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Surgical consultation with Dr. Lahl

Jun 17, 2009 - 0 comments
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surgery consultation



So today I had my surgical consult, and in a nutshell, he does not do TMJ surgery, and since he feels that changing my crossbite won't acheive much, I'll likely need reconstructive TMJ repair. But he also added that all of the above is a 'shot in the dark' for helping my pain, which I already knew. There is no evidence to support either way that my pain would be helped, as there are many people with crossbites that have no pain at all... but there are also people that have no bite problems that have pain too, so it does go both ways. He told me that usually if someone has troubles with the splint, its a bad sign for how well surgery will go too, which is very discouraging, as my splint only caused me more pain when used. I brought my boyfriend in today for him to hear how the situation is, and I think he finally understands that when I say things aren't looking optimistic with my care, its not negativity, but its me being realistic.

So from now, I have to wait for the surgeon to re-contact my orthodontist, and then I follow up with him to get re-referred to this new surgeon (except I already was referred by my dentist to this office, so I could do the work already, and will do here soon) and then hopefully the orthodontist will be able to speak with this guy directly to help me out, as they've told me their waiting list can be up to a year, realistically 1.5 years of a wait JUST FOR CONSULTATION. I'd also need braces for up to two years before the surgery if it were to happen, so the wait may be up to 4 years long for actual surgical intervention if that is what is to happen. My orthodontist was able to expedite my appointment with today's surgeon so who knows-- I was supposed to have my appointment in October, so that was pretty good-- too long of a wait for no good news anyway!

I really hope that my pain will spontaneously remiss and I'll feel better. He told me that the TMJ symptoms are cyclical in about a 2 year cycle-- so here's hoping. My two years are up in November. I also am thinking about the neuromuscular dentistry, but I'm worried about the cost of a new splint as the last one was a failure and cost me an arm and a leg.

*hrmph* I'm trying to be positive though. I'm just still where I was yesterday, so I gotta make the most out of things and stick to my game plan of exercise and diet and keep down the stress. I spoke with my Dr. today as well, and he wants me to go back to the chronic pain guys at Lifemark, which I'm totally for--- he's worried that I'm taking more meds than I should be, but considering I've cut back from what was ordered cannot be a sign of weakness, I'm trying to function better, not the opposite. I think I connected to him on that level today-- seeing a surgeon is not for someone that is making things up, can it? I guess its going to be a 5 month wait, but whatever, I'm not going anywhere! I guess that makes it in December-- so likely January unless I get on a waiting list, which I'll try for. I'll try anything to make my pain lessen and for me to take less medications BUT with the except of me having to call in sick and miss more work. There is a fine line between having to live my life and making a living as well; Victor is not in a position to be able to pick up the slack all the time, but he could try if we had to I suppose. Good thing I have a revolving line of credit :)

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