Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Somebody pinch me!

No surgery?! Huh? ...Well maybe.

Yesterday was adjustment number 8. The first order of business, as planned last time, was to re-bond my lower 5-5 brackets. Jasmine detached the brackets and then removed the wire while they were still seated around the wire. That was a neat way of doing it; and she later used the wire as reference for putting the new brackets on. I then had to endure the burr tool again, but I must say that she did a great job and I felt pretty relaxed. I think I counted only two or three sensitive spots that made me jump. Then once my teeth were all polished and naked of any hardware she let me look in the mirror. It's amazing how much better they look without brackets, and I'm very happy with how straight they have become. Now that the brackets are back on and and repositioned she said things will begin to level out. I've been waiting for that! I think level teeth are a sign of being close to done with braces, perhaps not for me, but it's something I've noticed in others.

Dr W was busy with another patient so I sat in the waiting room while listening to annoying children's programs on the tv. Thankfully the kids in the room finally left so I turned the volume down.

Dr W called me in and it was time for him to work his magic. He put a new wire on the bottom, a wire with some special thermal properties that he wanted to use me as a guinea pig for. My impression was that it worked very well. On top he put two bends in the wire to "intrude" my central incisors since they are a bit long. He said this will be important cosmetically.

Then came a surprise...

"Graham, have I redone your records yet?"

"Nope, but you mentioned doing that last time."

"Ok, let's make an appointment to do that. We'll do a new PAN, CEPH and photos. Your teeth are touching right on edge so I want to see if we should correct it surgically or whether we should do it dentally with class III elastics. It is possible to procline your upper teeth some more."

Huh?! You mean I might not need surgery? I really have mixed emotions about this and I'm still quite upset about it today. On one side I know that surgery has risks and that avoiding it can sometimes be ideal. It also means I'll save some cash and not have to go through months and months of extended recovery. But on the other hand I don't want to cut any corners. I don't want to extend my treatment by going off on a tangent with elastics only to find that they didn't work well enough or that I later relapse. And I don't want anything less than an ideal solution both functionally and cosmetically.

It turned out that they had some time to take new x-rays and photos as soon as Dr W was finished with me. Good. Less waiting. I go back on August 25th to get the verdict.

So what are class III elastics and how do they work? I found this link (PDF format) last night which does a reasonable job of explaining it (Figure 8.7 on page 223 seems to be the state I'm in). It appears that elastics can correct an under bite within a certain threshold. I assume measurements can be taken from the x-rays. I'm right on the borderline, hence my anxiety.

So here I wait. Agonize. Anticipate.

lower adj 8 wk 0 - 1

Lower incisors are finally pretty much straight.

smile adj 8 wk 0 - 1

Bends to intrude the central incisors.


At 8:23 PM, Blogger Kelsie said...


Wow!! lookin' good kid. Keep us all posted regarding your surgery status.

At 10:36 PM, Anonymous Amy said...

Hi Graham,

Possibly no surgery, that must of been totally unexpected, not even on the radar. Wow!

I can see your dilemma, as all this time you've been preparing for surgery and thinking that was a solution to your bite problems. Yet knowing maybe SARPE and elastics could fix things is also relieving knowing you don't have to have major surgery. I don't think your OD would steer you wrong. He's been doing such a great job with your teeth already!

I'll be checking in to see what the verdict is. Either way, you'll still have all your blog buddies supporting you till the end.


At 3:38 AM, Blogger Brandyleigh35 said...

Wow Graham,
That is a shocker! I understand your trepedation here. It does seem like your orthodontist has done a great job so far, and is very concerned about doing the right thing, so I would think all you can do is just see what he purposes, and then decide if you are willing to go that route. I do have to say that your teeth are looking really good now though and if you can avoid surgery and still get great results then trust me that is a big plus!

Keep us posted!


At 7:50 PM, Blogger Kristy Clucas said...

omg no surgery, if only i could be so lucky, let us know what the verdict is on the 25th, and keep yourself busy until then, i know its gona seem like forever....i realise you dont want to cut any corners, and as a result have the braces on longer, who needs to be a guinea pig, but no surgery that could be GREAT news!

At 4:11 PM, Anonymous chinderella said...

What, no surgery?? I can easily imagine the shock - the weird thing is, I would be a bit disappointed, now that I've decided to go through the whole thing. (Not that this is about me...) Keep us posted!!

At 5:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can understand how you feel. When my surgery got changed from a Lefort to a SARPE (still hasn't happened yet) I was a bundle of nerves. What is this is the wrong choice? What if this messes up my TMJs? And so on.... What if's will kill you. You picked a great team of doctors and they are all on your side - trust them. Delag

At 1:38 AM, Blogger Kristen said...

Bet no one expected THAT! No surgery. Whoa.

Waiting is the worst part. I do agree with what everyone said here, though, that you picked a great team of doctors and they'll propose the best option for you. Try to not over-think it, and just wait for the 25th. And if you have to, like I did, I'd suggest writing down all your questions and bringing them with you to your next appointment. That's what I did, and it really helped.

Thinking good thoughts for you!


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