I started the process to get dental implants back in May of this year. News to you? Then you should definitely watch my YouTube video explaining why I finally decided to take the leap. Currently, I’m in phase one of the dental implant process. In another month or so I will begin phase two. I thought now was as good a time as any to share a recap with you of what’s happened in the past three months. I also want to remind you that everyone’s dental implant journey is different – the intention here is just to give you a look into mine.
This is the last photo I took of my smile right before going into my appointment:
- When I first recorded this Youtube video, I definitely didn’t realize how involved my first visit was going to be (my own fault). I was under the impression that I was just getting two teeth taken out to start the process. WRONG. It was actually going to be extracting the teeth, AND dental surgery to implant cells into my gums (to help build mass for the future implants). Needless to say that first appointment went way longer than expected. And for those who are wondering after watching the video the answer is: no, we definitely did not make it to Dollar Night that Tuesday.
- After the dental surgery, my mouth and face swelled. A LOT. My face was almost unrecognizable to me and it was really hard to smile. Naturally, I took selfies to document (these are not edited in any way).
- Like I mentioned in my video, I definitely needed time to adjust to the situation. Thankfully the company I work for is flexible. I was able to work from home for a few days following the dental surgery. On the first day that I went back into the office, two people mentioned that they could still see the swelling. That led me to a tear-filled bathroom breakdown, and leaving the office to work from home for the rest of the day. It was TOUGH.
- Throughout the process I have to wear a clear retainer that holds two fake teeth inside of it. These fake teeth cover up the holes from where my teeth were extracted. In the beginning, putting my retainer in was a CHALLENGE. The area that the dentists worked on was super sensitive and putting in my retainer was painful. Nowadays, those spots have healed up and putting it in is a breeze.
- I ate a TON of soups and basically lived off of these smoothies for weeks while my gums healed. To be honest, my abs never looked better.
- I already feel 10x more comfortable with my “retainer smile” than I did with my natural smile.
- The dentist told that I could eat with my retainer in. It worked fine for a while. It wasn’t until my gums healed and I went back to eating crunchy food (I love snacking on almonds) that this became a problem. I have multiple cracks in my retainer now. Seriously, it looks pretty ragged when I take it out. I’m not thrilled about it, but as long as it stays in my mouth when I put it in then I’m not going to stress.
- The most comfortable places for me to eat these days is at home or in my office at work with the door halfway shut. It’s in those places that I’m able to take my retainer out before I start eating (not taking any more chances if I don’t have to – see bullet above). In public places or at blog events, I wear my retainer while I eat. I have to rinse it out afterwards or else the food sits in there and it just feels, well, uncomfortable. Luckily, I’m not letting that stop me from doing things like date nights out, restaurant media events, or hanging out with friends. It’s an inconvenience that I’m able to deal with.
- Mints have become my new best friend since I can’t chew gum with my retainer in. Yes, that was a lesson I learned the hard way.
- One night Ben and I met my sister and her boyfriend for drinks at Smokey Bones. It wasn’t until after we placed our drink order that Ben told me I was MISSING THE FRONT TOOTH IN MY RETAINER. I was immediately mortified. I’m sure the waitress thought she was on a hidden prank show or something, because believe me – I was ALL SMILES when I was ordering with her. We later learned that my front tooth had popped out while I was rinsing my retainer at home. It was still sitting in the sink when we got back from Smokey Bones that night. Despite the situation, I still posted this photo from the evening. The hand placement over my mouth is COMPLETELY intentional given I’m missing a freaking tooth.
- Every night before bed I take out my retainer and brush it thoroughly. This is so I can clean out anything I may that may have missed during my rinses throughout the day. One night as I brushed it, I accidentally popped out the front tooth (a reoccurring theme for me apparently) and it fell down the drain. My stomach completely dropped and I immediately woke Ben up. He groggily watched a few Youtube videos, learned how to undo the P Trap under our sink, and worked to open it up. Once he got into the piping, we found my tooth. I washed it a dozen times before putting it back into the retainer. Needless to say, I now close the sink drain whenever I’m rinsing or brushing my retainer.
Phase one of the dental implant process has definitely been a doozie. It’s been full of tears, lessons learned, and (now) hilarious moments. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first started the process, I only knew it was time for me to get the smile I’ve always wanted. Phase two, here’s to you.