Liberation – Day 67

9 weeks post-op…they’re off!!!

I thought I was going in to get the surgical lugs and metal wires removed but…

Dr. decided everything was close enough, and took it all off!

I’ve got Invisalign (Vivera?) retainers now, barely visible and sometimes I forget I’m wearing them. Dr. was able to remove the braces now because the retainers also do minor corrective work.

It’s been a long journey. It’s completely worth it. My bite is awesome. Things like very crunchy fruits, peanuts, etc. are still off limits. I still have issues with jaw strength but it’s slowly getting better.

June 2013 – braces
August 2013 – no more wisdom teeth
October 2014 – lefort 1
November 2014 – no more bands
December 29th, 2014 – no more braces!

I could have done the surgery as early as June, but I was lazy…

So that’s that! Checkups and cosmetic work next.

  • Deb

    Great job, Devin. We are so proud of you for moving forward with this endeavor and following ALL THE WAY through with it, and seemingly so patiently and with such diligence! So how was your first bite out of a juicy slice of pizza? Isn’t the point the best part? 😉 You improved the quality of your life, you know that? Looking good, son! Love, Mom & Dad

  • Deb

    Can’t stop looking at the before and after…YIKES! What a difference!

  • Gian Dovidio

    hey man congrats!! you and your bite look great. i also had a lefort 1 at jefferson a few years ago (open bite case) and was wondering if you wanted to share your experience! my email is dovidiostore@gmail.com

  • Devin Zuczek

    thanks! my experience is pretty much documented here up until the end – since then it’s just been a steady increase of more things that I can eat 🙂

  • Gian Dovidio

    awesome to hear man! it looks like you had a great result and recovery. jefferson is really good! i was under Dr. Taub’s care which was very professional. glad to hear things worked out! was it easy for you to adjust to the balanced changes in appearance? did you have any tmj issues with your former bite? i did, luckily the surgery helped a ton! thanks for responding =)

  • Devin Zuczek

    yup I was under Dr. Taub as well! and Dr. Tuncay @ rittenhouse orthondontics for the braces. it probably took me a couple months to adjust to relearning how to smile for pictures since I was either hiding my teeth or showing too much. and of course working through being face-numb for a while. I still sneeze weird but that’s getting better according to my wife. no TMJ issues but I did have bruxism requiring a bite guard – which stopped due to braces and the surgery now that my bite lines up.

    something I’d consider later would be some cosmetic work because if you can tell I only have 1 upper central incisor with a lateral incisor moved over to replace it from a young injury. but for now it’s still pretty great and I can eat corn off the cob (something I could not do in 10+ years due to the anterior open bite).

  • Gian Dovidio

    wow thats something! i can’t believe we had the same surgeon! i was being seen over at temple’s dental school not too far from there. relearning how to smile normally took some getting used to. the same applies here! honestly i didn’t even notice that you were missing a central incisor! they look great! pre-surgery i was dealing with many TMJ issues and was made an appliance to wear which helped initially for bruxism and to relax the jaws at night. it brought my lower jaw forward into a more stable position which more-so revealed my anterior open bite – though my back molar on each side were only making contact. at that point i had braces put on and was preparing for jaw surgery. the option of TADs the ortho considered as an alternative, but they couldn’t guarantee favorable results at the time vs surgery. i agree! being able to actually bite into everything now is wonderful. i’ve noticed i don’t breathe through my mouth and only through my nose now. i think it helped with that as well. i understand there are 4 plates in my upper jaw; have yours given you any issues or do you think its safe to leave them in permanently? for me 4 years out there are no signs of relapse and my bite is still stable. i think Taub is good and we could expect our bites to remain stable for a long long time!

  • A_concerned_Swarthmorean

    the discussion on Philly.com seems to be closed now. But I have a break between obligations and have turned my attention back to this issue. Devin-I certainly didn’t see you at the hearings. My position on this is driven by sitting through the hearings and evidence from digging around into public records about the HS Foundation. In my opinion, here are the three strikes against HS Foundation and the accommodation at 200 S Chester.

    1. Skirting red tape: The organization gave up on attempts to buy property near Penn/CHOP since they would have had to wade through too much red tape to have a properly equipped and zoned house in Philly. What this means is that they are claiming family status for the patients they want to serve so that they can get around regulations put in place to protect the health and safety of the the occupants, e.g. ADA regulations, fire suppression s systems, etc. This attempt to skirt these regulations should have been the first red flag for the Borough Council.

    2. Skirting and vilifying neighbors/stakeholders: The issue is not so much with parking, though they have no workable parking plan. The real concerns stems from secret backboor negotiations for use of property jointly owned by the neighbors and now HS. Generally community based organizations seek buy-in from affected stakeholders, not to keep them completely in the dark revealing plans for shared pro poetry only after secret negotiations with the town. A professional organization would have done this collaboration-building as a matter of course. Related to this, on realization that resistance would continue – they next next began to vilify the two witnesses most vulnerable, i.e., the neighbors who are mothers with small kids that could be most easily bullied by an online intimidation campaign. This should have the the second red flag to the Council.

    3. A profitable charity: I only give moral and monetary support to the most upstanding of charitable organizations and so when this whole process began to escalate, I checked into the organization and was appalled by what I learned. This is a very small charity that raises about 1 million/year for the last nine years. The Directors salary (100k/year) plus her two sons (150k/year) + fringe and other benefits seems pretty outrageous. This means that nearly half of the entire charity take/year is to support three Colleluori family members. That’s a lot of profit. And in the most direct light, they have raised 9 million since the charity started. The have helped 65 families at Nick’s House. The works out to be roughly $147,500 per family helped. Average cost of stay for out of town family according to Colleluori in a news report is about 10k. This seems like a very poor return-on-investment for anyone who gives to this charity. And another red flag.

    Once I saw these numbers + plus the HS supporter bullying campaign, I decided to start speaking out about this issue. But this is my last post.