Monday, September 5, 2011
Update and Some New information
Progress so far: I've got a nice straight set of uppers, but I am told we are not near finished with them. We still need to widen the arch "x"millimeters, until the the width of the arch is at least as wide as the width of the (relaxed) tongue (the dentist measures these things). So, I am not close to being done with the wearing and lateral adjusting of the upper appliance. However it is very nice to have the upper teeth straight already. It provides a real psychological boost. I agreed to do DNA orthodontics for health/quality of life in old age reasons, but I can't deny it is very nice to lose the self-consciousness about the messy rows of teeth.
I have also been told that once we are done moving the uppers, I will still need to keep using the appliance overnight as a retainer, permanently. The gaps in the appliance will be filled in, so I expect it to be a bit less awkward feeling. Will my speech (while wearing the appliance) improve also? I hope so.
In the meantime, the dentist wants me to temporarily halt adjusting the upper appliance, and give the lower appliance some time to help my lower teeth to 'catch up'. That is how things stand as of this writing.
You can see some visible gap in my lower appliance now, even with the low res of the photo. My bottoms are still pretty crowded and snarly, but I can definitely detect slow changes occurring. Since this appliance has little effect on my speech, I am able to wear it quite a few more hours per day than the upper appliance. As such, the dentist has just advised me to adjust it more often now. I am comfortable now adjusting it twice a week. This will hopefully speed things along.
However, once my bottom teeth have reached a certain point, the current lower appliance will be sent off for modification to add the ability to adjust it in the forward (anterior) axis, like the upper appliance. But this is unique to my mouth- the reader (or another DNA patient) will experience their own unique course of treatment.
Another piece of information I just learned which ties into a question a reader asked me previously: Sometime later, it is likely I am going to receive Invisalign appliances to wear. The DNA appliance will take me to a certain point, but then we will need to fine tune things a bit with Invisalign. This has something to do with "rotation". But I am also told it is included in the price of the DNA treatment. Which is good, because the expense is already quite a significant burden on my budget.
There are a few other details I have learned about what the dentist would like to do to my teeth, but they are unique to my situation and would not be relevant to readers, so I will decline to bore you with those details. I'll just say, my teeth have a lot of wear and tear on them.