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Broochie's story - Update 10 Dec 06 with pics

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:51 am
by broochie
Hi all,

I’ve been posting here and there on the Metal mouth forum, but I thought I’d start a real diary of my journey in braces.

I’ve hated my teeth for as long as I can remember. I sucked my thumb up until the age of 18, which resulted in a very hig palate. My teeth were mildly crooked and yellowish, plus they were somewhat like a rollercoaster. And my two upper incisors were overlapping each other more and more. Often times, my dentist would tell me I should get orthodontic treatment, but to me that was out of the question.

Fast forward to 2006. I was now in my late forties, I moved to a new life in another city. My teeth were bothering me more and more, so I decided to look for a cosmetic change such as porcelain veneers and stuff. For the first time in my life, I tried to study my teeth in detail. I learned a lot, and found out that one of the reasons I didn’t like my teeth is that I have a gummy smile (showing too much gum when smiling). What a relief to finally be able to tell what it was that bothered me so much ! I had consultations with three different dentists and an orthodontist. I liked the last dentist very much. He is a star in cosmetic dentistry around here, but he warned me that veneers were going to cost a lot and be very high maintenance in my case. To make a long story short, he recommended me to see the ortho who cared for his own children. And voilà !

My diagnosis (mostly guesswork because my ortho didn't give me a real treatment plan, or if he did, I didn't know enough at the time to remember it all clearly):
My bite is class 2 division 2
Mild crowding on the upper and lower arch
Missing several teeth (all 6’ except the 16)
Narrow V-shaped arches
Gummy smile

I’ve been braced since end of June 2006, for an expected time of 2 years, possibly more. Damon 3MX (all metal) on upper and lower teeth. Not very nice-looking, but my ortho got fed-up with the previous generation of Damon braces (half-clear half-metal) that broke all the time.

Here is the rundown:
- 20 June 2006 : brackets on uppers, .014 Niti archwire.
- 27 June 2006 : brackets on lowers, .014 Niti archwire.
- 28 August 2006 : .016 stainless steel archwire on lowers.
- 5 Octobre 2006 : .016 Niti archwire on uppers + class 2 elastics that go from my lateral incisors to my second premolars on each side.

Now for the pictures :
Before braces:

Smile 2 weeks / 4 months post-braces:
Image Image

Upper arch 2 weeks / 4 months post-braces:
Image Image

Lower arch 2 weeks / 4 months post-braces:
Image Image

I am hoping to get rectangular archwires at my next adjustment.

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 7:33 am
by M1k3y
You weren't kidding with the high palate but your teeth are not in bad shape at all. I'm surprised your ortho did not put an expander on your uppers. Good luck with your journey.

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:45 pm
by antsika
Hi Broochie, your theeth are not bad at all, I was also expecting something else on the pictures! I can see the improvement in the before-after pictures! Good luck with your treatment!

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 5:17 am
by broochie
Thank you M1k3y, KK and Antsika guys for the feedback.

M1k3y, expander was an option, still is, but my ortho wants to see if he can expand the arch without using it. He'll know within the next 6-8 months. My high palate is also due probably to what is called "long face syndrome", which seems to be associated my upper airway obstruction and buccal respiration (I had both these conditions growing up).

KK, thank you for your nice words. You are the angel of this board, always so supportive of everyone! I admit my pre-braces teeth don't look so bad, but that's because I had several bridges/veneers, costmetic "patchwork" as my dentist said. Now that it's all gone because the ortho wanted to work "on a blank sheet" so to speak, they look much worse, with missing teeth, metal residues from old bridges, and teeth ripped of their enamel where veneers used to be. I must admit it is very depressing and I really have to tell myself everyday that it's for the best.

Antsika, how is your treatment going with the linguals? Does it hurt? Do you have a lisp? I considered getting those for a while, but it was too long/expensive/not recommended in my case. Good luck to you too.

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:21 pm
by nico07
Loved that pic with the elastics.

Maybe, I weird or be/c I had to wear elastics for almost my entire treatment, not just the end, but I loved them?!

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:29 am
by OBG
Rather than a blank sheet I think your ortho is starting with a blank canvass. I think your teeth will be like artwork when you are done. You might not think so but you were blessed with a smile that is almost perfectly framed by your lips.

I hope your treatment continues to go well and we all look forward to seeing the masterpiece unfold.

Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:46 pm
by broochie
linda21, yes, the T hooks are used to hold the elastics. I didn't have them in the beginning, the ortho placed them there when he gave me the elastics.
Thank you for your nice words. And I must confess I made my ortho laugh by stealing your line, when I asked him if I could hope for "an early release for good behaviour" :lol:

OBG, I meant blank canvass, sorry but English is not my mother tongue, so sometimes I don't use the right exact words. Thank you for telling me that my teeth look nice, but I swear they are not as nice as on the pictures! They are yellowish ! :evil:
I've always dreamed of pearly white teeth, and I am playing with the idea of getting immaculate porcelain veneers on them when this whole thing is over. But it's hugely expensive... Oh well, it's a long way down the road, so I have to take things one at a time.

