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Author Topic: STORY: Short-term pain for long-term gain  (Read 7784 times)

Offline erin_wires

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Re: STORY: Short-term pain for long-term gain
« Reply #30 on: 30. March 2018, 01:41:59 AM »
Hope it gets continued soon!

Offline brims

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Re: STORY: Short-term pain for long-term gain
« Reply #31 on: 23. April 2018, 23:51:33 PM »
This is such a great story! Thanks for your work and for sharing it.

Offline tsk

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Re: STORY: Short-term pain for long-term gain
« Reply #32 on: 24. April 2018, 19:10:56 PM »
Will be a shame if this isn't finished...

Offline libtech

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Re: STORY: Short-term pain for long-term gain
« Reply #33 on: 25. April 2018, 05:50:40 AM »
I agree. This was such a great lead in for a very good story...we want more!!!

Offline bfat

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Re: STORY: Short-term pain for long-term gain
« Reply #34 on: 25. April 2018, 16:54:23 PM »
Late October 2015

OK. I just couldn't write any more a few weeks ago. I was so mad at Janice.

So when she had her individual consultation, she asked more questions about getting clear braces. And it turned out the extra cost was just $400. So she went for it. She said she assumed I would have too, since I had asked the question in the first place during the consultation. But I don't really get why she wouldn't have said anything to me about that.

We're friends again, but I'm pretty annoyed.

Anyway, I've spent the last couple of weeks getting used to everything. I spent most of that first day just staring at my teeth. Janice and I went back to the residence and sat in the den and traded stories about our experience. She asked a lot more questions beforehand, so she knew exactly what was going to happen. She got clear braces on her top and bottom front teeth and metal on the back ones, and that's pretty much it. She has none of the molar bands I have, but they said she might need some when she wears elastics later. Her treatment is supposed to take 12 to 14 months. So of course she's going to be finished with her braces in a year and I'm still going to be wearing braces and headgear.

Yeah, that. I couldn't bring myself to put on the headgear or even take it out of its case until I had to go to bed the first night. Even now, it just seems insane: I wear headgear. Like, really intense headgear. Ten hours a day is actually a lot. In September we'd usually stay up and talk in the den until midnight or later, unless we stayed out later at a bar, and then I'd get up at 8 for 9 am seminars a few days a week or earlier to go to the gym. So that's like 7 hours of sleep, sometimes 6.

For the first week I just went to my room early, put on the – my – headgear and read. Well, the routine is more like: spend ages brushing my teeth and using floss threaders to get all the food out, wash my face, etc., and then put on my headgear. Fit in the facebow, then the high-pull strap, then the neckstrap. I can see the outer part of the facebow if I look down, and I can see the plastic pieces from the two straps where they cross over, and I can feel it on my head, like, the whole time I wear it if I think about it.

But after a week that was getting pretty boring. So now if we're hanging out in the rooms at night, I just wear it. People come in all the time and it's endlessly embarrassing, but it's only a few people, and it's either that or I don't make 10 hours. But then, if we go out for drinks or something, I don't wear it, so then it's scramble to get a few more hours in the next day if I'm back working at my desk. Basically, somehow, pretty much all of my scheduling and thinking revolves around wearing my headgear enough every day.

I've turned the expander every third day. It's super painful for the next 12 hours or so, so I've started doing that at night. I guess one cool thing is that I can feel my teeth moving and I think I can already see a difference. But I'm literally the biggest braceface in the whole college, by a lot.

After the first week I had another check-in appointment. They looked at the expanders but they seemed most concerned about the headgear. Dr. Lorenzo talked again about unwanted molar movement related to the expansion process. He said the forces seemed about right, and he and Dr. Amy were almost delighted when I talked about my devotion to nailing the ten hours. "We're taught to expect poor compliance for headgear wear," Dr. Amy said to me. Dr. Amy was wearing elastics this time, which were kind of crazy and I asked her about them: three in total: one on each side from upper canine to lower second molar (or something?), and one in "box configuration" at the front of her mouth. She said I've got elastics in my future but it was way too early to say if they'd be like hers.

Overall, they said, everything looked OK, but they planned to take a closer look at the "precision of the extra-oral anchorage" at my next full appointment, which is two weeks from now.

Offline carking

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Re: STORY: Short-term pain for long-term gain
« Reply #35 on: 25. April 2018, 17:46:44 PM »
Very nice!

Offline bfat

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Re: STORY: Short-term pain for long-term gain
« Reply #36 on: 25. April 2018, 17:58:26 PM »
Mid-December 2015

Not a great day.

Today was my second adjustment appointment since getting braces. And Janice's too, of course.

At the first adjustment, a month ago, they gave me new archwires, which are thicker and stronger (I guess each time you just get a slightly stronger wire, which, duh, obviously) and checked the expanders. Then they spent a lot of time on the headgear again, measuring the forces, taking the straps on and off. They took new X-rays and impressions, and they asked to see me again for a check-in two weeks after.

Janice, of course, was told her teeth are moving really well, and it's possible her entire treatment will come in under a year.

