Monday, April 18, 2011

A Surprise (with a correction)

(Important- Note the correction I added four paragraphs down)

Let me preface this by explaining that there are two dentists at the dental practice I attend. Only one has her name on the shingle, but when I come in for an appointment I may get one or the other.  Both are knowledgeable about the DNA Appliance, and both have been involved in my case since the beginning.

Today I went in for a routine appointment. I expected to be checked for irritations, and to have the appliance adjusted (abraded/polished) accordingly. I didn't expect anything more than that.

The dentist who saw me  was one I had not seen the past couple of appointments. She asked to examine my bite (sans appliance) and exclaimed surprise. Her surprise was that I am "there" (her word). I don't mean she was surprised I was physically present. I mean my upper arch has expanded adequately (see previous blog entry) and we do not need to adjust the appliance width any farther. Apparently, the 2 mm gained that I mentioned in the previous post is about right for my mouth. She was surprised it happened as quickly as it did.

However the front teeth are still not where we want them to be. (See photo in April 9, 2011 blog entry)

(NOTE: I am adding a correction here 4/25/11. A sharp-eyed and seemingly knowledgeable reader has informed me that Dr. Singh recommends a 38mm gap at C5 (for Caucasians), whereas I measured myself at 34mm in the previous blog post. It now occurs to me there is a very good chance I simply misinterpreted my dentist's comment that I am "there". The same sharp-eyed reader comments it may just be time to advance the anterior (front) section of the appliance while temporarily halting advancing the width so the front can 'catch up'. Perhaps that is all that was meant when she said I was 'there'. I will try to get more clarity next visit. Meanwhile, keep in mind this blog entry may have been based on a faulty assumption on my part.)

She adjusted the appliance in the relevant axis 1/4 turn more (leaving the width alone), and made adjustments to the springs and wire arch in the front using pliers. In previous appointments these had been left alone. She stated that we now need to "activate" the front teeth to move into position.

My job will be to continue to adjust only the front triangular section once a week, while leaving the width as it is with the 2mm gap.  

She also made mention of a lower appliance to come later. Previously, it seemed a possibility, but by no means a certainty, that I would need a lower appliance.  Now I get the impression it's a lot more likely I will need it.

But all in all, I feel like a milestone has been achieved. And judging from the dentist's reaction, in a surprisingly short period of time.


  1. Congrats! btw I'm the one who asked you a while ago about the comfort of wearing the appliance and about the expenses. Thanks for answering my questions that time. Knowing that it doesn't hurt the jaw has put me more at ease about perusing this treatment. I viewed your profile and saw your location listed as CA. I'm also in CA and am wondering who is the doc you're seeing. Did your insurance cover some of the treatment cost?

    Regarding the appliance, so there were two screws to turn? one for the width and one the triangle part? Sorry for the many questions, lol. Your blog is very helpful and I really appreciate you answering questions. Thank you.

    Did they tell you if you'll need braces at the end of the treatment w the DNA appliance?

  2. Hi ym,

    When I originally imagined the purpose of this blog, I grappled with the question of whether I was going to mention the name of my dentist or not. For a couple reasons, I decided not to. Possibly I will change that later, but for now I'm going to stick with that original conception. However if you enter search terms such as "DNA Appliance" or "Epigenetic Orthodontics" along with a geographical region (your town or nearby towns) into Google or another search engine you should be able to find dental practices doing it.

    As to insurance, I don't have dental. So it's all out of pocket. No retirement saving for me this year or next.

    The screws are clearly visible in the center of the appliance in the picture from the previous blog entry. Though they are not 'screwdriver head' type screws- but require a special little tool to turn.

    I have not been told I will need braces at the end. I did ask before agreeing to treatment if the money I am spending covers the entire correction and they said yes.