Broochie's braces story (with pics) - update 20 Nov 06

Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 5:15 pm
by broochie
I had my third adjustment today. I was hoping for a new, rectangular archwire on both arches, but no such luck! Instead, the ortho didn't change my lower archwire, but I got a new .016 stainless steel on my upper arch. The funny thing is that also it's no bigger than the previous archwire (.016 Nickel-Titanium), the new wire feels tighter. I am to continue wearing my Class 2 elastics. I was a little disappointed not to get a rectangular archwire, especially since the ortho told me that the progress had been more than he expected :evil:

My next adjustment is in January, 7 weeks from now.My time between appointments is always sooo looooong, compared to most people on this website. But in the meantime, I have to go to the dentist next week to have a little cavity taken care of. He must also shave one or both (I am not sure which) of my upper centrals because there is a space between them and they are kind of wider on the bottom than on the top. I'll post pics then. The ortho also told me that he is considering closing the space on the upper arch (I am missing one molar on my upper left side). He is not sure though because it might disrupt my midline, which is well aligned at the moment. I think he wants to do that by mesialising (pushing towards the front of the mouth) the second and third molar. He said he would decide next time. If he opts for that solution, it will sure enough save me a bunch of money, because the other option is an implant, and I already need to on my bottom arch!
As for surgery, he wants to continue trying to see how much he can expand my upper arch before going the surgery route (SARPE). I would very much want to have surgery because I think you can widen much more that way, but surgery cases seem to have a higher rate of relapse.

That's all folks. I am back to soup, yogurt and apple sauce for a few days. I would love to indulge in icecream, but I already feel so guilty giving-up on working out these days, so I'll try to resist :wink:

Posted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 6:19 pm
by j Holland
Hi Broochie, I know how it feels to be older with braces but I think you look really great with them, it is something you are doing for yourself. You should be proud of them, like a badge of honor or something. One should never fault another for trying to improve themselves, whether it be physiaclly or mentally. Keep up the good work and glad you finally broke the thumb thing. Looks silly for an adult to suck their thumb. J Holland

Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 6:46 am
by broochie
Hi all,

A little update on my last appointment about three weeks ago, which wasn't really an adjustment, but pretty eventful though. My ortho wanted my dentist to shave my two upper centrals to make them more vertical and somewhat smaller. I had to do a bit of travelling that day, first to the ortho's office to have my upper wire removed, then to the dentist for the shaving, then back to the ortho to put the archwire back in place.

Here are my teeth "sans" archwire before the shaving:

And my teeth "sans" archwire after the shaving:

Unexpectedly, before placing the archwire back, the ortho decided to close the gap from an old extraction on my first upper left molar (#26) by mesialising (bringing toward the front of the mouth) the upper left second and third molar. So I got a powerchain that will also help closing the gap between my two upper centrals. The powerchain is hardly noticeable though, because it's grey and placed under the wire.

Here is the picture just after placing the powerchain and wire:

And the next day. The gap between the upper is almost gone!

Over time, the gap is slightly reopening though, but I am not worried, since we still have plenty of time to address that.

j Holland, welcome on the board and thanks for checking out my story. Yes, thumb sucking is really silly, but when you're a kid, you don't listen when they tell you it's going to ruin your bite. Oh, well... I consider myself lucky we now have the technology to fix that pretty fast, considering, and with no pain. :wink:

Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 6:03 pm
by j Holland
Hi Broochie, looks as though you are progressing fine, can't wait for the installation of mine, got a few weeks to go, about 6 to be exact. Have to finish up on some work that isn't so much fun like a crown. Then I will do a final cleaning before the install of the braces on the 7 th of Feb. Can't wait, the ortho says 14 mos but if it goes like last time will be closer to 2 years. What ever, as long as they are done right. Then I get two vaneers one each side of my front uppers. Have figgured ways to get insurance to pay for them.. I am paying about 4 K for it this time, what was the damage for you? I am paying up front so I get a discount, by using my flex plan at work. That way the better half doesn't scream so loud, she thinks it's a kind of insurance. It is pretax money that saves me quite a bit so I guess it is a kind of insurance. Happy bracing wwrite when you can. A fellow metal mouth

Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 4:57 am
by broochie
Thanks bracedagain, Linda and j.holland for your support.

bracedagain, yes I think IPR is great for getting rid of those black triangles. I have many between my lower centrals and laterals, so I wonder if I'll have IPR there at some point. I agree those perio problems are a drag because they slow the process, but it's essential to take them into account, otherwise the whole thing could end up being a disaster! So patience, patience, patience...

J.holland, I understand your being impatient to be braced. I had to wait six months between decision making and the actual B date. In the meantime, I had many things fixed: a few cavities filled, several graft gums (showing as "swollen parts" on my upper jaw gum). They look awful with my gummy smile, but the perio tells me he can "shave" them later. ??? I also had veneers and crowns and bridges removed, as my ortho wanted to work on a "blank sheet". So my teeth look much worse now than before braces, but I guess that's what it takes.
On the financial viewpoint, my ortho treatment alone will cost me a total of 7000 CDN$, which I started to pay in monthly installments, but this month I paid the whole outstanding sum so that I could benefit from a tax return.
Good luck to you on your braces journey. And here is to hoping it will be as short as the 14 months prediction ! :-88

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 4:53 am
by broochie
Meryaten, you are a living encyclopedia on orthodontics! I am a research freak myself, but you beat me by far! Thank you so much for your nomograms, they are very interesting. Although I am not sure I truly understand the concept of "range".
The space between my upper centrals has slightly reopened, but I have my next adjustment in a few hours, so we'll see what goodies my ortho has in store for me.