(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.