Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Here's a picture of my boys. Tyler is the one with the braces (he hated having to take this picture:)). Connor is the younger one.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ortho Appointment Today

I had an ortho appointment today. Nothing exciting to report. I have the same wires on, she just shortened them so
they are tighter. She said two of my teeth are still a little crooked, and they have to be straightend out before they
can start working on moving my teeth for the surgery. My bite is really strange already though. My bottom teeth are
sticking out a lot more than they were before the braces.
Today the doctor used some kind of sandpaper thing and sanded in between some of my bottom front teeth. It didn't
hurt but it was kind of disconcerting. He said he was "making room" for the teeth to move. After that they did a flouride
treatment on the bottom teeth.
Oh, the girl also replaced the top last bracket that had come off the last time they were clipping my wires. That wasn't
a big deal except for the things they use to stretch your lips open really far. That's kind of uncomfortable. I haven't
really been aware of my braces too much because I have been so focused on getting through this drug calculations class. I am hoping to start nursing school in February and hope the surgery won't interfere with school. I figure I can wait for winter break
if my teeth are ready in September. I'll cross that bridge when I get there though! I have to go finish my Christmas shopping!

Monday, November 12, 2007

And the Verdict is .... Double Jaw Surgery!

I just received an email from the surgery coordinator at my orthodontist's office. Here is what she wrote:

"We received a report from Dr. Relle, he agrees with the need for orthognathic surgery and recommends an upper jaw advancement with lower jaw rotation to correct asymmetry. So, it will be a double-jaw surgery."

I emailed her back and asked her if my upper will also be widened and will my lower be moved back. I assume The lower
will be moved back and not just rotated. I guess I can ask the surgeon all this when I get closer to a surgical date. It would just
be nice to know in advance...

****Okay, so my upper jaw will be broken in a couple of places and widened and also moved forward. My lower jaw will be move back in addition to correcting the asymmetry. *****

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!!

Friday, October 26, 2007


So yesterday I had that thicker wire put on my top teeth and today they are killing me!! I had to go in again this morning because the wire was too long and it was tearing up my cheek. The assistant went in there to clip it and my back bracket
came off. She said she was going to leave it off until my next appointment (in 8 weeks) and said it wouldn't interfere with
my progress. I hope she's right. That back tooth was really hurting, but now that the pressure is off, it's okay.
But the rest of my top teeth are so sore. Oh and by the way, these snap-open brackets on the Damons aren't all they are
cracked up to be. When your teeth are sore, and they have to snap open the little door things to get the wire out ~ OUCH! And
then they have to close them again which also hurts! I guess I'll be drinking my protein drinks for a couple of days.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thicker Wire

Today I went back to my ortho to have my wires put back on. I have the same wire on the bottom and a new thicker wire
on the top. I can definitely feel the pressure on the top. It makes me wonder if am going to be eating soup for the next
few days...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

First Cleaning With Braces

I just got home from having my first cleaning with my braces. I went to my orthodontist first (he and my periodontist are in the same building) and had my wires removed and then had my cleaning. My hygienist said it was nice to have the wires removed as it was easier to clean my teeth. It felt so good getting my teeth cleaned. I wish I could go every month. I have my wires off until tomorrow morning, so I am going to enjoy flossing tonight! (Who would have thought I would ever be excited about flossing??) My hygienist said that I was doing really well with my hygiene (whew!!) and I had hardly any bleeding. I usually have some bleeding and now I am wondering if my gums are less irritated because the teeth are in new positions. My ortho commented that my bottom teeth have moved quite a bit since I had my braces put on 6 weeks ago. He was telling the assistant to put a heavier wire on my top teeth when I go back tomorrow but to keep the same wire for the bottom since I have one "twisted" tooth that hasn't straightened out yet.

I asked the surgery coordinator lady why my surgeon would mention only doing lower jaw surgery and in so many words she said that Kaiser is an HMO and they would try to get away with doing as little as they can. That was a bit disconcerting to me. So I asked my ortho about it and he told me not to worry, that he would push for whatever would give me the best functional and aesthetic benefit. That put my mind to rest for now.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Appointment with Surgeon

I had my appointment with the surgeon yesterday. It wasn't very exciting. He said that he doesn't know if he will do upper and lower jaw surgery or just lower. I was really surprised to hear that because I have been told by another surgeon and three orthodontists that I would need both upper and lower surgery. I was trying to absorb the fact that he said possibly just
lower surgery and now regret not asking him more questions like WHY? Anyway, the surgeon has
an excellent reputation, so I suppose I should trust that he knows what he's doing. I'm thinking that maybe once he takes all the
measurements and once all my teeth are in place he will have a better idea of what he is going to do.

