After nearly four years, I can now say I have a full set of teeth. The last phase on my reconstruction is over. I received my bridge. I do have to say it is a weird sensation. I have gotten so used to not having them that I keep forgetting to chew on that side. But when I do, it feels so artificial. Well, lets face it, the teeth are artificial. There is a clear difference between having real teeth and fake ones. I would describe it as if you were wearing a clear retainer or guard that covers the natural teeth and then try to eat with it still in your mouth.
The doctor at Hopkins temporary cemented them in place to make sure I felt comfortable with the new bite. After a three week trial period they were permanently secured in my mouth.
Wish I could 100% enjoy it, but my insurance company, in all it's wisdom, denied to cover the payment of the bridge. I really don't feel like paying 7k so obviously I am fighting it. Again.
So, as of right now, I will only have to make two visits to Hopkins a year. One with my oral surgeon, to make sure my new teeth are still looking good. The other with the Head & Neck Surgeon to make sure my tumor does not come back. This does unfortunately involve yearly CAT Scans.
I can not imagine going through all this again. I don't want too really. I am completely satisfied with my choice in hospitals and I would recommend the staff at Hopkins to anyone. Though at times I do wish the hospital was close to me and that I did not have to drive thru three states to get there.
If you are reading my blog, you or someone you know is going through this "rare" disease. Whether you are in the beginning, middle or end we all have stories to share. I encourage anyone to write a blog or start a journal about this journey. It's good to know you are not alone. Plus, its cheaper than going to a psychiatrist.
I will continue to update my blog, and try to do it more frequently than I have been. I am sorry for that. Life can get in the way of certain things, but really that is no excuse.
My story is not over.