Friday, October 15, 2010

Oh no, wire power chain again

Earlier this week I had my two bicuspids extracted. This gap has to be closed, since I opted for no surgery my ortho told me closing this gap would require at least 1.5 years more of braces! Naturally I was quite disappointed, disconcerted and unhappy about that. I was hoping to have them off by my next birthday in 6-7 months.

This also meant I would end up with a class-2 bite (mild overlap) as opposed to a perfect 1-on-1 bite from top to bottom. I was worried about it and started considering orthognathic surgery again. I was hoping to have it done in Colombia to lower my costs but there comes the issue about they pain, the months of rehabilitation and having my palate broken and put back together. I don’t think I want to go through more pain (back pain is already bad enough). I was given 1 month to decide, haven’t made up my mind because I have not been able to meet a surgeon that would do it.

In the meantime my gaping holes were healing properly without any infections, pain or other discomfort other than having to eat somewhat different to avoid hurting my healing gum.

My lower teeth/molars have been hurting for a few days due to the new archwire. I have barely eaten anything other than liquid. My ex-girlfriend’s family has been kind and aware of my extractions so they prepared some suitable food. Very nice, Colombian people are nice.

DSC05257 Today however, after having spent most of the past 8 days coming to the orthodontist, I was going to have my last appt. prior to my return. The orthodontist removed the 3 sections of archwire on the top jaw and installed a new continuous one as it was before. This one however, has a “T” on the place where I had the extractions, these act as mechanical springs to pull the molars forward and the teeth back, the two force vectors shown in green.

In that picture (I spare you from another one) you can also partly appreciate the metallic powerchain that is meshed in both directions from one end to the other (the whole jaw). This replaces the old rubber powerchain which IMHO was more comfortable. This helps keep the teeth together for what I know. One thing I don’t want is the gap opening between my front teeth again, I went through quite some pain and discomfort to have that closed down with some oral surgery!

Now and for the next week or so my upper teeth are going to be hurting too. So I will probably not be able to eat my meal in the airplane :( From now on and for the next 18 months (at least) I will need my upper wire adjusted (tightened) every 1.5 to 2 months! This will be done by my local orthodontist as I cannot afford to travel abroad so often.

Now I really feel it, my upper teeth feel as if I had been put a mouth piece as they do with horses (perhaps head gear feels like that). I can feel it tightened backwards. For days I was not able to even floss my upper front teeth, too painful!!!

Now I can finally put the tips of my lower and upper front teeth together with minimal effort! wow! I waited so many years for this moment! Now I just have to wait patiently for these darn braces to come off and be FREE!!! Most definitely, orthodontic treatment is a long journey with good things in sight and pain in the process of achieving it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Christopher Columbus & Tooth Extraction Day!

It is October 12th, the "Hispanic Heritage Day" or in better words the 512th anniversary since Cristobal Colón had sight of this wonderful continent, the Americas.
LateralEncephalogram-Oct2010 Today I had my appt. at 11 A.M. and my “architect” orthodontist examined both the panoramic (all teeth) and the lateral encephalography to re-evaluate. Yes, sad news are as expected: I need extractions of both of my upper bicuspids :’(.
As you know I had decided earlier (variety of reasons) not to go through with orthognathic surgery. During that surgery they would have extracted both bicuspids and made the cut of my upper jaw just there, and move it back. If after that patch up the adjustment was not enough they would have proceeded with lower jaw surgery to advance it a little bit. Ugh, a lot to go through. The make a measurement more like the one shown on the Rx above, my front teeth are at an angle of 126º when the normal angle is 114º so a lot of correction is needed there.
DSC05253 Since there was quite some delay between the removal of bicuspid brackets and actual extractions (2+ months) I felt they had moved forward again (increased angle). Anyway, today the extractions were to be made. First I had anesthetics on both sides, while it took effect I had my cleanup (hygienist), just fine, less pain. Afterwards both bicuspids were extracted, I was very nervous but everything went alright and I suffered no pain. Never in my life had I two extractions in one day! I had some bleeding, especially by the time I got to the hotel I had quite some blood in my mouth but that was natural.
I used the very cold bottles from the hotel fridge (my water bottles) as an ice pack and kept them on both sides nearly the rest of the day. As a result I had no swelling!
After the extractions I still had three archwire sections on my upper jaw, two on the molars behind the bicuspid and one on the 4 front teeth and gaping holes where my bicuspids were “amputated” :( I was worried “oh my God, what have I done! now I have two teeth less!” but well, all in the name of a better (more functional) smile. I used pain killers as instructed by my orthodontist and suffered no pain discomfort.
I was given my two bicuspids :-) and told how to clean them with Oxigenated Water (H2O2). I was hoping to have them both buried with me when I died. Unfortunately that was not so… while cleaning them one of them fell on the sink and was lost forever :’( and I was very upset. Now I am leaving both my heart and a tooth in Medellin.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Prepare for Extraction!

OK, I am dealing now with two orthodontists, one abroad (my original one) and one local. Since my local ortho was still not fully aware of my treatment history I decided to visit my ortho abroad and kill two birds with one stone. Luckily he is aware of my situation and told me I just needed to call and they would give me priority during that whole week! and it was indeed so!.

A week prior to my visit abroad the metallic power chain on my upper jaw’s front teeth (1 to 3) started to fall apart. During the past months I had swallowed a ton of orthodontic wax and my cheeks inside where torn with the damn wire. The problem with that is that when you brush the tie point moves and comes out and starts stabbing your cheeks. I was really sick and tired of that. So, I removed it myself, what a relief!

So I arrived Friday, October 8th and on Saturday 9th at 11:00 I had my first appointment of the week. He examined my mouth, saw the two brackets (on the bicuspids) that were missing prior to the extraction. We discussed my situation and my treatment and made another appointment for Monday.

DSC05246 On Monday I had my 2nd priority visit. The lower archwire was removed and replaced by another that seemed thicker but he said it is softer and may bend more easily. A bit of force had to be done to put it through the last two brackets on the molars but no pains. This was good news because earlier this year (in January) a new archwire was installed and a bracket on the lower front tooth replaced to make it turn. That was a painful procedure because the tooth was not aligned and getting the wire in was of screaming proportions!

This time it went easily, the left front lower tooth is now properly aligned, one more problem down.

Now the hard part… Since he knows I have anxiety problems with dental treatment he asked if I was ready for the extractions tomorrow Tuesday! or perhaps Wednesday if I wanted to chill down. Problem is I fly on Sunday so the sooner the better for checking possible complications. I said, what the hell, I have been postponing it since August, they have to go so let’s do it.

I had to get two X-Rays prior to extraction, a Panoramic and a Lateral Encephalograph (something like that). To save time I did it in the neighborhood of the hotel. The Orthodontist said they had not sufficient quality so I had to then go to another branch of the same people in the city center (near the Ortho). Uff! venturing on my own in the city center of Medellin, watch out!

They did the RX again at no cost. And then again, and again, and again. Yes 4 times because there were problems with the lateral RX. Finally I took them back to my ortho to check my positions prior to the extractions.

He was right on Saturday when he told me to eat everything I could because after this new archwire my lower molars where aching, I ate soft things for the next few days, good bye Colombian delicacies :(