He then explained to me that he won't be reducing the length of my chin because he doesn't want it to look "flat" and I might get a "turkey" neck, which I wouldn't be happy with. I told him that the other surgeon I saw said that I would benefit from cheek augmentation and my chin reduced. He said that I wasn't going to hear the same thing from him and that he doesn't do cookie cutter faces.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Scheduled Appointment with Surgeon

Yesterday I scheduled my consultation appointment with the surgeon. It's set for October 22nd. I'm so eager to hear what he
has to say. I have to stop by my ortho's office to pick up my xrays, molds, and treatment plan to bring with me.

Yesterday was my 3rd week in braces, and I have to say, it has gotten much better. I hardly think about them anymore. Some of my teeth are still sore, and one of them actually feels loose (I hope that's normal!!) but I'm not constantly aware of them anymore. The tooth that feels loose is my only "crooked" tooth, so I wonder if that has something to do with it. I just hope it doesn't fall out!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Eeeek.... a picture!

Okay, so this is me with my braces...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I Swallowed a Bracket...

Well, today I was eating pizza, (yes, again) and when I was finished, I realized the bracket on my last bottom molar had popped off and the wire was just dangling there. So apparently, I swallowed my bracket. I was able to get into the ortho's office and get it replaced the same day, which I was happy about. It was pretty uncomfortable getting it replaced, so I hope it stays put. The fact that the tooth is a crown makes it more likely that it will happen again though. He said if it does come off again, he will put a band around the tooth instead of just a bracket. There's not much new to report. My cheek started to get sore again today so I have wax on some spots. There have actually been moments when I have forgotten that I have braces, so that is nice. Now is not one of those moments...I need to go put more wax on...

Friday, September 14, 2007

It's Getting Better...

Yay! My teeth aren't hurting nearly as much as they were a few days ago. I actually ate pizza today (cut up, of course). It's nice
to be able to chew again. That sensitive tooth is much better also. There are still moments when I want to rip the braces off my teeth, but it's not as often. I hope in a couple of weeks I won't be aware of them 24/7.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Two Brace-Faces Under One Roof....

Today my son had his Phase 1 braces put on. He has been wearing upper and lower expanders (torture devices) since December. So now that he has the braces on, he knows a little bit of the hell I have been going through for a week. Just wait until tomorrow... it gets worse.
It's kind of cute to have braces along with my kid. Of course, he looks cuter than I do. Today I took some pictures of myself with braces, but I don't know if I am brave enough to post them. They definitely aren't "cute." The doctor reminded me again that my bite is going to get much worse. I can only imagine...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Week 1 in Braces

Today marks one week that I have had my braces on. Time goes by quickly. I wouldn't say I am used to them by any means, but it is getting better. At least my lips/cheeks aren't all raw. I have definitely noticed that my teeth have moved. My bottoms are sticking out much more now which is making my underbite worse. My bottom lip sticks out more now too (not so attractive). I'm just trying to keep a positive attitude that this is only temporary.
My top front and bottom teeth are pretty sore. Even when I wash my face, it hurts my teeth. I've given up on flossing for the time being. My teeth are way too tight to fit any floss in there. Thank God for the waterpic. I don't know what I would do without it. I wish I could pack it up and take it in my purse whenever I go out.
I am getting much better at eating. Yesterday I had Mexican food and even had chips and salsa! It was so exciting. :) I do cover my mouth when I eat because it feels so weird to chew. I can't exactly chew with my mouth closed now. :)
So as far as the surgeon goes, I am waiting to get a letter from Kaiser before I make an appointment to go see him. I can't wait to meet him. He has a fantastic reputation (was even on Extreme Makeover a couple of times) and I hear he has a really nice bedside manner, which is oh so important to me. (He is also WiredLady's surgeon)
That's all for now. I am off to school. I feel like one of the youngsters there now with my braces. haha

Friday, September 7, 2007

Sensitive Tooth!! Ugh!

