It has been a very long time since the last posts and I apologize to those who were hoping for more. I also apologize that I haven't set aside time for individual answers to all the questions people have sent in (amid the literally thousands of spam emails that arrived in the same email box this blog forwards to), but please realize I have 1) Reported all that I know 2) Am not a dental professional or an expert on this subject and am not qualified to answer dental/medical questions, or advise people what they should do, or what prices of various things might be. I also don't have that much spare time.
This was always meant to be more of a journal, for whatever use that might be to others. I am trying to remain neutral and merely report, not be an expert.
As to the reason it has been such a long time since the last post, it is because nothing has really happened worth reporting from then until now. It has simply been a period in which I expanded the lower appliance at the recommended interval and experienced very slow progress, and continued to wear the upper appliance as a retainer overnight, as previously reported.
Those who have followed since the beginning might realize that progress on the lowers has been much slower than it was for the uppers. At first I was under the impression that this was simply due to the bone density of the mandible (lower jaw) being greater than the maxilla that supports the upper teeth, and thus it takes longer to lay down the new bone. However I have recently been informed that normally the lowers should not take longer. That my problem specifically is the "mandibular tori" in my mouth slowing progress.
While my teeth have "uncrowded" and straightened significantly, my lower arch has not yet expanded adequately for perfect "occlusion" (mating of the upper and lower tooth surfaces for chewing purposes)
There have been suggestions I get the tori removed surgically but I am very reluctant to go that route for multiple reasons. The issue is currently unresolved and the docs will be consulting about it. I am hoping a satisfactory, if not perfect end can be achieved without going that route.
The lesson for readers is, if you have tori, it may add a complicating and expense-generating factor to your DNA treatment.
Other than that, significant progress has been made as you can see in the photo below. You may also notice spaces or gaps between the lower teeth. The essential problem there is the number of upper vs lower teeth the orthodontic docs ordered removed from me when I was a kid getting braces. With the DNA appliance, we got the uppers in a nice straight, tight row, but to get the matching arch on the bottom, some spaces have been created as expansion has occurred.
I am OK with some spaces but if I were a perfectionist from the cosmetic standpoint, I would have to get veneers. I am not a perfectionist. A decent set of useful natural teeth and a comfortable mouth with everything accessible for good hygiene going into my later years is what I wanted.
My current status is that I have been told to stop expanding the lower appliance but wear it as a retainer at night along with the upper appliance. Meanwhile, the docs here are planning to review my status with Dr. Singh in the coming weeks, at which time they will decide how to proceed. One possibility mentioned was to "touch things up" to finality using Invisalign but since we have the tori issue and some malocclusion at hand, we'll just have to see what they come up with.