It has been 5 months since I received my definitive obturator (second time around) so I thought I would write about how it feels, how I have been getting on with it and how I see life moving forward with this thing.
Firstly, I am going to be really honest, it isn't how it was sold... I mean that with the greatest respect to my health care professionals, but unless you wear one, you have no idea of how it actually is.
I have become so used to wearing this, or basically I have become so used to having a large lump of man made material stuffed up into my face, that living every day, doing normal things and returning to a normal existence is possible. But, this thing is there, always reminding me, I can constantly feel it in my mouth... I can't get away from it.
Here are the negative points that I have experienced with an obturator:
- It moves around - I mean that no matter what, it will move and shift around, only millimetres, but enough to cause issues. I guess for most, this will depend upon how much of your palette and jaw you have had removed as to the rigidity of it in your mouth. It's not a massive issue but can make things very uncomfortable at times.
- Soreness - this occurs I guess due to the fact that this thing moves around (see point 1), perhaps this is something that denture wearers suffer from too. It's usually not bad and goes away fairly quickly, within a day or so.
- It is a constant reminder to me of cancer, because that is ultimately what put this thing into my face. Can't seem to shake that off and it is always in the back of my mind... I hope I never have to face that again.
and now for the positives:
- Hygienic - I can easily keep it clean, it doesn't get pitted and bacteria can't get in as easily as my older model.
- It fits pretty well - I know I said in the negatives that it moves around, but compared to my healing plate, my temporary obturator, this fits quite snug and makes chewing a lot easier on my good side. All foods are pretty much on the menu again, just nothing very crunchy.
- Better chewing capability - I think that because this fits better around my existing teeth I can chew a lot easier now, more foods are now available to me to eat again.
- Long lasting - it seems to be built to last, hopefully I should have this for a year or two until I need a new one.
Life has returned to normal and I am glad I have an obturator for reasons of inspection by my surgeon - but the reality is, it takes time to get used too, I'm not entirely sure if I will ever be 100% used to it - having said that, I am thankful to be here and with that I shouldn't really complain.
This obturator is like going from a rowing boat (a leaky one at that) to a full on yacht and with that I am very very happy with it.
If you are about to get a new obturator the just give it time, the first month with a new obturator is annoying, even if it fits well, but then it settles in and you get used to it.
I'll update again about this obturator at the end of the year.