Okay, the day I had my braces put on, an upper right molar starting killing me when I brushed, and now it is even hurting when I breathe. When I brush that tooth, it feels like an electric current ripping through my mouth. I am assuming it is the nerve, but why? It never bothered me before the braces were put on. I hope it's not going to stay this way. It's awful. It makes me scared to even brush that area. At first I thought it was the crown I have on back there, but it's not. Has anyone else had this problem?


Hi everybody! Wow, I can't believe it's been 4 days since I had my braces put on. I went in on Tuesday and had them placed and have been in a bad mood ever since. Getting them put on wasn't a big deal, but as soon as I looked in the mirror and saw the hideous things, I was not happy. Plus I could hardly get my lips around them!! My mouth has been all torn up and sore, which I can deal with, but my teeth are very sore and sensitive and that really bothers me!! I can hardly eat. I've been living on soup and ice cream. I don't know if it's possible or not, but it feels like my teeth have already shifted ~ my eye teeth hit really hard on my bottom teeth when I am eating or talking. It's very uncomfortable. Is it possible for teeth to move so quickly? Will the teeth soreness go away? It doesn't feel like it will ~ ouch!! Also, my teeth hurt so bad that it's even hard to brush them. Will this get better? My waterpic is my new best friend. It works so awesome. I tried flossing for the first time last night. That was a load of fun. I think it took me 25 minutes and I don't even know if I was doing it correctly.
It's hard for me to just let go and trust in the orthodontist and what he is doing to my teeth. I am totally worrying now if I made the right decision. I had a dream the other night where one of my bottom front teeth was so loose that it fell out. I woke up all freaked out!
Oh, and one more thing, since having the braces on, I notice that my bottom lip sticks out a lot more, which makes my class lll bite a lot more noticeable. I had been putting wax on my bottom brackets and that was pushing my lip even further out. Needless to say, it was not a pretty sight.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

To Bleach or Not to Bleach?

I am debating if I should bleach my teeth before I get braces. I have those custom trays with the
bleach and once I get the braces and jaw surgery my trays won't fit any longer. :) I know ... such a lame thing to be thinking
about, but the thought crossed my mind. Has anyone else bleached before getting their braces?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

There Are Different Types of Braces?

I had no idea there are different types of braces out there. I mean, I know there are metal vs. ceramic, invisalign and whatnot, but I didn't know about the Damon 3 brackets, which are what I will be getting. The idea of no elastics around the brackets sounds nice. At least I won't have to worry about what color elastics I want. Since I am a terrible decision-maker, this could have been very time-consuming. Another plus to the Damon brackets is that I can have the wire removed before I go get my teeth cleaned and then replaced afterward!! Anyway, I thought I would post a little bit about the Damon 3 design since I find it pretty fascinating.

Conventional braces on the left are tied in with elastics, which cause friction and pressure, making treatment slower and less comfortable. Damon braces use a slide mechanism to hold the wire, which allows teeth to move more freely, quickly and comfortably.

Damon braces are designed to be discreet, comfortable and easy to keep clean. Without the elastic ties which attract and collect plaque, Damon braces make dental hygiene easy during treatment.

Okay from the Orthodontist!

I had my appointment with the orthodontist today to talk about my treatment plan. He gave me the okay to start the
braces, so I have an appointment set up for September 4th to get them put on. I wish I could have gotten them on
today!! He said that I most likely will have to be in braces 14 months prior to surgery. I am hoping it will be less though. So
nothing really exciting to report, so I'll be back on September 4th with my braces installation update!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Scary Pictures

I have to admit, I'm not exactly thrilled to be posting these pictures, but here they are in all their glory. Of course, not only are the pictures awful, but I just had to blink every time she clicked the camera. You can see in the pictures of my face how long my chin is (I swear it's gotten worse over the years!) My midline is off and my chin goes to the left. Hmmm...funny how I never noticed that before. You can see on the right lower side that I have three dental implants to replace two molars that I had to have removed because of the bone loss. I hope the orthodontist can work around the implants since they can't be moved. Five more days until I hear what the treatment plan is. I am waiting, impatiently...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

X-rays & Molds at the Ortho

Today I went to the orthodontist and got the preliminary molds and X-rays done. I started getting nervous for some reason. I keep telling myself it will be fine. It's one thing to tell my son to go sit in the chair and get it over with and quite another for myself to be sitting there. So now I have two weeks of waiting until my next appointment when the ortho will tell me what the treatment plan is. I'm eager/anxious to hear what he says!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Dentist Update

