Saturday, June 30, 2007


Wow, I just got finished watching Michael Moore's new film SiCKO and I urge all of you to go see it immediately! I had tears in my eyes and rage in my soul that this kind of insanity is going on, and I'm from Canada dammit! From a Canadian perspective this really intensifies my belief that public health care in this country must not be neglected or taken for granted. We must fund it properly so that private health insurance isn't even necessary. Full health care is the basic right of all Canadians and it is our moral obligation to fight for that right for our friends in the USA and around the world. I am appalled at the nonsense that my ortho amigos have to go through to get their procedures approved and the articles I've posted about the lack of funded dental care in Canada are a perfect illustration that even Canada isn't perfect. Go see this film now!!

'What can I do?' - SiCKO

Oh, and if you're an American looking to marry a Canadian so you can get health care, check out Hook A Canuck! And yes I'm single but I can only take one, so put your application in early. :P

Saturday, June 23, 2007

He has a new smile; system still in decay

Back in February I posted a newspaper story about a guy who had extensive oral problems, so bad that it was keeping him from finding work.

Dentistry For The Less Fortunate

Thanks to the generosity of Dr Raj Singh, he now has an amazing new smile. Here's the article and video about the final results as well as the sorry state of government funded dental care in Canada.

He has a new smile; system still in decay
Toronto Star video footage

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Adjustment #7: Reconnected!

I walked in to Dr W's office. Arlene and Maria were at the front desk.

"Ooh, let us see!"

So I showed off my spiffy new laterals. They were impressed and Arlene and I started chatting about how much I've changed since I first came, and change I have indeed. I commented on how it felt to have that difference in self-perception, almost surreal. Arlene related it to how she has lost 50lbs over the last while. Both her and Cheri have been working hard and it really shows, I've really noticed their transformation over the last while too. Congrats ladies! Oh, and Cheri is back in the office too, glad she's feeling better now.

I waited a few minutes and then got called back to sit in Jasmine's chair. She was impressed with the change too, as it was her just a week ago that removed the brackets from my formerly peg laterals.

Dr W hollered over, "All the girls say you look good Graham!"

"They always say that, what are you talking about!" said I. Hehe.

Today she put the brackets back in place and then I moved over to Dr W's chair. He mentioned that my right lateral is going to be rotated slightly and moved outward so that the surrounding teeth can be adjusted accordingly. I asked if he was going to start pushing my centrals back to where they were but he said he wasn't planning on moving them much just yet. He did say that he's considering moving them up (impacting them) slightly since they are a bit too long but that he would to have to wait and see how things look next time. Looking at my new arch photo though I think the left one has already become a little bit more retroclined, so that's good, I hope that continues because my occlusion is so terribly awkward right now.

As for the lowers, he had a look and asked if he had adjusted my one crooked incisor, and while he did have some tie wire on it I reminded him that I hadn't had a wire change for two appointments. "Ok, I'm doing it now then". Phew. So now I have a new lower wire with some bends on both sides and on the crooked incisor. It hurt putting it in but I was glad to get the show back on the road.

And now the bad news is that he wants to replace my lower 5-5 brackets at my next appointment, agh! Not my favourite activity, but it will allow him to put on a new wire without bends in it. Just goes to show how crowded my lowers really were to begin with since this will make it twice that we've repositioned the brackets!

I guess I should try to put surgery out of my mind, I have a feeling it will be a while yet.

I was pretty woozy on the way home. I'm loaded on Advil and extra strength Tylenol right now. I'm thinking that working from home tomorrow might be a good idea. I bet this is gonna hurt for a few days.

My next appointment is in 8 weeks. August 13th is Dr W's birthday. I joked with Arlene that I would wear a fake pair of ugly monster teeth and see what kind of reaction I get.

smile adj 7 wk 0

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Released on $539 bond

If ever I was into bondage, this is it! Dr G was able to do both teeth even though he was running about 10 minutes behind, woohoo! Ok, I'll get right to the before and after pics...

My uppers all together:
compare smile bonding

The right:
compare right bonding

The left:
compare left bonding

The arch:
compare arch bonding

Can you feel the drama?! The process was mostly painless. He used some orange looking goo at one point which I thought I could somehow feel burning a little on the right one but it was over quickly. No freezing was needed. The annoying part was mostly the burr and the pressure when he was applying the bonding material. My laterals are still quite sensitive.

April, Dr G's tech, first picked out a size and colour for me. She had a range of models to choose from and held a few up for comparison. She commented on how naturally white my teeth are and said that I am not run of the mill. I'm not like other guys, what can I say. ;o) She picked out a "D2" if I remember correctly. Dr G had a look and gave his approval. Then for each tooth it went something like this: use the burr to rough up the surface, apply an acid for 15 seconds to create microscopic holes, apply a few rounds of bonding material and cure each layer with a plasma light. Then contour with the burr and a grinding wheel. At a few points I must have had at least 4 instruments in my mouth at once, suction, water, gauze, a plastic guard sheet which was digging into my gums, and I think he was using some sort of form factor but I'm not sure as couldn't see it. All this while they were talking about meatballs and getting up at 5am to work out! :)

So as you can see in the pics, my central incisors have an overjet, but Dr W is now going to push them back into place, or at least I hope he is! As planned, my right lateral also needs some adjustment. Dr G purposefully left a tiny bit of space there.

