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

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SinkFullOfDinner
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Re: Making progress (yay!)...and a molar tube question

#166 Post by SinkFullOfDinner » Sun May 05, 2019 11:51 am

Thanks, Jethro. It's good to see that you used the past tense when mentioning tmj issues. Always good to hear a success story!
SinkFullOfDinner wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:00 pm
...I have no idea why there would be that third rectangular tube above and to the outside of the archwire tube. It hasn't been used, and I can't for the life of me think of what it's for. And I forget to ask my ortho. Any ideas?...
So it turns out the third tube on the molar band is there if a second archwire is needed. I can't imagine how that would work since it doesn’t seem it would line up with any other slot on a regular bracket. Oh well, it must be useful some how. What I thought was a little funny was that they call those second archwires “piggy back” archwires. The description makes sense, I guess, but it also sounds like it was chosen to be kid friendly! A “piggy back-“ anything just sounds so innocent and non-threatening…almost fun. For adult patients, I think orthos should be up front with the description and call them something else, such as:
  • the “real train tracks have two tracks, so here’s your second track” archwire.
  • Or the “triple-D” or “DDD” archwire (“Double Degree of Difficulty”), for when you think you’ve finally mastered the art of threading the floss behind one archwire and your ortho wants to see if you can successfully navigate two archwires. That’s entertaining for them.
  • Or the “when two pokey wire ends just aren’t enough” archwire

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

#167 Post by SinkFullOfDinner » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:27 am

I’m not sure if this is a good thing or bad thing to hear from your general dentist, but during my six month checkup she commented that “your orthodontist should do a case study write up on your case.” Apparently, she thinks the approach and complexity is interesting. Oh, yippee. I think she needs to get out more.

When it comes to the receiving end of orthodontics, I’m pretty sure that I'd prefer to be neither interesting nor someone else’s case study. Boring or routine (and quick) is just fine. Needless to say, I didn’t quite share her enthusiasm for the idea, though I appreciated that she was just trying to be vested and positive. Her head and heart are always in the right place. Still, I heard her comment mostly as a reminder that “interesting” seems to be just another word for “long.” Maybe I'll need to add that to the old "ortho translation" thread.

But since then, it’s also occurred to me that no one publishes a case study on a treatment that they totally screwed up. Right? Case studies are basically just professional victory laps. Bragging to your peers. So, if it means this obnoxiously long process gets to an outcome that my ortho wants to brag about, I guess that's a good thing. It definitely beats the alternative.

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

#168 Post by Jethro » Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:48 pm

Hey Sink,

Don't think I'd be keen on being a case study either as psychologically I would probably construe this to mean something abysmal had occurred. "Interesting" definitely belongs on the ortho translation thread. I would also like to nominate "buttons", as in: "I'm going to place buttons on the lingual side of your 1st and 2nd molars to help correct that rotation". Buttons = Spikes!

Hope things are progressing well.

All the Best,

Jethro

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

#169 Post by SinkFullOfDinner » Wed Jul 24, 2019 3:19 pm

Spikes masquerading as buttons definitely falls into the category of false advertising. Does not sound fun.

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

#170 Post by SinkFullOfDinner » Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:01 am

I was visiting family and chatting with my ever-so-observant youngest niece. Her eyes started darting up and down. You know the routine. When something has caught your conversational partner's attention, and they’re either uncontrollably curious or trying to figure out whether to say anything.

I hadn’t seen her in about a year, or more specifically she hadn’t seen me in about a year. Eventually she couldn’t resist:

Niece: “You have braces.” [a slightly confused, suspicious look on her face]
Me: “Yeah.”
Niece: “I thought you got them off.”
Me: “Yeah. I did.”
Niece: “Why'd you get them on again?”
Me: “Well...ya know...I guess my orthodontist wasn't done, and he just took a little time-out, but then he needed to put them back on to finish.”
Niece: “That stinks.” [The ultimate kid version of sympathy]
Me: Haha “Yeah, you’re right about that!”

Then she paused for a little while, and then got excited.

