Obturator

Disheartened... annoyed really...

I should of known...

Firstly they didn't have an appointment for me, they cancelled a week ago and told me to come in today at the same time but hadn't actually booked me in, unbelieveable! So I had to wait for an extra hour and half, not too bad though, I can wait a few extra hours, only been waiting 6 months for this...

Walked in, saw the obturator - looked the business. The bung that fits into my open sinus is rubbery and hollow inside, it can only be described as lush. 

So without further a do Paul places the plate into my mouth and sets the clasps so that they lock around my teeth on the opposite side. It feels quite big, again, to be expected and I had already prepared myself for a period of getting used to this new plate.

Paul makes quite a few adjustments and then hands me a mirror.

Looks ok, teeth look a little low but Paul says that the plate will need to bed in a little so this will change and probably move up. If it doesn't then he can adjust them up - not a problem.

So off I go, fairly happy, mouth feeling weird and I have a lisp back again.

Riding home, plate feels ok but I am not sure. When I do get home, I realise that there are a three problems I have, one of which I can't quite get my head around:

1. Paul has placed some build up of acrylic underneath my front teeth, you can see it in the picture below at the front of the metal. My bite has changed some form the surgery, so in theory this is a good idea, but actually in practice I can't chew anymore, this needs to be removed. This is not an issue and was always going to be the case.

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2. The left side, effectively the new jaw and gum area, protrudes too much, it makes my face stick out, not unsightly, but definitely so that you would notice - this was picked up when I was having the wax moulds checked, Paul actually took some off, so I really really don't know why in this final build it isn't correct.

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3. This is the most upsetting actually to me, the roof of my mouth. So in the one that I have been wearing for the past FOREVER, it arcs up, it is concave and follows the shape of the roof of my mouth - as you would expect. This thing, is wonderful where the metal work is, I must admit that feels great, but then as you pass onto the acrylic area it is flat and in places bulbous. They HAVE NOT CONTOURED it to my original palate shape. I can not believe this, I actually have more in my mouth now than I did on my original healing plate.

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I have an appointment in two weeks for tweaks - but I am going to hand this back and reject it, I'm not prepared to make do and I certainly do not see why I have to. I can not believe that the technicians who made this didn't consider that my mouth still wants to be concave, yes I lost my jaw and half my palate but I would like what I was promised in the beginning and that is a fake mouth as close to as possible to the original - surely that was the point of taking all the mouth casts before it was all bloody cut out?

I thought I was going to get my definitive obturator earlier than most, looks like this will easily run into next year now. 

So right now, I am wearing old faithful - which, for a bit of plastic and a quick splurge of pink goo, is better than this thing which took 3 months to make!

We can rebuild him - out of Cobalt Chrome!

I had my last but one appointment with Paul today. It has been a very slowwwwww process building my definitive obturator. Let's recap:

1. Healing plate put in at surgery, rough bit of plastic with plasticine on (see pics in obturator section) - March 3rd
2. Upgraded obturator, pink plastic, with teeth! I am wearing that now and have been for 5 months. March 20th - present date (16th October).

So now I am one stage away from receiving my shiny new obturator - and today I saw the metal work for the first time:

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OK, this might not look like much, but it is awesome to me. So, let me tell you what's what. Lets start with the pink part at the front. That is actually wax, put there to simulate where extra chrome will be placed to help with my bite on my front teeth - Paul actually took some of this away in the fitting today, so when it is made properly, it will be a lot less than is there at the moment and it will be in cobalt chrome. Also, if you click the image, they have actually ETCHED the metal, so that it will feel like a normal "roof of the mouth..." how cool is that!

On the far side are the clasps for my teeth, so that the plate will stay in place. Then moving towards you, the solid piece of metal, this covers the part of my palette that still exists and creates rigidity for the Obturator. Finally, nearest you, the chrome with all the holes in, that is ready to have my new gum, teeth and bung held onto.

Click image for larger version

The image above, shows you how it will fit onto my teeth, shown here on the left (which is actually my right hand side). You can now clearly see how much of my mouth is missing underneath the metal with all the holes in - seems to be much bigger than it actually feels - weird. Just off to the right in the picture you can see some teeth set into a pink mould, those are actually my new teeth set into a wax mould - Paul uses this to align my teeth with what remain, then they will be attached to the metal plate.

