Thursday, April 20, 2006

Expansion DONE! D-O-N-E! DONE!!!

(above: 0, 16, and 33 turns of the key. Click for large size.)

That's right, I'm done expansion!!! And thank heavens because I absolutely was getting to the end of my rope! Today my right incisor feels like it's going to just pop right out and the numbness and inflammation is pretty bad still. I'm hoping maybe by Monday it will have subsided to a tolerable level.

Anyway, went to the OD today and strangely I was the only person in the treatment room. There is usually at least one other patient in there. That felt nice and it meant I had more of Dr W's attention than I usually get. I told him about my incisor and he said he is always very interested in how I'm feeling. He went in with the mirror and said it was good that I mentioned it in case it was anything he needs to monitor. He didn't say anything about it so I assume it's fine and likely just from the movement and healing process, or maybe my lip is just starting to get some feeling back in that area. Who knows. Dr W continued to look around my mouth on each side, and this time he took longer to do it, quietly saying "ok, ok..." as he looked around. Then to my surprise he said, "Ok, we're done. No more expansion." I was really not expecting that at all! A week previous he had predicted we'd need 38 turns, and as of today we were at 33. His reasoning is that the appliance tends to keep some pent-up energy in it and that by the time it gets released it will have just slightly overexpanded my jaw, which is the desired result because there will be some relapse to make up for it. He said he looked tooth by tooth and said that the pent-up energy will push some of the teeth a little further out. So when I look in the mirror right now, my right side appears more expanded than the left but apparently this will take care of itself.

I asked about whether I'd need a transpalatal arch at some point. He said probably not in my case but that my nighttime retainer might have springs on it to account for any relapse, in the neighbourhood of 0.5mm he said. We then started talking about the next steps - June 5th I'll be getting my bottom braces on. And July 20th I will be rid of this blasted RPE and have my upper braces put on as well as be fitted for a cheek guard (via a mold impression).

I walked over to the desk to make my upcoming appointments with Cheri and she mentioned that in the six weeks between now and my next appointment that my gap would close nearly 100%, and more specifically that all the teeth would shift together, not just the front two. Woo!!! The gap is now on its way to GONE!

Walking home I was feeling rather overwhelmed and surprised at what had just happened to me. Going to the office I had just been dreading it and thinking about how to answer Dr W's usual question of "how are things going?". I was going to respond with, "Well, I'm looking for some inspiration to make it through this!" I really was feeling hopeless! Well thank god I didn't have to say that! I think I started on the bit about my incisor before letting out any doom and gloom; and before I knew it he said the magic words: "no more expansion"!! Wooo!!!! I got a little choked up too. Such a relief to be finished. Such an accomplishment to be passed another big milestone. Such joy in knowing that I'm really on my way to the great smile I've always wanted and not feeling like I need to hide my teeth.

I do feel pretty crappy right now though, and I know there will be a bit more 'natural' expansion but I feel hopeful! Bring on some major healing baby! More photos as the gap disappears!


At 8:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

great graham . I thought the 'gap' was popular. light at the end of the tunnel Hooray Love mom

At 12:10 AM, Anonymous mishka said...

Shizzle ma nizzle!!

That's great Graham :) Ya know... this calls for a celebration. Can you mix a pint with yer codeine? ;)


At 12:36 AM, Blogger Brandyleigh35 said...

congrats Graham!
Wooo Hooo! YOu made it! I think we need to start a 33 club! That was my magic number also!

I totally know how you feel, it borderlines on absolute euphoria doesn't it! Like you said, now you can begin to really heal! You will still have challenging days...ask me how I know! LOL..but its all down hill from here and we are just a few steps closer to having that great smile we are all working so hard towards!

Oh, hey, I have found the packets of emergen-c to be very helpful! They have made my healing much better and helped a lot with my lowered energy! You might want to get some!


At 8:12 PM, Blogger Amy said...

What awesome news! You made it through expansion. I was looking at your photos and wow - what an improvement. And more good news your RPE (aka orthodontic torture device) has an expriation date! Yay!

Very happy for you!


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