Dawna's Brace Face Place

Monday, March 31, 2008

Six months later...

Yes, the time in traditional braces was supposed to be about 3 months. I'm becoming the poster child for slow results, I guess. That and all the interesting hardware in my mouth. I specifically chose invisalign so I could complete my treatment unnoticed, and now here I sit with metal archwires (the white ones don't move as smoothly), wire ties, springs to push the lower molar forward, and class III elastics. Oh yeah, very attractive and oh-so-discreet. AGH - what I can tell you though is that there is no way in the world invisalign could have corrected my teeth. If you have similar issues to mine, think long and hard about going that route, even if your provider tells you it's viable!
My top teeth are pretty much in place, but my bottom teeth still need to come up on the left side, and the extraction gap is almost, but still not closed. My bite is soooo much better than when I started, and my jaw doesn't ever click anymore, so I'm very grateful for that. The bite is still changing a bit because of the lower teeth movement through the extraction site, but I'm not worried about that. I'm a bit concerned about a small gap at the gumline that I just developed between my upper right lateral and canine. Altogether I'm happy with how the results are looking like they will be, frustrated at the inaccurate estimate of how long it would take, and not to thrilled with all the doo-dads in my mouth. It's certainly been a lesson for me about vanity. I'm not a particularly overly vain person, but I do try to look my best and I really find it difficult to have all this stuff in my mouth when I want to put forward a professional appearance - I mean, I'm 41, not 15!
My ortho is a really great guy, and by now is refusing to estimate an end date for my treatment. He's admitted he has nightmares about my teeth (LOL) and that I've been one of the most challenging cases he's ever had, and my teeth honestly do seem to have a mind of their own. Little by little he's taming them and I am so looking forward to getting 'naked' again sometime soon.

I'm still not convinced about my right lateral/canine, and plan to talk to the ortho at my appt. this week. I think the canine still needs to move in/down a bit.

You can see here that it's not completely aligned yet.

On my right side the elastics are from the lower canine to the upper molar:

On the left, they go from the upper canine to the lower molar in order to close the extraction gap (along with the spring you can see as well).

Still a couple mm's to go to close the gap.

That's it for now, hope you enjoyed looking down my throat! LOL.

Monday, October 08, 2007


I got them on Oct 1. I cannot say I am thrilled, since this was exactly the treatment I was seeking to avoid. But I'm hanging in, wearing the gross elastics all the time (not just at night as the ortho said I could if I wished) and hoping this time things will come out as planned. Warning to anyone considering invisalign - it cannot move molars forward, teeth tend to tip into extraction sites, and derotating is not a strong feature of the product either. Ask your ortho about this! (Well, I did ask and he said it had never happened in his practice....but yeah)

Here are the pics, although I had taken my elastics out to change them, so they're not in the pic.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Going from Invisalign to Sapphire Braces

Today I had my consultation about my progress, and how to proceed. Both orthodontists spent all the time I needed with me, answered all my questions, listened to what I had to say about my situation, what was important to me and what I was and wasn't willing to do. Basically 1) my bite is still not corrected, 2) the three bottom teeth that have the clear braces on them still need to come forward and up, and 3) the three top teeth on my right side still need to come down and one must rotate. For the bottom teeth, invisalign cannot do it. For the top teeth, if I get new impressions, large attachments on my lateral incisor, and wear trays for 6 months, there is about a 50% chance Invisalign can correct successfully. So, we agreed that the best option is to go with Sapphire braces on top as well. He foresees 3-4 months. I'm not thrilled at the idea of walking around like that for 4 months, but I have come too far to not end up with the teeth I wanted. So, on Monday I get hooked up!

Here are some pics of the sapphire braces I have on my bottom teeth now, how my smile looks now, and an angle that shows a bit better how my top teeth are still out of alignment.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Endings and beginnings

