The part I don't like, is that I will not have any teeth for 4-5 months post surgery. The surgeon said that it will take that long for my gums, and jaw bone to recover properly from the surgery. Then if all goes well, I will be fitted for full dentures, but he said that too, will add another 30-60 days to the total time without any teeth.
They are also including a nutrition doctor, to help my wife and I come up with some ways for me to be "fed" during this long period with a sore mouth and no teeth. I may have as many as 100 stitches in my mouth during this time, something I am not looking forward to.
So if you are a prayer, please continue to pray for my wife and I. If not, your continue well wishes and support are dearly needed and appreciated.
Please don't suggest to postpone or to abort the dental surgery, I desperately need it, and unless the VA was footing the bill, there would be no possible way for me to have this much work done. Of course, if any of the doctors feel that its too unsafe to proceed at any point, he will have the winning vote to stop things, if not, planning on moving forward.
You mentioned a lump in your cheek that reminded you of your prior case of porocarcinoma.
I would strongly suggest that you get to the bottom of that before you even consider having any dental work done. It could be from the parotid, sublingual, or submandibular salivary gland. If your porocarcinoma has returned and it is due to either of those glands, it could make all of your dental work a nightmare. It could be why you are losing bone. At any rate, if any treatment is required, it can change the bone structure.
Are they doing a graft and if so, where are they grafting from? Your chin, your shin? Are they using cadaver bones? Or, synthetic bone? This is all important to know.
I'm not sure why they need to wait 4-5 months for your dentures, unless you have very little bone left. Also, when grafting bone, in some cases, placing immediate dentures often helps the healing process and protects the bone as it heals. It also protects the gums. But if they say 4-5 months I feel certain they know why.
What I don't understand is why it will take another 1-2 months to get your dentures. My family has been in that line of work for over 60 years and never did it take them more than 5 days to make a set of dentures. And that was only because the work was so backed up when people used to get Christmas bonuses. Typical turn around time is 2 days. I would ask them if it is a private dentist who is making the dentures or a government run laboratory. Lots of private labs do this as charitable work for the VA and MOST move their vet's cases to the top of the list. Government labs...well, we know how slow they operate. So be sure to ask why the delay from the time they take the impression until denture delivery.
I know you are glad that the VA is covering this 100%, but in a prior post I pointed out that I knew someone who would make your dentures for you for free. They can be over-nighted. You'd be amazed at the number of dentures in the mail at any given moment. :)
Don't fret the pain part too much. I know a fairly young lady that had all of her teeth extracted at one time and only used one pain pill for the first night. I would think your current meds would put you in good pain protection shape.
I'm only pointing these things out to you because much like the choices people make here day in and day out, you need to know all of your options. Especially if they are planning on grafting your bone, and even more so, if your porocarcinoma has returned.
Best of wishes and prayers sent...