Metal braces for a crowded, gummy smile

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MrPlenty
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:52 am

Re: Metal braces for a crowded, gummy smile

#61 Post by MrPlenty »

I guess that reverse curve wire placed yours fears to rest lol. Awesome progress!

ItsFreyja
Posts: 386
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:27 pm
Location: USA

Re: Metal braces for a crowded, gummy smile

#62 Post by ItsFreyja »

Well, I postponed getting my braces off. :roll: After my last post, I decided to go back to the ortho for a bit more fine tuning. I wasn't happy with how the shape and tilt of my upper central incisors made my whole smile look slightly lopsided. (See the orange lines I've drawn in the pictures below.) I had the ortho place some wire bends and remove some enamel from the mesial side of the left tooth (right side of the picture), which is wider and more bell-shaped than its partner. Here's the before and after:
11-12months.jpg
What do you guys think? I have an appointment tomorrow and I'm inclined to have the ortho just level out the incisal edge of the right incisor and book my debracing appointment.
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ItsFreyja
Posts: 386
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:27 pm
Location: USA

Re: Metal braces for a crowded, gummy smile

#63 Post by ItsFreyja »

I AM FREE!!! :-* :-* :-*

Before I post my before-and-after photos, let me recap my story in case anyone finds this and doesn't want to reread all my posts.

My teeth were not that bad to begin with -- I had not really needed braces as a teenager -- but my teeth have been moving during the last few years especially. My dentist had been urging me to at least have retainers made to stop the drift and prevent some oral health issues. Specifically, the lower crowding had been causing my incisors to extrude dangerously and one lower canine to threaten to walk out of my jaw, and my deep overbite had contributed to some damage to my anterior teeth over the years.

Every ortho I consulted urged me to consider orthognathic surgery (specifically, a Le Fort I impaction) to reduce the height of my maxilla, and though I've long disliked the gumminess of my smile, I never seriously considered having surgery for a purely cosmetic issue. (I do have Vertical Maxillary Excess, but I did not have the open bite commonly associated with it -- quite the opposite.) The ortho I eventually chose suggested attempting to intrude the entire upper dentition with the assistance of four TADs placed labially/buccally in the maxilla, but I declined this route and decided to accept whatever minor intrusion could be achieved just with the archwire.

I ended up choosing an excellent board-certified orthodontist, who prescribed twelve months of braces, and the price was right. My treatment included molar buildups to help open my bite in the early months, a reverse curve wire to help intrude the lower incisors, clenching exercises, a Class II elastic on one side, and minor enamelplasty. Upon debracing at 12.5 months, I received upper and lower Essix retainers to wear forever and ever, amen.
ba3.jpg
Was it worth it? Definitely. The cosmetics of my smile are clearly improved. Uprighting the upper incisors and widening the upper arch has given me a much more symmetrical and attractive grin. It's not a Hollywood smile, but it is a very nice improvement. More importantly, the problems that troubled my dentist are completely resolved and my teeth have a fully intercuspated bite for the first time that I can remember. It was strange and wonderful to feel the back teeth start to come together properly on my Class II side, and I still get a kick out of it.

I'm also glad I chose metal braces. Every ortho I consulted also discussed Invisalign, but I knew that product would not give me the degree of control over adjustments and modifications that I would want. (We did a lot of them at my request in the last few months of my treatment.) I did consider ceramic braces, but I knew that they would not really help me feel any less self-conscious about wearing braces, and besides, my ortho preferred metal.

There were certainly some downsides to orthodontic treatment. Apart from the inconvenience, discomfort, and expense, I experienced some difficult periods of embarrassment, doubt, and frustration during my treatment. Some of that was objectively real; I do think that adjusting to braces is much harder for adults than for kids. Some of it was probably unnecessarily self-imposed. I've counseled many people on this board that other folks don't really care that much about your braces, but I also know that it's difficult to believe that sometimes. The other important thing we say on this board, though, is to ASK YOUR ORTHO, and I definitely took that to heart and grew in my confidence and assertiveness in dealing with medical providers.

(Not to dwell on the negative too much, but I have to note that my debracing day was simply awful -- the worst, most traumatizing experience I have ever had in a dental chair. My teeth were insanely sensitive to every yank, scrape, and grind, and I was a crying, sniveling mess. Last negative, I promise: I don't enjoy wearing my Essix retainers and look forward to being cleared for nighttime-only wear in a few weeks.)

But I'm glad I took the big leap to do this for myself, and I am grateful for my family's and this community's support (even though I haven't been active here for the last few months). I do feel more confident when I smile, and I feel great knowing that I can enjoy having moderately attractive teeth for the rest of my life if I keep brushing, flossing, and wearing my retainers.

I'll sign off with the money shot, a comparison of my natural smile before and after braces. I'm really impressed with the improvement achieved through conservative treatment of the gumminess issue. Just a few millimeters of vertical movement has really opened up my whole face and given me a more pleasant and warmer smile. My upper lip also appears fuller at rest, giving me a more pleasant expression even when I'm not smiling.

