So I've been meaning to post my story for awhile now, but just havent gotten the chance because it is a long one.
Starting back when I was 13, I got the works to correct my open bite and narrow palate- braces for 2.5 years, expander and head gear
. My bite was corrected, wore essex retainers for awhile and then not at all.
7 years I'm back with an open bite. It's been gradually opening for the past couple of years now.
I'm now 22, in dental school, and with learning so much about occlusion I decided that I wanted to correct mine. At first I thought the only option would be the maxillary 3 piece Lefort Osteotomy. Then my current orthodontist (who is a first year ortho resident at my school) brought up the use of TADs and bite plate to correct the open bite. I guess before they corrected my bite with anterior extrusion, but apparently posterior molar intrusion is a lot more stable and less prone to relapse.
I was having a lot of trouble deciding actually between the surgery and the TADs, but then I found out that my insurance wouldn't cover the surgery so that settled it. TADs!
Oct. 15- TADS/bite plate put in!
To be honest, I was actually pretty excited before the appointment, just to be able to get started on the road to a perfect smile. Little did I know what was in store for me. I had had a CT scan done at my records appointment instead of a panorex (this was when I was thinking of having the surgery). Well, I'm glad I did because it showed that I apparently have an aplastic left maxillary sinus. Which pretty much means that instead of an empty space for a sinus, I have bone all the way through on the left side. My orthodontist tells me this as if I should be excited or something... lucky me!
Anyways there are three different ways the treatment could go- normally (bite will close in about 3 months), the left side will take longer than the right to intrude (he will have to take the springs off of the right to let the left catch up), OR it won't work at all. So he pretty much tells me this right before I'm supposed to be getting these things installed.
So I decide to go ahead with it, I knew it was kind of a chance anyways doing the TADs, as there aren't really any long term studies on relapse rates. So he puts some topical lidocaine/local anesthetic, makes the holes with some manual screwdriver type thing and then screws in the TADs. Didn't really hurt, just a lot of pressure and weird scraping/crunching of bone. The noise was the most unsettling part, but overall it really wasn't too bad. He cemented the bite plate and attached the springs and I was ready to go.
Of course everyone in the ortho department was trying to talk to me afterwards asking how it went, etc. I was salivating uncontrollably and could hardly speak. I literally thought at that moment, "what did I get myself into? Do I really want this?
Things only became worse when I went home. I tried to drink some water to take with my ibuprofen and literally felt like I was choking. I tried to eat- horrible idea. I was literally crying to my sister, doubting why I chose to do this to myself.
I was swollen the first few days after, had an awful speech problem, drooled uncontrollably at night, in terrible pain without ibuprofen every four hours, ulcers on the insides of my cheeks from where the springs rubbed against the mucosa, and still couldn't eat too much.
I sure have come a long way since last Friday. I now can talk much better- I would not say perfect though, it still sounds like I have a lot of spit in my mouth (which sometimes its because I do) and can't pronounce e's, a's or s's very well. Swallowing is still a little weird for me, but I'm getting used to it and it seems to be more natural. I'm on normal food now (for the first 3-4 days after I was eating apple sauce, oatmeal, mac&cheese and icecream literally every day), however it is really annoying because it gets stuck up in my palate. My teeth and sides of my cheeks are still a little sore, and also up where the TADs are. I'm trying to keep everything really clean, I have been using a colgate peroxyl rinse for the past few days to clear up the ulcers that I had (I'm probably going to stop in the next few days because I don't want to bleach my teeth) and I rub chlorohexidine up where the screws are 2x day. Let's just say my morning and evening routines have increased by at least 15 minutes.
I'm feeling a little better mentally about the whole thing, I think it helps that I'm not in so much pain and I'm getting more used to having this huge foreign object in my mouth. I'm expecting for things to keep looking up and I'm just crossing my fingers that it's going to work.
I have an appt 2 weeks from tomorrow just to see how things are going, so I hope that he has good things to say.