I was assigned 42 upper trays and 57 lowers. I'm just completing my last upper tray this week. BUT - it did not go as planned. The lower teeth are still not shifting correctly despite now having 3 normal 'traintrack' brackets, and basically the top three right-side front teeth did not move as expected either. So, right now I can't close my jaw correctly at all (meaning my teeth don't fit together right), and I need to go in for new impressions and a refinement. I'm not feeling very confident about it anymore, I have to admit. At my last appointment, I was told that Invisalign has no problem moving molars back, but bringing them forward is problematic. Would have been nice to know this ahead of time, as well as the possible ramifications. At least in the meanwhile I've got the chance to go get dental work done. As I'd said at the beginning of my blog, I was never told that you can't get fillings etc. while using Invisalign. It makes sense but I'm not an orthodontist, so I didn't know. I went for a checkup 2 weeks after starting and found out I had the beginnings of 2 cavities and couldn't do a thing about it. Now I was there today and learned I have 3 full cavities because I had to leave it for so long......So, I'm not feeling very motivated about starting with a whole new set of trays. Not because I mind wearing them, but because I'm not sure I believe they will really ever acheive the teeth positioning I was expecting....Lots to dicuss at my next Ortho appt. - a very good thing is that my orthodontist really listens, and really takes time to talk to me and discuss options. Maybe I'll feel better after talking to him. I am even ready to go to regular braces for a SHORT time if it means the best result - but I will not be happy to end up going that route after already having shouldered the huge costs of Invisalign! Pics to come in the next couple of days.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Kind of Frustrated

Well, it's been a year now, and my top teeth are almost done - 38th tray out of 42, but things are far from perfect. During my last regular appointment, I mentioned that both my trays were not sitting correctly. For the bottom ones, my ortho agreed and I had the choice of getting traditional braces on a few of my teeth, or waiting to get new impressions, because my tooth had tipped in where my extraction had been. I chose to get the traditional braces, so now I have 3 traintracks on the bottom. You can't see them, but I find it a real pain in the butt because food is ALWAYS getting caught in them. At that same appt, my complaint about the top tray was that it was not sitting right on one lateral incisor, and the canine next to it. He checked the top tray and said it was fine. By the next tray it was sitting even worse, and I went back. This time he agreed, and they took the canine attachment off, and repositioned it as much tighter as they could. It was a minor improvement, but I'd hoped it would kick off some movement for the teeth to settle into the tray. Now, I'm on the next tray and it's just as bad again. There is a gap between the bottom of my tooth and the tray, so bubbles accumulate, and the upper edge of the tray is sitting so low on my tooth it's very visible and 2 people have asked me what's on there....GRRR. My ortho is on vacation until Sept 3 now, so I'm stuck looking like a weirdo for weeks. The left side of my teeth, which were less problematic to begin with, look just wonderful, and it's such a bummer that the other side did not rotate into position as it should have....More on this when he is back from his vacation I guess. Pics below with and without my trays in.

Without trays in:

With trays in, you can see the tray pretty clearly on my right side, at least you can't see the traditional braces:

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I'm in my 30's!

Tray 31, that is. My front teeth are really moving now. The bottom front teeth are no longer overlapped, and by the look of tray 34, once I finish that the top incisors will also be aligned!! I don't know if it's because it's not molar movement or what, but the trays haven't been uncomfortable at all. I asked my orthodontist what will happen when I finish the top trays, since the bottoms have so many more. He said we can decide based on how everything is lining up wether we do any top refinements first, wait for the bottoms to be done and do them at the same time, etc. He also said I can expect to wear the top trays 12 hours a day after I've completed the last one. Not sure if he means a retainer tray, or keeping the last tray or what, but it's not until Sept. so lots of time to get the details. Once treatment is fully completed I'll be getting a permanent lingual retainer to keep the teeth in place. I much prefer that and the bother of flossing around it to having to wear a retainer tray. That's it for now!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Long time no update

I actually had to take my tray out to see what number I'm on - almost done 26. It's all just going so smoothly, there's not a lot to report. My canines are moving, and it's SO wonderful to finally see my 'fang' going where it should be! I've hated it forever, so this was the main thing I've wanted to see moving. It's funny, when I compare tray 26 to tray 1, I just don't see a huge difference looking at the trays themselves. I even looked at the final trays at the ortho's office, and I was actually kind of disappointed because I didn't see a huge difference. But, looking at my teeth I see such a change - strange, I guess I just can't make the visualisation with the tray. One thing I really wish I had been told before getting the impressions was to get any and all dental work needed done first! I wasn't made aware that I couldn't get anything done during treatment, and my scheduled check up was 2 weeks after starting Invisalign. That's when my regular dentist noted that I have a couple of bottom molars that would soon need minor fillings. Now I have to wait, and I'm really not happy that they could be much worse by the time I'm done. I got that Oxygen drill-less treatment but I really don't think it did much other than cost a lot. Anyway, that's my word to the wise if you haven't started your treatment yet!