Thursday, July 28, 2011

5 1/2 Months - Uppers Ache

I know I said I would not post, except monthly, but I felt I would share my annoyances right now. My uppers, especially the front four teeth, are aching, similar to the way they did when I originally got my braces over 5 months ago. I haven't really had any pain up until recently. I wonder if my teeth hurt due to clenching recently. I have noticed that my TMJ has once again been acting up, and I have been clenching my jaw more, which temporarily relieves the pain of the TMJ, but I know in the long run, it is actually worsening my TMJ.  About a week ago, my right jaw felt like it was "catching" and sure enough, it locked up, but I was able to release it, unlike the last time it locked up. The last time it locked, was Sept. 2009, and it locked up immediately following my wisdom teeth removal surgery. My jaw was locked shut for about 6 weeks! I guess it is better to be locked in the closed position, than in the open position.
Well... my next appointment is scheduled for Aug. 9th, so see ya then!
My apologies for the quality of the photos... downloaded the blogger app on my droid, and not impressed with the pictures.... but atleast it is easier to post on the go!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Teeth in Numbers

 Below is how your dentist may refer to your teeth when speaking of treatment with the dental assistant. 

Orientation of the Universal tooth numbering chart is traditionally "patient's view", i.e. patient's right corresponds to tooth chart's right side. The designations "left" and "right" on the chart correspond to the patient's left and right, respectively

Here is an example of a typical tooth numbering diagram and a "legend" with detailed information on how my teeth have been affected, hence the name... "My Teeth in Numbers"

1. 3rd Molar (wisdom tooth) – surgically removed in Sept. 2009.
2. 2nd Molar
– white fillings in early 2002.
3. 1st Molar
– white fillings in early 2002.
4. 2nd Bicuspid
5. 1st Bicuspid
6. Cuspid (canine/eye tooth)
7. Lateral incisor
8. Central incisor
9. Central incisor
10. Lateral incisor
11. Cuspid (canine/eye tooth)
12. 1st Bicuspid
13. 2nd Bicuspid
14. 1st Molar
– white fillings in early 2002.
15. 2nd Molar
– white fillings in early 2002.
16. 3rd Molar (wisdom tooth)
– surgically removed in Sept. 2009.
17. 3rd Molar (wisdom tooth)
– surgically removed in Sept. 2009.
18. 2nd Molar
– white fillings in early 2002.
19. 1st Molar
– tooth pulled in Nov. 1999
20. 2nd Bicuspid
21. 1st Bicuspid
22. Cuspid (canine/eye tooth)
23. Lateral incisor
24. Central incisor
25. Central incisor
26. Lateral incisor
27. Cuspid (canine/eye tooth)
28. 1st Bicuspid
29. 2nd Bicuspid
30. 1st Molar
– white fillings in early 2002 and Feb. 2011
31. 2nd Molar
– white fillings in early 2002.
32. 3rd Molar (wisdom tooth)
surgically removed in Sept. 2009.

Month 5 - Power Chains put on hold

This morning was the 5 month adjustment.  I was excited for this appointment since Dr. Black and Shelly have been discussing power chains for a couple of appointments already. 

1. The dental assistant (Shelly) had Dr. Black (my orthodontist) review my teeth with the usual "open/close/open/close..."  Once he reveiwed my teeth, he noted that my arch is looking very good and he is so proud of the progress my teeth are making. 

2. Dr. Black asked where it seemed my teeth were hitting when I bit down.  He noticed that my teeth were hitting in the back, not allowing my molars toward the front to touch properly.  He used this fancy paper and had me bite down on it several times.  This paper leaves a red mark on where my teeth are hitting, so he could "sand" them down with his hi-speed dental tool.  Once they sanded down the trouble spots, he had me bite down on that fancy paper some more.  I can actually bite down on I would say 90% of my right molars and 10% on my left molars.  I wonder if he is going to correct this in the near future of my treatment?  Hmmmm......

3. Once my bite was improved, he went back and forth in his mind on rather to move me up to the next wire (18) or leave me in the current wires (16).  He informed Shelly that he would like to apply chains to my teeth when I move up to the 18 wire, but would like to leave me in the 16 for now, and continue the wire ligatures on my two stubborn bottom teeth, since he felt they could move a little bit more.  He also checked my records to see how long I have had wire ligatures on those two teeth.  It appears going a weekend with a broken ligature wire in early June really affected my tooth progress. 

4. Shelly removed my wire ligatures and replaced them with new ligature wires on teeth # 23 and # 26*
She then replaced all the rubber ligatures on the remaining brackets with the same color I had (silver).  I really liked the silver and the bands appeared to be stronger than the colored bands, which broke more often and seemed to be stretched way past their elasticity... creating less movement in the 4 week time frames.

*Note: The blog post on teeth numbers, including an illustrated diagram is available under the posting "My Teeth in Numbers"

My next appointment is on August 9, 2011... where hopefully I will finally be moved into my next wire and also should have my upper and lower power chains.  Stay Tuned!!!