time, but now that I am looking back I have to admit - it kind of was a terrible experience. Although I did expect something much worse.
If any one has any other questions, I would be more than happy to share how I was able to tackle all the hurdles. You can read the whole story on the DENTAL GRAFT DIARIES page.