Niece: “Are you gonna try different colors this time?!!”
Me: “Nah.”
Niece: “Why not? My friend’s mom has braces, and she tries all kinds of colors.” [i.e., Everybody’s doing it, ya know. Even old people. Like you.]
Me: “You’re not winning me over.”
Niece: “Come oooooooon. You should totally get different colors. It would be so much fun!!” [Keep selling that idea, girl!]
Me: “Fun for who?”
Niece: [baffled] “For you!"
Me: “Uh-uh. I don't think so.”
Niece: “Are you afraid?” [shaming attempt…they learn young]
Me: “Nah…maybe….probably….no, not at all…[flailing now]...I just don’t want to. I’d look pretty silly."
Niece: "No you wouldn't. They look totally awesome!! They're really pretty!"
Me: "Your Jedi mind tricks aren't working."
Niece: "What's a 'Jedi mind trick?'" [omg...realization setting in that she's so young she's never seen a Star Wars movie. I don't know what worse: that, or being badgered about ligature colors]
Niece: [with one last attempt at “peer” pressure] “When I get braces, I’m gonna try all the different colors.”
Me: "You should!"
Niece: "If I should, so should you!" [She believes she's found the winning argument now]
Me: “N. O. No. Nnnnnnnnno.”
Niece: [sensing defeat] “That stinks.” [Now the ultimate kid version of “you’re no fun,” or even worse, “loser”]
Me: “So what stinks worse? Getting braces again, or not trying colors?”
Niece: “Not getting colors.” [I really should have seen that coming, right?]
Me: “I’m not sure I agree with you on that.
Me, again: [going in for checkmate] “In fact, I’d probably be willing to try colors if it meant I didn’t have to have braces.”
Niece: “Really?!!” [Now sensing that victory had been snatched from the jaws of defeat]….[pause]…."but wait a minute…"[circular logic setting in]…”if you didn’t have braces, then….”
Me: [innocent voice] “Then what?”
Niece: “That’s not fair. You stink."

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

#171 Post by Speck » Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:06 am

Thanks for the laugh!
-Andy


Image


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

#172 Post by SinkFullOfDinner » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:58 pm

Based on the earlier chatter between the ortho and assistant, I'd sensed things might be moving a bit on the slow side, but we hadn't really discussed it. So at the end of my appointment last week, I finally asked my ortho if he thought we were moving along as expected (hoping I'd misread the room) and whether he was willing to take a crack at guessing how much longer we might have. The early part of the original estimate aimed for end of this year if I was lucky.

His reply: "More or less. We're making progress, but my advice is to just be patient."

More or less?? Not even a guess? That's some professional-grade question dodging right there! Bravo, sir. Your high school debate team skills remain sharp.

Now, "more or less" was basically the question I was asking, rather than the answer I was seeking. As in, "Do you think this will take more or less time than originally estimated?" Just pick one. Next, there's a fairly large chasm between "more" and "less." One means we're ahead, while the other does not. Again, please pick one. And oh by the way, advising "patience" when asked about timing and original estimates holding up is a non-answer answer that doesn't make me feel like I'm on the lucky side of the estimate. I'm not quite sure when to even ask again. Hopefully things speed up.

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

#173 Post by Jethro » Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:42 pm

Treatment timeline dodging must be part of the ortho college curriculum because they all seem to have mastered it. In fact, I was given a nearly verbatim response from my ortho during my previous round of treatment…I am now properly trained not to even ask…ha-ha. In fairness, I guess there’s no way to accurately predict how quickly (or not) adult teeth will move. I’m now in month 17 of an originally estimated 12-month treatment plan. Ultimately, I guess it’s preferable to have things done properly than quickly…at least that’s what I keep telling myself!

All the Best,

Jethro

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

#174 Post by SinkFullOfDinner » Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:35 pm

Jethro wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:42 pm
...I guess there’s no way to accurately predict how quickly (or not) adult teeth will move.
It definitely seems that way.

