Wednesday, July 26, 2006

My Arch: Before and After SARPE

I just wanted to share this comparison photo. Before and after SARPE.
Quite a difference isn't it! (click for the large size)

Wow, wow, wow! I'll compare again once my teeth are aligned too. poking!

So later in the day yesterday I started to feel the ends of the wire on each side poking me. The left worse than the right. I thought maybe I just needed to get used to it but later decided that they were poking more than they ought to. Went back to Dr W today to see what could be done. The reason for it poking, or at least this is what I understood, is that using super-cable with my type of brackets is a little bit unusual. The super-cable is a wire made of 7 thin strands. For whatever reason then, I assume due to the type of brackets, they weren't able to just clip the ends off. So Dr W, being the inventive genius that he is (and I do mean that amicably, he is a very bright guy) had Jan, the technician, use some bonding plastic goop to cover the end of the wire. She then cured it with the plasma light. So now it still feels like it's poking me but not such a sharp feeling. It feels blunt and isn't breaking the tissue now. Jan said that hopefully by my next appointment they will be able to put a heavier wire on which will eliminate the problem properly. Hopefully this temporary fix will last me until September 12th! Man, 7 weeks is quite a long wait.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Expander out!!

Above (click for large size): Expander removed and upper braces placed. Notice how crooked the wire is!

After 5 months of torture my expander is history!! I forgot to ask to keep it though, oh well, not like it will be worth millions in the ortho hall of fame museum or anything. The actual removal was way easier than I thought it would be. Nina, the new technician I had today, used a tool to pull each corner down a bit at a time. I could hear the glue crack. There were some weird forces happening as it came off but before I knew it it was over. A bit of tugging and coaxing was all it took. My gums were bleeding pretty good afterwards though but it stopped quickly after rinsing. My mouth feels HUGE now! Like a cathedral ceiling! :o) I think it will take me a day or two to get used to how it feels while talking now. It feels way better now but like I have to unlearn the strange movements my tongue got used to doing with the RPE in the way. I'll have to put on a good sing-a-long cd and see how I do! Oh, and I can definitely notice that I no longer have that awful up-and-out feeling caused by my tongue pressing up on the RPE, such a relief!

Next we moved into a different room to take impressions. One for a model and another for a non-protrusive FFMP retainer/appliance. I will wear it at night and it is meant to stop my cheeks from pressing in causing my teeth to stay crooked. I won't actually have it until my next appointment since they have to make it now.

After the molds I moved back to the first chair and it was time to get my upper braces placed. I was feeling pretty nervous because my upper 6 front teeth are still sensitive. I have to say that they are far less sensitive than 7 weeks ago but still enough to make me cringe. Getting the rear brackets placed was a bitch, trying to get them to stay without getting any saliva on them but after much canoodling it was complete. She did the front 6 last since they are ceramic while the rest are metal. Once they were placed and solidified with the plasma beam gun it was time to put the wire on. This hurt a fair bit and it took her and Dr W a couple of tries to get it right. All the pushing, tugging, and wire twisting was marginally bearable but I toughed it out. The worst part was getting the bracket and tie wire on the right peg lateral tooth. Since it has such an odd shape it made things tricky. I felt like I was in the chair for a super long time and finally everything was complete. I sat up and felt pretty woozy so I just sat on the edge of the chair for a few minutes to let my circulation recover from being tilted back for so long.

The ceramic brackets do look pretty huge, and they are whiter than my teeth. They also have elastic ligatures on them so I have to try not to eat foods which will stain them (coffee, tea, curry, grape juice, etc) Dr W will give me new ones if they do stain though.

My six front teeth feel sensitive now, like a burning kind of feeling. It also feels like the wire ends at the back are poking me. I'm not sure if they actually forgot to trim the wire off or whether I'm just feeling the brackets. The wire itself is wound so it seems a little thick. It's actually only a 16 gauge super-wire, so it is really very flexible and light. Anything stiffer would be too painful to start with. Oh, and they decided not to change my lower wire yet. Nina said I wasn't ready for it. So even though it feels somewhat like my lower braces aren't doing much, they really actually are!

I ate a banana, jam sandwich, nutrigrain bar, and some apple sauce for lunch. No big problems there. And actually my left side bite is back to touching again, so chewing today is easier than yesterday. I also feel like I can chew with my front teeth a little bit more now that they are more stabilized with the braces.

Ok, time for some Motrin.

Monday, July 24, 2006

T-Minus 12 hours!!

It is roughly 12 hours from now that I will finally be rid of my appliance!! I am then going to promptly throw it on the subway tracks! :o)

I haven't posted much for a long time because everything has slowed down considerably. Right now the problem is just that my bottom and top front teeth are touching in a traumatic fashion, so I can't actually close my mouth all the way. This has made chewing even more awkward. I tried a few potato chips last night and found them to be still too hard, so I had to just let them melt a little before trying to chew further.

Over the last 7 weeks the changes have been very subtle:

My teeth on the left side of the photo have turned upwards a little. The incisor on the far right has moved forward out from behind its neighbour, and the canine on the right side has moved upwards.

My arch appears to have relapsed somewhat. Not sure if it's just the camera angle or what. The shape of the curve seems less uniform. I am going to have a spring-loaded retainer soon, so that should put things back into place along with the braces.

** I also have to give a shout out to my sister Karen who just had upper advancement surgery last week on Thursday. I am very excited for her. She lives out of town from me but I hear she is doing well. I can't wait to see the results, especially since we do look quite alike! **