I'm really thankful to have been able to have had this experience. Thanks to all of you, also, for your counsel, encouragement, and support! Keep smiling!
ba2.png
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MrPlenty
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:52 am

Re: Metal braces for a crowded, gummy smile

#64 Post by MrPlenty »

Wow awesome result! Thanks for posting your entire journey!

metalliKa
Posts: 486
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 7:25 pm

Re: Metal braces for a crowded, gummy smile

#65 Post by metalliKa »

Wow! Freyja! Your teeth look great! Wonderful result!

I agree that debanding was not a pleasant experience. The yanking combined with loud clippings was quite uncomfortable. At one point, I felt my bottom teeth were going to come off with the brackets.

Would I go through the experience again? Never for I shall forever wear my retainers!
Offenses: Skeletal and Dental Class 2 malocclusion
Sentence: 12-15 months
Jailed: 3/24/15
Released: 5/24/16
Life behind brackets: http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... =9&t=48554

bracedorange
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:08 pm

Re: Metal braces for a crowded, gummy smile

#66 Post by bracedorange »

:jump: :jump: :jump:
congratulations, your smile looks fantastic!

LittleSern
Posts: 80
Joined: Sun May 17, 2015 9:33 am

Re: Metal braces for a crowded, gummy smile

#67 Post by LittleSern »

First of all, I am blown away at how beautiful your smile looks! Awesome results!

I have a few questions for you if you don't mind:

1. What was the purpose of the clenching exercises?
2. I think I remember you being one of the people who noticed thinning of the face as well with braces. Since you got your braces off, have you noticed your face going back to normal at all?

ItsFreyja
Posts: 386
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:27 pm
Location: USA

Re: Metal braces for a crowded, gummy smile

#68 Post by ItsFreyja »

LittleSern wrote:First of all, I am blown away at how beautiful your smile looks! Awesome results!

I have a few questions for you if you don't mind:

1. What was the purpose of the clenching exercises?
2. I think I remember you being one of the people who noticed thinning of the face as well with braces. Since you got your braces off, have you noticed your face going back to normal at all?
Thanks LittleSern! I hope you'll be feeling a lot better about how your treatment is going after your next visit.

To answer your questions: The clenching exercises were to help intrude the upper teeth. I don't know how much difference they made vs. the braces alone, but I sure am pleased with the amount of incisor intrusion we achieved nonsurgically.

I'm also pleased with how my face looks, but I wish I had tried to quantify the facial changes I perceived since it's such a hot topic around here. I renewed my driver's license when my face was just about at its worst, and I renewed my passport just recently; the difference is quite noticeable to me. Between getting the molar buildups off, intruding teeth, and redeveloping my masseter muscles, I feel pretty good about my face now.

tillybrace
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:01 am

Re: Metal braces for a crowded, gummy smile

#69 Post by tillybrace »

Your teeth are looking amazing, consider me jelouse

LittleSern
Posts: 80
Joined: Sun May 17, 2015 9:33 am

Re: Metal braces for a crowded, gummy smile

#70 Post by LittleSern »

Thanks for the details! Can you describe the exercises? Maybe they would work well for me as well... :)

Glad to hear your face looks better now - someone just told me the other day that my cheekbones stick out a lot more and that I look so much older. :( Seriously.. I really hope this is not permanent.

Also, did you get the molar buildups off at the end of treatment or sometime before?

13july
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:20 am

Re: Metal braces for a crowded, gummy smile

#71 Post by 13july »

[quote="ItsFreyja"]I AM FREE!!! :-* :-* :-*

Before I post my before-and-after photos, let me recap my story in case anyone finds this and doesn't want to reread all my posts.

My teeth were not that bad to begin with -- I had not really needed braces as a teenager -- but my teeth have been moving during the last few years especially. My dentist had been urging me to at least have retainers made to stop the drift and prevent some oral health issues. Specifically, the lower crowding had been causing my incisors to extrude dangerously and one lower canine to threaten to walk out of my jaw, and my deep overbite had contributed to some damage to my anterior teeth over the years.

Every ortho I consulted urged me to consider orthognathic surgery (specifically, a Le Fort I impaction) to reduce the height of my maxilla, and though I've long disliked the gumminess of my smile, I never seriously considered having surgery for a purely cosmetic issue. (I do have Vertical Maxillary Excess, but I did not have the open bite commonly associated with it -- quite the opposite.) The ortho I eventually chose suggested attempting to intrude the entire upper dentition with the assistance of four TADs placed labially/buccally in the maxilla, but I declined this route and decided to accept whatever minor intrusion could be achieved just with the archwire.

