"What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been" - Robert Hunter, Grateful Dead

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SinkFullOfDinner
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 2:25 pm

Hardware vs Software (aka "stretchy things")

#31 Postby SinkFullOfDinner » Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:58 am

I feel at this point that my ortho is just carpet bombing me with stretchy things. Hopefully, it represents a plan.

It occurred to me that the early part of treatment is all about hardware; very little about software. Put on brackets, add springs, change wires, get to bigger wires, stiffer wires, rectangular and square wires, reposition brackets, put bends in those steel wires. Maybe you had TPAs or TADs. Then there's this insidious creep of software - stretchy things like elastics and powerchains - that seem to take over as the focal point of adjustments during the back half of treatment.

At this point, I have four different powerchains plus elastics trying to move stuff. I don't know if it's all part of the normal plan, or if it's a final act of desperation to get certain movements moving that have proven to be on the stubborn side.

If you've read my posts on this thread (if so, you have too much time on your hands), you know that I've tried to keep a light outlook on all of the intrusiveness and curveballs that we put up with during this process. But honestly, as I'm a couple weeks away from the two year mark and my ortho is still working on a couple of important things, I'm getting a bit worried. Clearly, this game is going to overtime. I know that happens a lot. Even my regular dentist told me not to count on the initial target. How long, I have no idea. I suppose you just suck it up and endure the added time once you're this far into it, because you don't really have much of a choice. However, it seems that we're hitting a few late, unexpected roadblocks, and I don't want to think about going through all this effort and hassle and having some key results come up quite short, but that's where my imagination is going these days. I'll bring it up at my next appt, but that's still a few weeks away, and it's going to gnaw at me until then. Apologies for the whiny, downer post...I promise I'll be back to a better mood next post.

SinkFullOfDinner
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 2:25 pm

Math and Tuna

#32 Postby SinkFullOfDinner » Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:03 pm

Don't be confused. You'll be nodding in agreement soon enough.

While having a tuna salad sandwich for lunch, I was reminded that the first bite of any sandwich is particularly unsatisfying. It's because, in this case, only about 60% of that first bite actually makes it to my tummy. The second bite climbs to about 80%. Generally by the third bite, the brackets and wires (and space above the top brackets and below the bottoms) are at full capacity and that bite can safely run the gauntlet unscathed and in all of its 100% glory. All's good after that, depending on your definition of "good."

The efficiency bonus to eating with braces only happens when you're finished with that sandwich and - without even taking another actual bite - you're able to enjoy a series of small ten-percenters compliments of your tongue 'dozer. Your colleagues, however, do not get this benefit without requesting a to-go bag for leftovers. How unfortunate for them. See how lucky we are? And, with no to-go bag needed, it's good for the planet, too! Reusable storage. See, braces are green too, and not just when there's salad in them.

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cocomacd
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:24 am

Re: "What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been" - Robert Hunter, Grateful Dead

#33 Postby cocomacd » Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:55 pm

LOLOLOL!!!!! :-* :-* :-*
Journey Begins December 6, 2016
First time, Self ligating brackets
Age 38


Sentence: 12-18 months

Image

SinkFullOfDinner
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 2:25 pm

My Stupid American Teeth

#34 Postby SinkFullOfDinner » Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:26 pm

I'm pretty sure that my stupid American teeth are confused by what's metric v imperial when my ortho speaks. Gaps are always referred to in mm, but wire sizes and bracket slots are in inches, while elastics can't make up their mind and seem to switch between mm and fractions of inch in size. And, like most stupid American teeth, they suck at converting between metric and imperial.

Why does this matter? Because I've crossed the 2yr mark and I didn't heard a peep today about wrapping up. I'm wondering if my stupid American teeth thought they were supposed to convert treatment time using miles to km and multiplied 22-24 months by 1.6 and thought they were on a 3yr track (please tell me they didn't do kg-to-lbs).

Instead of hearing an "almost there," the discussion today included what they planned to do either next appt or the one following, and then a comment about some elastic config that I don't have to worry about yet because they won't do that until we're closer to end. Meaning: we're not close to the end. That sound you just heard was the air going out of my balloon. At least Fridays have good happy hour specials, and I'll definitely be thinking liters instead of pints.

carzfrm60s
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Jun 16, 2006 2:13 pm
Location: Tennessee

Re: "What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been" - Robert Hunter, Grateful Dead

#35 Postby carzfrm60s » Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:59 am

Keep your chin up. When I was given a time line, I was reminded that at MY
age, excuse me!? (55 at start) it could take longer,especially for my midline
to move if at all. "Adults just take longer", HE said! I was in elastics fro several
months before I saw any movement. I would have various teeth start to ache but
no real movement. I am finally seeing some real noticeable movement. The way
I've have seen it this go round, I'm in no hurry I just want them right!! I sawwhere
you were'nt so worried about your midline. My advice for what it's worth,let them
fix it. I didn't the last time it it bugged the crap out of me! Look at it this way 2+
years is a relatively short time in the grand scheme of things.