I was curious if that 1mm/month stat that I've heard was true and stumbled across a Univ of Nebraska study of rate of tooth movement through bone. While the average was approx the same 1mm/month, what jumped out at me was the variance/range they found from fastest to slowest rate: 5-to-1! Wow, that's a huge difference in individual rates! No surprise, the slow movers were those who were old enough to be "non-growth" age, and as if on cue, the oldest patient in the study had the slowest rate of movement. So, I guess the 1mm "average" really doesn't tell the story.

Also not surprising: I still have no idea where I fall on the "more or less" curve, so maybe I'll just follow your advise and give up.

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

#175 Post by djspeece » Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:31 pm

Great thread. Yes, by all means you should give up asking. But the other problem I had was misreading comments from the technician -- I mean she was reading my chart (a fancy electronic version that pops up on a big screen, viewable by everyone in the room except me). "Wow Dan, looking good, I bet you're looking forward to getting these off (soon)!" and my heart leaped. I must be making progress, something must have happened in the past month, oh please please please God. Nope. I resorted to just being a little bitter, imaging myself at age 88 in the nursing home, trying to get a ride to my ortho appointment (please change the diaper first) and so forth. And my ortho would say, "Well, give or take some time, they'll come off." I will be that patient referred to by the ortho as an example of an older adult with braces, and he will be so proud of himself.
So I gave up hope. Things were better after that.
Seriously, best of luck.
Dan

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Buddist saying

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

#176 Post by SinkFullOfDinner » Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:04 pm

↑↑
Hilarious! Thanks for ending my week with a laugh, Dan!

Feels like falling down the rabbit hole when all the pep talk advice is to give up...and it somehow makes perfect sense.

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

#177 Post by Gia » Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:20 am

I purposely haven't asked to avoid the anxiety! I'm at 12 months of a 12-16 month estimate. At my adjustment last month I heard were moving into the end stretch, but still didn't ask, knowing that folks say it's so variable! But yesterday he said, looks good, mentioned the final weeks, what he wouldn't be able to get much better, and said looks like 6-8 more weeks! But I go back for a check in 3 and if it's not moving along as he'd like, he said the words lingual buttons! But the end is ahead, so as grandpa said, keep moving forward one foot in front of the other. Best advice I can give you, and thanks for the laugh Dan!!

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

#178 Post by SinkFullOfDinner » Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:44 am

So, what I'm hearing is that this is where my extensive life experience with being clueless gets put to good use, huh?! I can feel the unasked questions leaving my body already.

Awesome news, Gia! It sounds like you're right on schedule. If it looks like lingual buttons are in your future, feel free to check out Jethro's impressions of them above. He's a big fan. Either way it sounds like it would be very, very short term and the last step to crossing the finish line. Good luck in three weeks!

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

#179 Post by SinkFullOfDinner » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:49 am

At my recent appointment, the final score was 0-0. I didn't venture to ask about how we were doing, and my ortho volunteered nothing. It felt like being in a grade school staring contest. Somehow, the tie felt liked I'd lost.

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

#180 Post by SinkFullOfDinner » Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:18 am

Quick update: In an attempt to get things moving a little faster, they decided to add crossbite elastics and also cemented in an arch/bar that runs from 1st molar to 1st molar. They said the bar is for anchorage (anchors those molars to each other) so they can apply force (wire/elastics) to the other molars without unwanted movement from the 1st molars.

He finally made a comment about timing, but it was just to say that it would probably take another few months to get the other molars into position. "Sometimes those big molars take a little longer than expected to move," he offered as an all-encompassing explanation for the delay. I'm thinking of starting a line of fortune cookies that only have these numerous pearls of wisdom written on the enclosed strip of paper. What do you think?

The only other thing to mention is that since crossbite elastics cross the biting surface (like the name suggests!), it's like having a "chewy" constantly there and you find yourself repeatedly tapping or lightly biting down on it. It's just a subconscious reflex. But the constant reflex of tap-tap-tapping is doing a number on my joint (or the muscles/nerves) and causing it to flare up in a big way. We've been making a lot of progress with that, fortunately, but this step back really sucks. Honestly, if it's constantly like this, I'm not sure it's worth it unless it really speeds things up. Has anyone else had the same things happen? Hopefully it chills out a bit, or even better, a lot.

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