Monday, December 12, 2011

good news!

My insurance and hospital decided to make nice so now I don't need to find a new oral surgeon! yay!  They signed a new 3 yr contract so I don't need to go anywhere new.  I love my oral surgeon, I couldn't imagine going to anyone else.  The other thing I love is that the medical center is connected to my school and literally it only takes me 5 minutes to get to from home, most of the time I'm already there anyways.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

pictures & update

Hi everyone,
Things are pretty much the same braces-wise.  The end of the year really snuck up on me!  Only two weeks left until school will be closed for 2 weeks, those two weeks are really jammed with patients though! I had an ortho appointment on monday and I'm in the .17 x .25 wire on the bottom still (which is the surgery wire).  That thing is really stiff!  He also tried to get me in to the .17x.25 on the top (right now i'm still in .16x.22's) but I wasn't ready yet.  He tried so hard to push that thing in! I thought my tooth was going to be extracted with how much pressure was on it.  But of course that would never happen I was just overly sensitive about the pressure.  So hopefully at our next appointment in the new year we'll be able to get into that wire so we're another step closer to being ready for surgery.  

Other than that my biggest worry lately is about a letter I got from my PCP (at the same medical center associated with my dental school and my OS).  The letter basically said that as of January 2012 the medical center is no longer going to be in-network for my medical insurance if the insurance company (BCBS) doesn't start paying them more money.  That throws a big wrench in my plans bc if the medical center isn't in-network anymore I'll have to go find a new oral surgeon at a hospital that accepts BCBS. bahhhhh.  There isn't anything I can do about it now until the date comes around and we see if they actually do drop it.  I really like my oral surgeon, she is the best and I feel comfortable around her.  Starting that whole relationship over with someone else would suck!

Here are some pictures from the whole process so far.  
So this is my bite "before"  My teeth really aren't out of line,  and the few that aren't in the correct position are the ones that we're still trying to correct now.  Notice the second molars on the bottom how they're turned in towards my tongue.  The third molars have since been extracted

This is my "before" pan.  You can see that I still have my lower 3rd molars that have since been extracted.  I really missed them at first!  they were in occlusion with my upper second molars and I would use them to chew, and once they were gone I was chewing onto the gum where they used to be. 

Here is my "before" lateral ceph.  This one really shows the severe discrepancy of my jaws to each other.  Its not just a problem with my teeth that cause my underbite, its a skeletal discrepancy between my upper and lower jaw.
This is where I was a month and a half ago.  My smile looks so awkward like this, I've never smiled biting down before!  Notice that heavy wire on the bottom.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

And so it begins! (or began, I guess)

Hello everyone,
My name is Laura and I'm writing this blog like many others have because I'd like to write down my story as I go through braces, jaw surgery, and whatever else is on the other side of it all.  I've never written a blog before but because so many others' blogs are helpful to me,  I thought this may blog may be helpful to other people as well. As you can probably deduce from the title,  I am currently a dental student and I'm a little more than half way through dental school.

Here I am "brushing" my teeth with the candy toothbrush off our cake at a school party.  Yes, we have dental themed cakes.  be jealous. lol
A little more about my teeth:
I have a class III malocclusion with about 8 mm of negative overjet.  Also, I am in a posterior crossbite on all of my back teeth. (Basically, I'm in a crossbite everywhere).  I had palate expanders and braces a couple times as a kid and when I got them taken off at 13 1/2 years old I was technically in a Class I occlusion (where your top teeth fit over your bottom).  When you're 13 you are still growing and since your jaw bones grow at the same rate as your long bones, and since I was still growing taller, my jaw was still growing as well.  Over the next couple years I gradually went back to having a underbite.  Since the problem is a skeletal discrepancy, orthodontic therapy alone was unlikely to succeed.  The reason I had my braces off early was to take care of a traumatized central incisor that needed root canal therapy.  Since that was the reason I had them off I never considered jaw surgery that my orthodontist and dentist talked about since I thought that I couldn't have braces again.  (Also the thought of major surgery was way to scary!).

When I started dental school I realized I was wrong about not being able to have braces (you can have them even on non-vital teeth) and I started considering my options.  I have never been happy about my profile and since it is my job as a dental student to fix peoples teeth everyday, I constantly think about my own teeth.  It's like owning a car dealership and driving a broken down ford.  Sure, not all dentists have perfect teeth but I'd like to have pretty white teeth and a "normal" bite.

To make a very long story short, I have decided to correct my bite.  I currently have braces and am almost ready for surgery.  I had my lower 3rd molars removed (I used to use them to bite) because that is the area where my oral surgeon will split my jaw to move it back.  I had my upper third molars out in high school. I tentatively have a surgery date on April 12, 2012 and I cant wait!  My orthodontist is trying to expand my upper arch as much as possible before surgery so hopefully only a one piece Lefort will be needed instead of a two piece.  I do not need a SARPE(surgically assisted rapid palatal expansion).   I hope that having a correct bite will prevent me from having any periodontal and worse TMJ problems down the line.

Here are some of my pre-braces pictures  (I have nicer ones from the orthodontist, I just need to get them uploaded)
I've never smiled while biting down.  This is my fake-out smile, open the jaw so it doesn't look as protruded.

Another side profile opening so the prognathic jaw doesn't look so bad.

That's all for now I suppose, I need to go get ready for an exam and cleaning for my patient! Oh, the life of a dental student.

Laura :)