SinkFullOfDinner
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 2:25 pm

Re: "What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been" - Robert Hunter, Grateful Dead

#36 Postby SinkFullOfDinner » Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:22 am

carzfrm60s wrote:My advice for what it's worth, let them
fix it. I didn't the last time it it bugged the crap out of me!

Yeah, I agree with you and that's the plan. Besides, I only see the obvious stuff that can be seen in a mirror and have no idea (nor expertise) about what else is going on that I can't see (aligning roots, etc.) That's why the ortho is the expert, and we'll wrap up when they say everything is where it's supposed to be. Best described as patiently impatient, if that makes sense. I'll let them do their thing, but boy has my eagerness to finish gone up with the passing of the 2yr mark. It's like an alarm went off!

carzfrm60s wrote:Keep your chin up.

Not really an option. Even if I tried to sulk and drop my chin, the wonderful elastics would pull it right back up high and tight! I wonder if it helps with snoring. I'm serious!

SinkFullOfDinner
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 2:25 pm

Progress X-rays - When Are They Usually Done?

#37 Postby SinkFullOfDinner » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:56 pm

Oh, I forgot to mention and ask about something from my last appt. They did "progress x-rays" for the first time, even though we're at the 2Yr mark. I hadn't really thought about it, but it seems that many people on AW have mentioned having progress x-rays done a lot earlier.

I'm sure it varies a great deal, but is there a typical point during your plan when these were requested? Or at a certain point when you're "x" months from the finish and they just want to see where your roots are? I'm hoping it's simply confirming that things are in place so that we can just focus on tweaks, and not Dr. Scrooge thinking "let's see where things are so we can plan the next six months without flying blind."

FlossWrangler
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 10:20 am

Re: "What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been" - Robert Hunter, Grateful Dead

#38 Postby FlossWrangler » Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:26 am

I had my pano X-ray checked a few months ago and did some Googling at that time. What I found was that it's typically done near the end of treatment. Of course, when I saw that I was pretty excited. The ortho did some small adjustments at the next two visits to parallel the roots according to what he saw on the pano, but I'm still in braces. I'm told that my next visit will be my "final wire-bending" appointment and that I'll get them off soon after. I'd guess you're at least 6 months from de-bonding if you just got the Pano done.
Side note: Your username made me laugh. Early on in treatment, I told my ortho that I was thinking of installing a garbage disposal on my bathroom sink!

SinkFullOfDinner
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 2:25 pm

Re: "What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been" - Robert Hunter, Grateful Dead

#39 Postby SinkFullOfDinner » Sun Dec 25, 2016 2:53 pm

FlossWrangler wrote:Side note: Your username made me laugh. Early on in treatment, I told my ortho that I was thinking of installing a garbage disposal on my bathroom sink!

Now that's funny! Laughing so hard while picturing it! I can see immediately that you're a creative problem solver.
FlossWrangler wrote:...I'd guess you're at least 6 months from de-bonding if you just got the Pano done.

I worry that you're right since everything seems to take longer, but hoping that we're closer than that and, for once, I'll be pleasantly surprised with the timing. I'll ask at my next appt about what they saw and if any suprises, but assumed asking about timing would be a waste before they see the images.

SinkFullOfDinner
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 2:25 pm

Um, I did NOT see that coming

#40 Postby SinkFullOfDinner » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:37 pm

I'm not quite sure how to even describe the last checkup. Still processing it. For the tl;dr crowd, just skip to the bottom.

In my previous post, I was curious to know if the panoramic x-rays that they took last month might mean that we're getting close to the final tweaks. FlossWrangler warned me not to get my hopes up. Regardless, I went in with fingers kind of crossed that maybe we might be done with elastics for now, or maybe only at night. Maybe the techniques that they tried last appt to finally move some things that hadn't been cooperating had worked! I was convinced that I saw changes as I squinted into the mirror. Constantly. We're close now, right? Let's finish this thing!

