Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I can do orthodonics in my sleep!

So here I am a few hours after adjustment #2. The first order of business was fitting this little beast. This is my new night time appliance. It is meant to hold my lips away from my teeth. It just sits loose in my mouth. I really cannot imagine how I am going to be able to sleep with this thing! For one my teeth are quite sore from today's adjustment (details below), and two, when I have it in, my mouth generates 100 litres of saliva and it is very hard to swallow with this thing in the way. I really hope I don't wake up completely soaked. Of course I'll give it an honest try but I really don't know about this!

Some good news: when I had my initial assessment, Dr W measured 12mm of crowding in my lower jaw. That's a lot! He said at the time that if I ended up getting gingival stripping then I would need to have an incisor extracted. Well, I raised that subject today and he said that I have no stripping and so I won't need the extraction! "That's huge!", he said. "That's excellent", said I.

Then it was on to changing my wires. Bottom first. The new wire has some bends in it to compensate for the position of the brackets. When I initially had the brackets bonded my teeth were so crooked that they couldn't get them on in the desired position, so they had to do the best the could. Now that my teeth are much straighter, bends in the wire are needed to compensate. At my next appointment (January 9th) Dr W is going to reposition several of my lower brackets and then use the same gauge of wire. It took him two attempts today. At first he did some very deep bends in the wire. When he installed the wire it hurt like you would not believe. I can take some pain, and I expect some, but this was extraordinary. Well, lucky for me he changed his mind. I'm not sure why but he decided to take it off. "Let's take this off", he said. "Maybe this isn't such a great idea". No complaints from me! So he snipped it off and then reshaped the wire to make the bends softer. Once that was installed it was easier to deal with. I am quite sore right now but no more than I would expect to be.

Then for the top it was a similar process. A new wire with some bends in it. The idea was to adjust my incisors vertically. He said my front two are too low, and my laterals are a bit shorter than average and probably I will need some bonding later on to compensate. I also now have a longer power chain, going from 6-6. Oh boy did I feel it when he was putting it on! Not sure if you can see it in the picture, but it appears to be the same strength (no thicker than the last one). So probably in a month or so the rest of my little gaps will be history! It's amazing how far forward my uppers have had to move from the SARPE.

I'm a little worried about the night time appliance. He said that the main reason for my teeth being crooked is due to habits, meaning the way my lips fall over my teeth and the position of my cheeks when I sleep. If I am unable to sleep with this beast in my mouth I hope there is some other way to achieve the same result. Once my braces come off I will have a night time retainer but I really hope it's not like this one.

I was also asked if I would be interested in speaking with another of Dr W's patients who needs to have both SARPE and BSSO. Of course I enthusiastically agreed. Cheri said that this person hasn't asked for it as yet, but that they would put me in touch with him if he did.

And finally, I asked how long it would be until I'm ready for surgery. Six months! Next appointment I will get some brackets repositioned and have the same wire. Then the appointment after that I will get the thickest wire he's got and I should be ready shortly after that. Much can happen in six months I know, but wow, only six months!! Now, whether my OS can get me in at that time may be a different issue. I am guaranteed for Oct 2007 (a year from now) but Cheri thinks I'll be able to get in sooner if she notifies him within two appointments. So we'll see what happens in January, whether they can fit me in for the April timeframe. If they can it means I'll be doing all the pre-op shenanigans in February and March!

Oh, and I should mention that my bite after today's adjustment is now very annoyingly off! My 4's and 5's are touching on the right but that's all! I know that Dr W needs to get my teeth aligned in the bone, and then Dr T will make them fit, but arg! My bite was feeling very good yesterday, boo.

Ok, Advil here I come.


At 10:21 PM, Blogger Brandyleigh35 said...

Hey Graham,
That does not look comfortable at all. What exactly is that for? I guess I don't get what it is supposed to be doing. I have never heard of such a thing. I wore a dental sleep appliance for awhile. AT first (sorta like with the RPE) I salivated a lot, then I got used to it and things were fine.

6 months til surgery eh? That is cool, you may go before me! :(


At 10:33 PM, Blogger Graham said...

Hi Brandy,

This appliance is a "Night time non-protrusive FFMP with buccal shields that extend from the occusal bite pads and lower labial shield". Now there's a mouthful eh? All it is meant to do is keep my lips and cheeks away from my teeth. The pressure from my cheeks and lips are contributing to the misalignment.

Yeah, six months, but nothing solid yet. It could turn into eight, who knows.

At 10:56 PM, Blogger Amy said...

Hi Graham,

Things are moving along for you. That appliance is interesting. I think it would be hard for me to sleep with it in my mouth loose. I'd be playing with it too much and not get a whole lot of sleep. I hope you get used to it quickly. One plus it's removable!!! Of all the appliances I still think the RPE was the worst.

That's great news that the doctor thinks you may be surgery ready in 6 months. Wow! Hope things keeping moving along for you quickly.

If your interested, Cary and I decided to start a new support site called igotbraces.com. The idea was to have a forum for people to talk about and find anything related to braces. It would be great to see your blog linked there too. There is a way to link your ID to a flickr account also. You always have awesome pics! Which is funny because they are all of teeth. But to us ortho people they are fantastic :)

Hope you get a good night sleep and that appliance isn't too much of a pain. Amy

At 12:50 PM, Blogger Mrs. Shanton said...

Graham, my man! Moving right along! Wow, that appliance thing is interesting to me. I have a tendency to suck my cheeks and lips in tight at night to prevent salivation, because I hate waking up at night with a wet pillow! I have often wondered if this is narrowing my bite. I might bring it up with my Dr.K. I'm glad your OD took out the painful wire. I have this concern that the faster your teeth move--and fast movement is marked by pain--the more likely you are to have root resorption on top of all your other tooth woes. So, I've been in favor of my OD taking as long as he needs. I'm in no hurry, if it means getting it done right. But that's just me. Anyway. Hope you get to go sooner than October '07. On the other hand, I can't believe it's already November '06. What happened to the time??

At 8:35 PM, Blogger Brandyleigh35 said...

Thanks for explaining that, it is clear now. Still looks really uncomfortable though. I've never heard of peoples cheeks and lips making ones teeth move, however, it does seem totally plausible I guess if one really thinks about it. Your teeth are looking so good I'm always in awe of what ortho's can do for people. It really is nothing short of amazing. You are going to look so different after all of this! In a good way of course :) You will be beating the girls off with a stick! LOL...


At 10:56 PM, Blogger JenNicole said...

I feel so bad for you. That thing looks beyond miseralbe!!

At 3:49 AM, Blogger Erin said...

Wow, how you sleep has that much of an impact? Not sure I understand. Makes me wonder what I'm doing in my sleep!

That's awesome about the surgery. Very exciting. I don't have a timeline yet except that I know things are finally progressing again. These bottom gaps are being extremely stubborn! Sometimes I think they're just never going to close.

I totally understand what you mean about the bite, when 2 teeth are touching when others were touching the previous day. Somehow that type of thing happened to me very frequently in my first 5-6 months in braces. It seems like every day different teeth would be touching. When only two touched (and it hurt when they did!) that was probably the worst. But then soon everything would shift again. It's uh, "fun." ;)

Take care!

At 4:21 AM, Blogger Erin said...

Oops, was signed into the wrong account. Maybe I should get some sleep!


By the way -- thanks Amy for posting about igotbraces.com here -- I just requested an account. :)


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