I ended up choosing an excellent board-certified orthodontist, who prescribed twelve months of braces, and the price was right. My treatment included molar buildups to help open my bite in the early months, a reverse curve wire to help intrude the lower incisors, clenching exercises, a Class II elastic on one side, and minor enamelplasty. Upon debracing at 12.5 months, I received upper and lower Essix retainers to wear forever and ever, amen.

ba3.jpg
Was it worth it? Definitely. The cosmetics of my smile are clearly improved. Uprighting the upper incisors and widening the upper arch has given me a much more symmetrical and attractive grin. It's not a Hollywood smile, but it is a very nice improvement. More importantly, the problems that troubled my dentist are completely resolved and my teeth have a fully intercuspated bite for the first time that I can remember. It was strange and wonderful to feel the back teeth start to come together properly on my Class II side, and I still get a kick out of it.

I'm also glad I chose metal braces. Every ortho I consulted also discussed Invisalign, but I knew that product would not give me the degree of control over adjustments and modifications that I would want. (We did a lot of them at my request in the last few months of my treatment.) I did consider ceramic braces, but I knew that they would not really help me feel any less self-conscious about wearing braces, and besides, my ortho preferred metal.

There were certainly some downsides to orthodontic treatment. Apart from the inconvenience, discomfort, and expense, I experienced some difficult periods of embarrassment, doubt, and frustration during my treatment. Some of that was objectively real; I do think that adjusting to braces is much harder for adults than for kids. Some of it was probably unnecessarily self-imposed. I've counseled many people on this board that [i]other folks don't really care that much about your braces[/i], but I also know that it's difficult to believe that sometimes. The other important thing we say on this board, though, is to [i]ASK YOUR ORTHO[/i], and I definitely took that to heart and grew in my confidence and assertiveness in dealing with medical providers.

(Not to dwell on the negative too much, but I have to note that my debracing day was simply awful -- the worst, most traumatizing experience I have ever had in a dental chair. My teeth were insanely sensitive to every yank, scrape, and grind, and I was a crying, sniveling mess. Last negative, I promise: I don't enjoy wearing my Essix retainers and look forward to being cleared for nighttime-only wear in a few weeks.)

But I'm glad I took the big leap to do this for myself, and I am grateful for my family's and this community's support (even though I haven't been active here for the last few months). I do feel more confident when I smile, and I feel great knowing that I can enjoy having moderately attractive teeth for the rest of my life if I keep brushing, flossing, and wearing my retainers.

I'll sign off with the money shot, a comparison of my natural smile before and after braces. I'm really impressed with the improvement achieved through conservative treatment of the gumminess issue. Just a few millimeters of vertical movement has really opened up my whole face and given me a more pleasant and warmer smile. My upper lip also appears fuller at rest, giving me a more pleasant expression even when I'm not smiling.

I'm really thankful to have been able to have had this experience. Thanks to all of you, also, for your counsel, encouragement, and support! Keep smiling!

ba2.png[/quote]

i wish I could see these pics.. i was told i have vme and i just want my ortho to deal with it non surgically.. now iam just going around the forum making random posts :( so i eventually have the ''required permissions" :|

13july
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:20 am

Re: Metal braces for a crowded, gummy smile

#72 Post by 13july »

I have gone around the forum asking random questions, posting unhelpful stuff, just so i complete 8 posts.. Frustrating really. This rule creates spammers out of normal people.. Lol

Bmac88
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri May 06, 2016 6:52 pm

Re: Metal braces for a crowded, gummy smile

#73 Post by Bmac88 »

13july wrote:I have gone around the forum asking random questions, posting unhelpful stuff, just so i complete 8 posts.. Frustrating really. This rule creates spammers out of normal people.. Lol
it says you've only posted 6 times, try posting a couple more posts and you should be good.

13july
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:20 am

Re: Metal braces for a crowded, gummy smile

#74 Post by 13july »

:-) of course...just one more to go.. All I said was I wished I could be more productive

13july
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:20 am

Re: Metal braces for a crowded, gummy smile

#75 Post by 13july »

[quote="ItsFreyja"][quote="LittleSern"]First of all, I am blown away at how beautiful your smile looks! Awesome results!

I have a few questions for you if you don't mind:

1. What was the purpose of the clenching exercises?
2. I think I remember you being one of the people who noticed thinning of the face as well with braces. Since you got your braces off, have you noticed your face going back to normal at all?[/quote]Thanks LittleSern! I hope you'll be feeling a lot better about how your treatment is going after your next visit.

To answer your questions: The clenching exercises were to help intrude the upper teeth. I don't know how much difference they made vs. the braces alone, but I sure am pleased with the amount of incisor intrusion we achieved nonsurgically.

I'm also pleased with how my face looks, but I wish I had tried to quantify the facial changes I perceived since it's such a hot topic around here. I renewed my driver's license when my face was just about at its worst, and I renewed my passport just recently; the difference is quite noticeable to me. Between getting the molar buildups off, intruding teeth, and redeveloping my masseter muscles, I feel pretty good about my face now.[/quote]

Glad for you.. I heard from my orthodontist that weight gain camouflages vme well

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