Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Adjustment #3: Braces off! ...And then back on!

Yes, my time without braces was very short lived. Gee, I hope the next time I get to keep them off for good. ;o) Anyway, all kidding aside, today was adjustment #3. The challenge was to reposition some of my lower brackets. It turned out that I needed almost all of them done! Just goes to show how crooked things were to begin with. I had been dreading this appointment because I knew that getting the glue off with that drill (or whatever it is, sure sounds like one!) wouldn't be pleasant. I flinch very easily so it was a test of my endurance. I have to raise my hat to Nina, my technician today, who was very patient with me and helped me through it with some psychological support and gave me little breaks as she moved from one tooth to the next. There were a few sore spots but overall the process seemed to be done quickly. Popping the brackets off beforehand was also a mixed basket. Two or three of them hurt but the rest came off pretty easily with a small pop. Then Maria sang along to the radio as she helped Nina place the new brackets. She even sang on key - musical nut that I am, I was impressed. :o) My new brackets have the little coloured dots on them, which will wear off, but I had forgotten about that. It was an "oh yeah" moment for me.

Nina commented on how good my gums look - that definitely took me by surprise and was good to hear. My little rubber tip tool must be doing its job then. She then put a new wire in, which turns out is one gage lighter than the previous one because of the brackets being repositioned. I didn't know technicians did that part since only Dr W has done it for me previously. Nicely done Nina. And finally, she put a new power chain on my top teeth and it looks whiter now, which is nice.

After finishing up with another patient, Dr W came over and I asked him about my night appliance. The trouble seems to be that I have to force my lips closed (gently) when I have it in my mouth. I haven't been able to sleep like that. He tried shaving the appliance down in a couple of spots and also used a grinder on one of my lower incisors. He suggested wearing it in the evening before bed in the hopes that it would help me get used to it before actually falling asleep. Aside from that he said he didn't have any more tricks up his sleeve but that I wasn't putting myself in major jeopardy if I still can't do it. He said the appliance will make the overall treatment better, hopefully stopping any night time sucking habits I might have causing my teeth to go back out of alignment. So, I'll give it another chance and see where I end up. I didn't think to ask about a Hawley retainer. I know I'll have one when I get my braces off, so I wonder how that differs. …He also had a general look around my mouth and was very happy with my progress. I found that reassuring because from my perspective there didn't seem to be much happening in the last 9 weeks. The movements are more subtle now that my teeth are so much straighter.

As Nina was working away on me, I overheard Dr W talking with another patient in the next chair about her surgery with Dr T! I was excited to be sitting beside a post-oper! I couldn't see her though, and she was gone quickly and I didn't catch what kind of surgery she had. I wanted to jump up and join the conversation but I was confined to my chair with a lip retractor, gauze, and the blue light tool in my mouth. Oh well. ...As for me, Dr W said that I would be ready for surgery "in the summer" and had Cheri call in to have them schedule it. Sounds like Cathy (Dr T's wife, who does the scheduling) was on vacation or something so Cheri left the message with whoever else answered the phone. Here's where it gets interesting: I have a "guaranteed" date of October 2007 but since Cheri notified them that I would be ready "in the summer" I could still get in earlier, but that they would only give me about a month's advance notice since that's all they know. I don't remember how it worked for my first surgery so I'll have to see if I noted that anywhere. …So yeah, what does "in the summer" mean exactly? June 1st? August 31st? Arg! So I'm going to give it a week or so and then call Cathy since she's the lady with the power! Maybe if I bring her some chocolate and flowers? Diamonds? Real estate? Anything to give me a surgery date in the not too distant future! :o)

On my way out Cheri commented that she thought I looked different, and I guess she hasn't seen me for a while so I probaby do to her. She said I look a little more filled in, "maybe from eating over the holidays", which is likely true! I've regained the little bit of weight that I lost from SARPE and I could still do well to gain a few more pounds for the big surgery. Gotta get me a bag of
two-bite brownies! Mmm! Anyway, I have to agree. I have allowed a few more pictures of me to be taken and I do really notice how my face is different. I'm still not exactly photogenic but better than I was. So far so good!

Ok Advil, show me whatcha got!



At 1:22 AM, Blogger Brandyleigh35 said...

Wow Graham! You look terrific! I'm amazed everytime I see your teeth at just how much they have changed. The progress is so much more impressive then mine since your teeth were in need of a bit more work than mine. Your arches looks so good too! I bet you are smiling a whole lot more now huh?

Sounds like we will be surgery buddies for sure! I will be planning my surgery for May 18th if the doctor can get me in. He only books 2 months out, so I think I should have no problem with that date, unless he is on vacation then or something. I don't get out of school until the 25th, but I'm going to use a week of sick leave and head out early, that way I will have a full 3 months to recover from the whole ordeal. It will be interesting to see how your surgery goes too! I wish I could say that I was looking forward to it. I mean I am cause it will mean I'm one step closer to the end, but I know its going to have its own share of frustrations and I'm not looking forward to that aspect of it.

Has your dr mentioned anything about how long you might be in braces once your surgery is complete? I'm hoping for no more than 4-5 months, however, I have heard the final detailing can take up to a year! UGHH!

Keep smiling you lady killer you!


At 1:20 AM, Blogger Amy said...

Hi Graham,
Glad to see your update and that things are moving along well. Your ortho office sounds like mine, the people really make an effort to know you and make you feel great. It's so exciting to see everyone get to a point where surgery is being discussed. I hope you get early summer. We need you and Brandy to go so that we can all meet in Vegas when it's winter and show of our new smiles :D Your looking great and what a horrible thing to have to put on weight - huh!

At 7:19 PM, Blogger Mrs. Shanton said...

Lookin' suave there! I'm impressed! You've come a long way, and I must say you're looking very good!

At 10:16 PM, Blogger Graham said...

Thanks for the kind words mi amigas! We're all coming along so great!

At 10:49 PM, Blogger Beneath the stars said...

Hey, that's great news, summer surgery! Maybe the summer will be so hot that you won't even need a hot pack post-op ...how's that for putting a positive spin on global warming.

At 8:04 PM, Blogger Shontell said...

"Well hello there.." That's what you look like your about to say in that pic! lol It would be nice if you and Brandy could get your surgeries done around the same time. I sure would like it if someone had surgery with me! Anyone..anyone..
Misery loves company.. so they say.


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