So how did it feel, well, Paul got me to hold my hand out, he put the metal in my palm and it was almost weightless. I can feel myself welling up inside now, because as I write this I know that this new Obturator will be amazing for me. I did try it in my mouth, but the clasps aren't tightened to my teeth yet, so Paul has to hold it in (a bit difficult due to the trismus) otherwise it will drop out.

Paul said the bung, that fits into the defect left by the cancer removal, will have a rubber coating - that is amazing because my current Obturator is rock hard solid acrylic, which has no give and can be painful at times.

I have had some great thing in my life, things I have been lucky to get, like new Motorcycles, computers, just stuff that every normal person gets excited about receiving, but I have to say, I have never been more excited about receiving anything as I am about picking this up on the 6th of November at 3:30pm - in fact, I may, just like Apple fans, camp outside the hospital from around the 4th!

Just 4 weeks from today, just 4... can I contain myself???

Wax lyrical...

I had another appointment with Paul, my prosthodontist today. My new obturator is coming along nicely - except it is made out of wax.! Best not get to hot with that in hey!

Basically, they create a wax mould of my mouth so that they can place the teeth and align everything correctly before it is made out of metal.

The teeth look really good and there just needs to be a few adjustments to the alignment but its coming along great.

My next appointment will be the last but one before I take delivery of my new mouth... how cool is that - seems like i have been waiting for a long time...?

You all want the new iPhone 5 - me, I just want a new gob! :-)

Sigmund Freud and me... so much in common

Sigmund Freud - obturator wearer like me. 

Sigmund Freud - obturator wearer like me. 

No I don't advocate the use of cocaine, nor do I believe that all women have penis envy! But we do have one major thing in common:

We have both had maxillectomy's. That's right, Sigmund Freud suffered very badly with cancer and as such one of his operations on his upper right jaw left him having to wear an obturator. I found a document online which describes his cancer and many operations that he had to go through. (My consultant was the person who originally drew my attention to Sigmund Freud and his Obturator!)

The document starts:

"Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), the founder of psychoanalysis, developed a carcinoma of the buccal cavity in 1923, which was treated between 1924 and 1938 by Prof Hans Pichler (1877–1950), Professor of Oral, Maxillary, and Facial Surgery at the University of Vienna, Austria.

Freud and Pichler were both professors there. Freud’s neoplastic disease illustrates the development of oncological oral, maxillary, and facial surgery from 1920–1940, and the problems of maxillary resection. It also shows the specialty’s medical and technical developments which occurred in that time period. This chronicle takes place against the backdrop of the National Socialist dictatorship in Germany and Austria."

Later the document says:

"In a follow-up operation one week later, a partial maxillary resection was performed. Covering of the wound surfaces was carried out using the split skin graft technique published in 1917 by Esser (1877– 1976), and by the insertion of a provisional obturator prosthesis. On the evening of the operation, Freud enjoyed two Havana cigars."

The above comes from a PDF I found about Sigmund Freud, you can see it here: https://www.aofoundation.org/Documents/freud.pdf and if that no longer exists you can download directly from here.

You see, even famous people suffer too!

Choosing teeth

Today I see Paul, my restorative dentist and we are going to choose teeth.

Transient

Not entirely sure what this means, do I get the choice of Gold ones? Diamond encrusted? Probably not, more like colour and shape I suspect.

I'm very excited actually, it is a little bit like Christmas having this new plate made - my current obturator, I have become so accustomed to it, even with its minor problems - it doesn't fit properly now, can rub occasionally etc. I just hope and pray that this definitive obturator will be as awesome as I imagine it.

Even if it is 20% better than this one, that will be a major step up.

Cobalt Chrome, 1mm thin (not thick!) in places, no clasps on my front teeth, softer bung with a little bit of give. I can't wait.

I have to go... can't be late!

My first definitive obturator casting session

Whoohoo - yeah! I have healed so well, so quickly that Paul is happy to proceed with making my definitive obturator.

Today, he takes a cast of my hole and mouth ready to make the worlds best obturator, made out of "UNOBTAINIUM" a rare metal, that can only be used in my mouth, so thin, that I won't even notice it is there... so light that it will feel like... well it won't feel... so.. shut up! Ok - I'm excited:

I CAN'T WAIT!

Casting was a bit rough actually - there was blood, there was pain but there was a solid first cast. One down, one to do on 17th - two weeks from now.

How many sleeps until father christmas brings my new obturator mummy??????!????