Much Better Than Expected

My situation may be a little different than others.  I had a golf-ball sized tumor removed from my mouth 23 years ago, leaving three teeth missing and a large bone/gum vacancy in the front of my mouth.  Because of bone deterioration over the years, a bone graft will be necessary.  Before the bone graft can be done, however, it was necessary to build up the gum to cover the new bone that will be grafted.

I was not sure what to expect, so I came to this website to see what others had experienced.  It was amazing to see how everyone's experience was different.  I was very confident in my surgeon - in fact, I had gone to two other surgeons locally in my hometown before selecting this doctor, who is a specialist.  Because of the complexity of my situation, my local surgeon recommended this doctor.  I traveled over 700 miles to come to him, and he has made me very comfortable with the whole process.

My procedure was two hours long, and the surgeon used IV sedation.  I started an anti-inflamatory drug two days before the surgery.   The day of the surgery, I did not have much bleeding, swelling or bruising.  The pain was minimal, in fact, I did not even take any of the pain meds prescribed.  The following day, I started on the antibiotic.  I had a low-grade fever, and had some heat coming from my cheeks, but late last night, all went away.

I have been extremely tired, and have focused on staying still and resting.  Of course, I'm eating soft foods.  It is difficult to get rid of hunger pains on soup, yogurt, pudding, mashed potatoes, and ice cream.  Also, my doctor does not want me to rinse with salt water - they want to keep movement in my mouth to minimum.

Overall, though, it has been a much better experience than I expected.  The doctor was only able to graft 80% of what anticipated, so I will have to return for the other 20% in three months before we can consider the bone graft.  But, based on what I've experienced so far, it won't be that bad.  I think the experience of the surgeon makes all the difference.


JUNE 4, 2007 - Update to my story.  I saw the surgeon on Monday and he is very pleased with the results to date.  This is one of the largest tissue grafts he has ever done and the graft has taken and is healing very well.  We left the packing in for another week.  When he took the packing out to look at it, the area was very tender, but healing.  I will be heading back at the end of August for phase 2.  It was great news.

Aim Aim
41-45, F
1 Response Jun 1, 2007

I think you are right about the experience of the surgeon. If I decide to go through with this again and do the other side or fix one of the teeth that didn't take, I will definately get a second oppinion. I am very happy that yours is a success. Good luck with the rest of it and thanks for sharing your story!!!