Okay, so I had my checkup and xrays with my periodontist this morning. Unfortunately, I have 50% bone loss around my implants and some bone loss in my upper right side. This is not good. The doctor adjusted my bite by grinding down the
implant crowns and some upper teeth to take the load off my implants. Now my eye teeth are hitting and it feels really strange. He gave me the "ok" to start braces but said that the ortho will have to find a way to put the braces on without putting any load on my implants. I asked him how that can be done and he mentioned "headgear." "What?" "Headgear." "Headgear?" "Yes, headgear." "Um, okay." That'll be just lovely if I have to wear headgear. I don't even want to go there right now. I will see what the ortho has to say about it. I haven't made my ortho appointment so I will do that today. I just want to get this whole thing started as quickly as possible. "Bone loss" is not something I enjoy hearing, so I hope the braces/jaw surgery will stop the bone loss. Ugh, my crowns/teeth feel all rough and weird now. I envy those people out there with good teeth and a good bite!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Going to the Dentist...

Well, I'm going in for a cleaning and checkup today. I am going to get xrays done and I am praying that there isn't more
bone loss in my jaws. I hope I get the "okay" to start with the braces process. I'll update when I get home....

Okay, I am home. Nothing to report since I wasn't scheduled to have my exam and xrays today (not my mistake). So I am
now scheduled to have it done on Tuesday. My cleaning went well, although she said she could detect bone loss in my upper
right quadrant. Ugh. I'm just hoping it's nothing major. I think tomorrow I will schedule my xray/molds appointment with the orthodontist...why wait?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

My Orthodontic Diagnosis


• Jaw joint rubbing or grating was found on the right and it may be due to arthrosis
• Excessive grinding of teeth (bruxism) may result in enamel wear and muscle fatigue
• The upper jaw did not develop as much as the lower jaw in relation to the forehead
• The upper jaw did not develop as much as the lower jaw in width
• Lower jaw has developed more than the upper jaw in relation to the forehead
• Chin is positioned to the left of facial midline
• Improper relationship of posterior teeth on right side
• Improper relationship of posterior teeth on left side
• Improper relationship of right cuspid teeth
• Improper relationship of left cuspid teeth
• Space available for upper teeth is insufficient resulting in dental crowding. This condition tends to worsen with age.
• Space available for the lower teeth is insufficient resulting in dental crowding. This condition tends to worsen with age.
• An underbite is present
• Upper dental midline is symmetric and coincides with middle of the face
• Lower front teeth are left of center midline
• Improper width relationship of upper and lower teeth. This condition may affect jaw growth and may also reflect in enamel wear and periodontal trauma.
• Soft tissue facial asymmetries noted
• Lower jaw (chin) is positioned too far forward in relation to the forehead
• Upon smiling, tooth exposure seems insufficient. Records will be evaluated to determine means to achieve a nicer smile.


Orthognathic jaw surgery in combination with braces: estimated treatment time = 22-26 months


Correct existing malocclusion to improve "bite" relationship
Eliminate existing crowding
Achieve normal overbite/overjet
Broaden dental arches to maximize smile line
Align dental midlines with each other and facial midline
Cosmetic alignment of anterior teeth
Stop and prevent further enamel wear of anterior teeth due to heavy and end to end tooth contact
Correct existing cross-bites to improve chewing function
Improve jaw relationship and function
Improve profile; lip relationship, function and posture

Orthodontist Consultation

I am writing my first blog today!! I had a consultation with my orthodontist today. I am a little overwhelmed. The braces are going to cost more than I thought they would. Since I am a surgical case, I got a quote of $8,475.00. My insurance should pick up a portion of this, but it's still a lot of money. I feel rather self-indulgent thinking about spending this amount of money on myself when we have two kids, a mortgage, car payments, etc. to also think about. I know the jaw surgery is a medical and not a cosmetic procedure, but still. I know having the braces and surgery done would result in improved functionality of my jaw and reduce the wear and tear on my teeth. The way my jaw is now, I have major wear and tear on my teeth, along with bone loss in my jaws. I already have two dental implants on the lower right side that I had to have put in because of bone loss. I feel like if I don't do this now, I won't ever do it. I am excited and nervous to get it all started!!!