The pain of the last several days has been sobering, and I keep telling myself that in the long run, this is worth it. Today is the first day I've awakened NOT in major pain, so I'm glad the soreness from the braces and spacers is abating. Something the lovely gentleman Buck said in my comments Tuesday was something on which I want to elaborate. He said:
I'm gonna pull (heh) a Clinton and "feel yore pain," Phlegmmy, mainly coz I had five teeth removed (eight if you count the bridge in my lower jaw that went, as well) this past Thursday. The ONLY good (?) part of this experience is the provisioning of superior drugs, which are a mixed blessing, at best.
I'll also preach to the choir: the end result is worth it. I don't have many regrets in life, but one of my biggest is opting OUT of braces about 30 years ago... which bad decision is costing me dearly now. But we shall soon have a mouth full of shiny new implants once the ordeal is over.
In addition to the arthritic joints where my mandible meets my skull, I'm having the surgery ultimately to prevent the loss of my teeth. My teeth only touch at the back molar on each side. You don't think about how you chew because 99% of you have teeth that meet all the way around, and you don't even realize the force of your bite is evenly distributed therein. The front of your teeth most likely meet in a scissor-like fashion and you can cut with your teeth and can cut and chew things like meat with your front and middle teeth, and not just the back. My only option is to find purchase with misaligned fangs and to sort of tear it and then let my back teeth do whatever they can to grind food. This means my jaw works in a circular fashion rather than up and down as it should have been, and this is how all the force of my bite comes down on my back teeth, and they are beginning to crack.
If I can bear the discomfort of braces for now through the spring and go through the beastly month or so after the surgery, then the rest of my life with my teeth will be vastly improved from the pain, procedures and implants or dentures I will certainly experience if I don't go forward now. Considered against the backdrop of improving my health and not compromising myself financially in later years, this seems the only sensible course.
That said, I'll be mighty mighty glad to have done with it. But I'm glad it hurts less. If this week has been any indication, I don't do well with dental pain.