Running my tongue along the back side feels wavy on the left one and like a ball on the right one. The right one still feels like it's not really hanging on to much in the bone, but I didn't expect bonding to change that. Hopefully once the spaces are closed it will feel more solid.

Dr G said that the bonding can last a few or many years and that it was a good solution for now. Once my braces are off he suggested that placing porcelain veneers would be a more permanent solution. Obviously once I'm recovered from surgery I will re-evaluate my smile and see if I want to make any additional cosmetic improvements, not just to my laterals.

Cost was a lot lower than I was expecting. $539 and insurance is covering 80%, and I have the option to cover the last 20% with my health spending account. Sweet! I may save it for other things though, I can handle the $107 difference.

The changes are impressive but I'm actually still feeling like I'm getting used to it. It's funny to realize just how built-in to my self-image that right lateral was. It still feels weird in my mouth and I need to keep looking in the mirror to burn it into my head that it doesn't look like that anymore. I'm looking forward to Dr W's adjustments to it as I don't feel it's perfect yet. And I do want perfect. I must keep in mind that the real perfect can't happen until after surgery though.

More pics tomorrow after I get this blasted bypass wire off!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Go Go Gadget Lateral Bypass!

smile bypass adj 6 wk 0 - 1

Today was my double bypass day, err well you get the idea. As you can see I have a fancy bypass wire on now. Dr W removed my old wire and coil contraption and then bent the new wire into the proper shape and fit it in. Jasmine, a friendly new tech in the office, then used a burr to grind off some glue around the lateral brackets and then popped them off. She then used some wire tie to anchor the bypass wire into the four surrounding brackets. Thankfully the burr tool, which sounds like a drill, didn't hurt! I'm not sure if this was the same tool Nina used when she repositioned my lower brackets.

All of my upper teeth, except for maybe the back two molars, are feeling sensitive already. My right lateral feels electric and like it's just sort of floating in space and not anchored in the bone very well. I've had visions of just pulling that bugger out! The left one is sensitive but not as bad. I can definitely feel the inside of my lip pressing against the square part of the wire, hopefully I won't get a sore there. My cheeks are feeling numb again and a little bit tingly like when I know there is movement going on. I suppose an adjustment will do that. I seem to have developed a habit of sucking on my front uppers. I'm really noticing that right now.

So the plan is to go to Dr G on Tuesday to get the bonding done. Then back to Dr W on Wednesday to get brackets back on. I'm praying that 50 minutes is enough time to get the bonding done because that was the only time Dr G had available. It's just that Dr W's office is closed for vacation the first two weeks of July so I really need to get all this done before then. It would be a sweet deal to only have this bypass wire in for 7 days!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Spring loaded

I went to have a cleaning on Wednesday last week.

Cheryl: Every time I look in your mouth I just want to say wow!

Me: Say it! Say it!

Cheryl: Wow! Wow!

And Wednesday next week is when I go back to Dr W to get a bypass wire on. I took the opportunity to ask Dr G if he thought there was enough space around my laterals to do some bonding. He had a look and said it looked good to him. So I'm hoping that Dr W is in agreement. I'm a little bit worried that my left side still doesn't have enough. Dr G said he would likely do a roughed-in amount of bonding and then have Dr W close up any remaining space, doing too much bonding would make the tooth too big. Dr W said something similar at my last adjustment, that he was trying to create just a little bit too much space.

Here's a couple of comparison photos for you. My usual set is also in My Teeth Photos.

compare arch adj 5 wk 0 and 5

compare right adj 5 wk 0 and 5

The left side is pretty subtle but the new space on the right is fairly obvious. Notice how much the coil has expanded.

smile adj 5 wk 5 - 1

This is how my bite is naturally sitting right now, unless I fake it and push my lower jaw out far enough so that I can close all the way. I can't wait for this to be put back to how it was once the bonding is done. My incisors clash a lot and I have to be very careful. Dr W thinks I might be able to just have upper surgery now, I think this bite is indicative of that, but he wants to take new models later this summer to be sure. I'm also anxious to get some bends in my lower wire. The lowers look fairly straight from the top view (with a couple of obvious exceptions) but I still think they look too crowded from the front.

No word on surgery from Dr T yet. According to Kristy's blog they are currently booking for July, and I'm just not ready yet so I'm not calling them every month like I was. The part that worries me is that between now and October, at the rate I've been going will only be two more adjustments. It seems that won't be enough if you ask me. I hope I don't fall behind schedule.