Braces at 28, all because of one tooth

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28andbraced
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:31 pm

Braces at 28, all because of one tooth

#1 Post by 28andbraced »

Hi, folks!

I'm about one month into my braces odyssey and am really glad to have found this forum! How did I end up here? Well...

I've got an impacted upper right canine. My baby tooth never got loose or fell out, and the canine never came down. Thanks to some cosmetic bonding when I was 16, nobody would ever guess that I used to have huge gaps between my first 6 top teeth, or that I still had a baby tooth! My mom still has her baby tooth too (the same one, even), so I never expected that my permanent canine would come in. Until it did just that this past Fall, anyway. I couldn't believe it! I was shocked that I hadn't noticed it until it was about 1/16" out, but then again, the seemingly constant headaches during the previous 6 months suddenly made a lot of sense! I admit that I cried when I realized what was happening, because I knew it meant I would have to either 1) have braces or 2) endure a gruesome and invasive procedure to remove the incoming tooth. After 12 years of good self-esteem re: my smile, I was not looking forward to going back to looking awful, but I knew that pulling the permanent tooth was not a good idea.

I consulted two orthodontists. The first wanted to "fix" my entire smile, despite the fact that none of its supposed defects cause me pain or unhappiness (deep bite, slight overbite, not as white as he wanted); he was not amused by my insistence that my teeth were awesome the way they are. The second orthodontist won out, mostly because he is in my network (ugh insurance companies), but also because he was willing to leave the rest of my teeth alone unless the new tooth caused unforeseen issues with them. He also worked out a way for me to have limited braces rather than a full mouthful, for which I am grateful. In the end, the plan was to install 9 brackets on my top teeth, implant a microscrew, and use all of this gear to move NewTooth into the arch. He agreed not to book me for an extraction of the baby tooth unless I was unable to get it out myself; he also planned to apply a bracket to it to attempt a "slow extraction" to help me get it out without a surgeon.

On 2/13/14 I got my brackets and screw. I cannot believe I was scared of the brackets, because that was easy. The screw, on the other hand...yikes, you guys. It's in my palate, and did I mention that I hate needles (as in full-on panic attack)??? Palate shots = THE WORST. Fun story: my ortho had to turn/drill the screw in by hand, which was kind of trippy to watch/feel. In the end, it looked like I was trying to invent a new kind of body piercing, and it was the screw that made eating hard for a few days rather than the braces.

Then on 3/6/14 I went back to have a wire attached to the screw and bonded to two of my molars; he didn't really explain why, but my guess is that it's to keep the traction we will apply to NewTooth from distorting my arch. I go back in three weeks for a new braces wire, and I don't know when we'll start tugging on NewTooth.

Since my consultation in November, NewTooth has moved significantly--I can see about 1/8" of tooth! It's nearly directly behind the baby tooth, so it won't have far to go to get into my arch. I also appear to have the room for it, which is good. My ortho said to expect about 12-18 months of treatment, so I am hoping that NewTooth cooperates when its time comes. I really wish I could link photos, because it's pretty cool! Once I have those permissions, I will add a few. :)

I know I got off easy compared to most on this board, but there's something really difficult about being 28 and having obvious braces on your most prominent/visible teeth, you know? My self-esteem has suffered since I got these installed, and I'm trying to get through it day-to-day. It's great to read other people's stories and hear about their progress. Good luck out there!

Yecats99
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:55 pm

Re: Braces at 28, all because of one tooth

#2 Post by Yecats99 »

Oh my gosh, this all sounds so painful! Good luck with your progress. I’m getting smartclip braces on Tuesday. I’m excited to continue to hear about your journey.

Yecats

wodezuiai0000
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:44 pm

Re: Braces at 28, all because of one tooth

#3 Post by wodezuiai0000 »

I started at age 25, so very late as well. Be careful about the black triangles!

28andbraced
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:31 pm

Re: Braces at 28, all because of one tooth

#4 Post by 28andbraced »

The only painful parts were the shots ( :-= ) and the screw once the shots wore off. The braces made my teeth sore, but mostly they've been okay. But I can see how it sounds a bit gory, haha!

I had to look up a thread about black triangles to figure out what they were! I've had some movement in the braced teeth that I'm not happy about (mostly the opening up of gaps that weren't there before, as well as the shifting forward of my right front tooth, which led to excess wear/usage of the front left tooth, which then resulted in a chip in my bonding--GRRR), but nothing that anyone would notice. I'm scared of losing the baby tooth, since that will leave one heck of a space! My ortho promised to put everything back where he found it, so hopefully he has a plan to fix the new spaces that are cropping up. My midline is off slightly (again, nothing anyone else would even notice), so I'm hoping he will simply shift a few of the teeth to the left to correct that, which would also fill the new gap on that side and create a little more space for NewTooth.

I've got a few photos finally! Not much has changed since it's only been one month, but I can see how the baby tooth has been forced down and forward a bit. (I feel compelled to add that my teeth do not look this yellow in person, so I don't know why they photograph so horribly!) My next adjustment is one week from yesterday, but I think all I'm getting is a new wire.
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28andbraced
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:31 pm

Re: Braces at 28, all because of one tooth

#5 Post by 28andbraced »

Stopping by to add updated photos! I detailed what we're up to in the Impacted Canine thread, but here's a run-down:

-Metal bands around the brackets are gone. I don't know why, exactly. Wires now run in a diamond-like pattern from bracket to bracket and back again (over, under, over, under, etc.). They're sharp in random spots.
-Baby tooth bracket is no longer connected to the wire. Instead, the wire runs across the top of the bracket to force the tooth down. Progress has been really amazing and really ugly to look at, but I want it OUT! I am really scared that after all of this, I will not be able to avoid the extraction, though. I'm pretty scared.
-Midline is basically perfect, which is new for me (it never bothered me before). Front right tooth is still jetting out, and now the tooth next to it on the right side is being forced left and hurts all the time. Eating, flossing, resting...you name it, this tooth hurts doing it. :(
-Next appointment is in a few weeks, at the end of April. Hoping for more loosening of the baby tooth by then, but not optimistic.
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28andbraced
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:31 pm

Re: Braces at 28, all because of one tooth

#6 Post by 28andbraced »

I've had two appointments since my last update, and things have changed a lot!

-My ortho is leaving in June, so I only have one more visit with him. Another ortho will step in and take over my treatment. Even though we've done the hard parts (braces on, wires bonded, TAD inserted, baby tooth out, canine bonded to archwire), I'm scared to let someone else take charge, especially since my plan is very non-traditional. :?
-My baby tooth was pulled yesterday, May 22nd. I could not get it out on my own, as I had feared. My ortho did the job himself and I was wide awake and not on nitrous--it got ugly. But I gathered myself and told him if he could get it out in one go, I'd let him. The most painful part was him loosening it a bit with his pliers--I do NOT remember my previous baby teeth hurting so much! It flew out with a crack, and I've got a gnarly, clotted, bruised hole in my gums now. Got to keep the tooth as a souvenir, though! It has gum tissue and a little ligament attached to it, so it's pretty metal. :twisted:
-The new canine has a bracket bonded to it, and is attached to the archwire with a powerchain. It's been constantly achy since we got it bonded to the wire, which is good, because it's pulling. It's ugly, but I'm hoping my tooth moves fast so we can be done.
-My other teeth are still a bit messed up from the braces, and I've got to remember to ask about that next time! I just want them to go back to how they were before, when they weren't forced in weird directions because of the tension.

Here are some new pics! Like I said, it's ugly, but I feel like we've gotten over a big hump in this process; I'm just hoping my canine cooperates now, so that this can be over!
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