Well, I’ve just been dealt a pretty devastating set-back, if I do say so myself. I’ve been in denial the last couple of months about my jaw - I knew my bite was opening up again, I knew my teeth didn’t look right, and yet I still convinced myself that things were okay. The problems with my teeth meeting up properly that I noted in my last entry actually got worse once I started wearing bands on both sides again. With the bands holding my jaw more stable (and to the right), the fact that my teeth weren’t meeting up properly just became more pronounced, and now it’s blatantly obvious that my bite has opened up again on the left side.

At my orthodontist appointment last Friday, I made sure that when I bit down, my teeth only touched on the right, since while that is my normal bite, my jaw usually swings around so much I don’t always have it in the right place (which is what happened at my last appointment). The pit in my stomach got worse the longer my orthodontist looked at the left side of my teeth. When I asked, “They’ve opened up again, haven’t they?”, he threw his gloves down in frustration, giving me the answer I was afraid of. Sooooooo…. here’s the gist of it: the teeth on my left side have opened up again and my overbite has gotten worse, so braces need to go back on (FOR THE THIRD TIME!!), I may need surgery again depending on whether it’s just my teeth that moved or my jaw too, and then I’d be facing a lot of retainer work, nightguards, and other stuff to try to keep my teeth in place when it’s all over. Again.

I feel like I just wasted the last two years of my life going through all this treatment for my jaw, and to have to go through it again… I’m so upset about this. My orthodontist wanted me to schedule an appointment to put the braces back on, but I said 1) I’m not even sure if I want them back on, and 2) if they do go on, it won’t be before the wedding (May 10). So I have a few months to mull this over, possibly get a second opinion, etc. He’s worried about the lack of stabilization in my mouth, I’m worried about going through all of this again for naught. I pointed out the fact that every single time I’ve gotten braces off, my teeth have always opened up again on the left side. There aren’t any guarantees that my teeth won’t just open up again, and he also couldn’t predict what the consequences would be if I just let my bite do what it’s pretty clear it wants to, although it would probably involve TMJ issues. I then pointed out that I’m already having problems with my jaw anyway (since I still can’t open my mouth as wide as i used to be able to and the muscles feel pretty tight on the left side, which he claims is normal within my post-surgery timeframe), and since I’m (at least, now) very disappointed about my outcome from the last surgery(s), I don’t really want to go through all of that again and have the tightness/numbness most likely get worse.

I asked if I could only get braces on the left side, but he seemed skeptical that that would work, and also said that if we’re going to tackle this again, we need to be more aggressive (thought I had already done the “aggressive” route!?). He then mentioned pulling at least my back molar on the bottom left (I imagine on the right side too then), since “I’m not using it” - which is true, since it has nothing to meet up with, due to my upper bicuspids being pulled out ages ago, but it is still disturbing to hear. (little known fact - the strange mouth issues started fairly early with me, and in middle school I had several mouth surgeries, and one was to cut back my cheek tissue since my back teeth were practically buried under it, and I still have no space between the back of my molars and my cheeks. Fun, fun.)

The one positive to all of this is that I would be getting any further orthodontic treatment for free from my current orthodontist. He said he didn’t feel like they had done right by me, and while I don’t necessarily agree with that (I really think it’s just the way my mouth is, rather than anything he did or didn’t do), that may very well influence my decision. I still have a lot of thinking ahead of me, and I’m going to start looking for an orthodontist by me (I’m still traveling an hour each way every 6 weeks to see my orthodontist I chose when I still lived in Maryland, even though I moved a year and a half ago) to get a second opinion from, and also probably pay a visit to an oral surgeon - probably my old one just to start off, but he’s also still in Maryland and doesn’t accept my new insurance so I imagine I’d have to find a new one if I actually go through this again. Sigh…

January 12, 2006. Uncategorized. No Comments.

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