I was actually eager for the appt to happen, thinking that I might be pleasantly surprised. And I was...surprised.

When I got situated in the chair, I asked if there'd been good news from the x-rays. That's when things went downhill.

Ya know how your ortho or the asst usually sits on their little roller stool up near your head where their tools and computer monitor are? Yeah, that's normal. So, it was highly unusual when my ortho rolled around to the foot of the chair so he could face me. Uh oh. What's going on? Is this bad news, or is it "I like to see my patient's expression when I give them the good news"?

Talk about a shock.

He basically said that the current combo of lingual and regular braces that we're using (and something about anchorage) wasn't getting the result he was looking for and was going slowly (which I was well aware of). We had two options. One, remove the remaining linguals and finish with regular braces. Two, continue with the current setup, which will take longer than option 1 to finish and will involve making some compromises with the result. Obviously, he was recommending the former and said it would give a better and more stable result. He thought it would take about six months, and he acknowledged that those six months would kind of suck regarding visibility after coming from linguals.

Wow. Didn't see that coming at all. I know you're probably going to say that the choice is obvious, but I really went back and forth with it. I went with linguals originally because I really, really didn't want visible braces and Invisalign wasn't recommended. And things actually feel pretty good right now. Ultimately, common sense won out. I've come this far and I knew that in six months I'd regret not having gone with option 1 and being done, instead of looking at another several months of working toward a lesser result. So, here we go.

They didn't have time to do both arches and get the linguals off, so they just removed the lower lingual wire and put on the bottom braces. I go back in two weeks to have the linguals taken off, the cement buffed off, and the tops put on. In the meantime, I have full braces on the bottom AND the old lingual brackets still there. Trust me, that's a lot of crap going on. If I ever take the time to take a photo and figure out how to post here, it'll crack you up.

This is gonna suck. Let's see how many business meetings and social events I can front load to the next two weeks.

SinkFullOfDinner
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 2:25 pm

Re: "What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been" - Robert Hunter, Grateful Dead

#41 Postby SinkFullOfDinner » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:58 pm

On the brighter side...

After a couple of days, I've been surprised at how un-messed up my cheeks and lip have been. I expected it to be worse. Molar hook doing the normal evil deeds, but no other wax needed. I assume it's because after all of the work that the lingual braces have already done, things are pretty straight and the brackets aren't poking out at weird angles. Also, the bottom braces look about as good as you can hope for as a result of the straightness. So I'm happy that at least I missed the "brackets all over place" look. I'll happily take the bit of good luck. Hopefully the same goes for the top ones when they get swapped on.

Shelleyt
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:26 pm

Re: "What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been" - Robert Hunter, Grateful Dead

#42 Postby Shelleyt » Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:49 pm

THis is my nightmare but you are taking it in stride and with a good attitude! It'll be over before you know it and at least your results should be perfect!

Twangsnap
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:29 am

Re: "What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been" - Robert Hunter, Grateful Dead

#43 Postby Twangsnap » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:55 pm

Looks like we're on a similar timeframe - my metal is due off in May, in braces since last March. You'd be amazed how little people pay attention to your teeth with braces on. My hairdresser, who sees me like every 6 weeks, only noticed i had braces when I was wearing my elastics!

Anyway, fingers crossed for us both and a super duper result all round :wink: :D

SinkFullOfDinner
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 2:25 pm

Re: "What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been" - Robert Hunter, Grateful Dead

#44 Postby SinkFullOfDinner » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:18 pm

Thanks. Sounds like you'll beat me to the finish line, but hopefully not by much. Only 14 mo for you?! Totally unfair. I want that plan. I'm pretty sure no one will notice the switch to ceramics, because I'm planning to go with a retro wardrobe heavy on turtlenecks that I will wear up to my nose. Good plan?
Shelleyt wrote:THis is my nightmare but you are taking it in stride and with a good attitude! It'll be over before you know it and at least your results should be perfect!

Yep, pretty much that. Except the nightmare will be there when I wake up. Ugh. I don't know about the "good attitude," "taking it in stride" thing, however; I'm pretty much faking it right now, but happy that it comes across that way! Thanks for the pep talk, at least after reminding me about the nightmare part! ;-)

Twangsnap
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:29 am

Re: "What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been" - Robert Hunter, Grateful Dead

#45 Postby Twangsnap » Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:51 pm

The turtleneck strategy is absolutely bound to work. What could possibly go wrong? I also find developing a mumble helps. Mumblers don't show teeth. It will be fine. it will be awesome. Go rock those ceramics.


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