At the check-in appointment they had the new X-rays and the impressions and they again did a lot of looking at the headgear and those molars. Honestly, I really don't care if my molars move a bit. Who even sees them? But the faculty guy then talked to me – which seems to only be when they want to make sure I know this is very professional – and said it's about the bite relationship and that it's actually super important, even more than the aesthetic stuff that orthodontics provides.

"So at your next appointment we may reconfigure your extra-oral appliance in order to make sure we're on track," Dr. Amy told me.

So that was two weeks ago.

Today, first of all, Janice got elastics. Selfishly, I'm kind of happy about this as it makes her braces slightly more obvious, although they're sort of hidden further to the back of her mouth. And I also get the sense that elastics are a later stage thing, so somehow her progress is going crazily fast.

So I go in and they do the usual stuff first: remove the ligatures and the archwires, do a bunch of cleaning and poking around, adjusted something on both expanders, and then put in new archwires and new ligatures. I sat up to rinse.

"Oh yeah, you need my headgear now," I said, and picked up my handbag. I handed Dr. Amy the case with the facebow and the case with the straps.

"We told you about a reconfiguration last time," Amy said, putting them down on the counter. "So you're actually done with this facebow. We're going to try a similar one."

She went to another counter and came back with another facebow. It looked similar, but with the outer bow looping on either side just before the joining point with the inner bow. The ends of the outer bow had blue plastic stoppers on them.

"This is called a cushion-loop facebow," she said. "The wire loops around here, which helps to absorb some of the applied force. It lets us control the pressure more precisely."

"The problem we've been having with your headgear is that we haven't been able to control the direction of the force and the degree of the force as much as we'd like," Dr. Lorenzo said. "So this will help."

"OK," I said.

Then they lowered the chair, brought out a lip-spreader again and put it in. They both worked on the new facebow, adjusting it with what looked like pliers. After about ten minutes they showed it to faculty guy, who pulled on gloves and took it out and reinserted it a few times before telling them it was good. They took the lip-spreader out, raised the chair, and Dr. Amy gave me some lip-balm again.

Then they put the facebow back in.

"So we're also going to replace the straps you've been wearing with something that gives us more control," Dr. Amy said. She brought a clear plastic packet over and pulled out a small mass of blue straps. "This is called an Interlandi headgear. It's a single strap and it's easier to adjust the force exactly as we need it."

Dr. Amy arranged this thing over my head. It had a bunch of straps on top of my head that converged into a plastic piece at either temple. That plastic piece extended in front of my ears and then under them, back to near the corner of my jaw, where they were attached to a padded neckstrap. It felt like my combination headgear but much more elaborate. Dr. Amy and Dr. Lorenzo took a bunch of measurements and adjusted the straps, then removed everything, did something at the counter, and then put it back on. I could feel that it now fit more snugly.

"This appliance uses elastics to provide the force we need," Dr. Lorenzo said, holding up a small plastic bag of rubber bands. He and Dr. Amy then spent 10 more minutes connecting different sized (I assume?) elastics between the ends of the facebow and something on the plastic pieces in front of my ears. They used some measuring tool and wrote down various numbers, and then faculty guy again looked at everything and approved.

Dr. Amy handed me a mirror. I was used to seeing myself wearing headgear at this point. This was, in some ways, pretty much the same, but bulkier in every respect.

"There are two connecting pegs in the correct holes on each side of the headgear," Dr. Amy said. "You'll need to put everything on and then these elastics" – she handed me a baggie full of red elastics – "go from the top pegs to the facebow" – she connected two as I watched – "and these elastics" – she handed me another baggie of blue elastics – "go from the bottom pegs. When in doubt, B for blue, B for bottom."

I stared at myself in the mirror.

"Give it a try, Annika," Dr. Amy said.

I disconnected all the elastics and pulled the straps off my head. Then I reached into my mouth and slid out the facebow. Then I put it back in, pulled the straps over my head and neck, fiddled with the elastics and was wearing headgear again.

"Easy enough, right?" Dr. Lorenzo said. I nodded, reluctantly. "Ideally you should change these elastics every four hours, but if you sleep through it, it's not a huge deal."

"Annika, the other change we want to make is with wear time," Dr. Amy said. "We'd like you to wear this appliance 12 hours a day, preferably consecutive hours. Do you think that's possible?"

"I'll do my best," I said, for some reason. Why didn't I resist these things when they were happening? "Are we still on track for time?"

Dr. Amy and Dr. Lorenzo looked at each other. "It's still possible, but we've adjusted the expanders for now so that their progress is more moderate while we're resolving this anchorage challenge. So this might add a bit of time to the total treatment. It's still hard to say."

They asked me to make an appointment for a week later and for the day after I got back from Christmas break so they could check the headgear.

I got new cases for the new facebow and straps, a bunch of bags of red and blue elastics, and my old headgear ("if you want a souvenir," Dr. Amy said). I took everything off, thanked the orthodontists, and went out to meet Janice. I made two more appointments, plus one for later in January for my actual adjustment. Janice made a single adjustment appointment, same day as me.

So now I'm writing this at 10 pm the same day as that appointment, sitting at my desk in my room, wearing this thing called an Interlandi headgear, metal braces and two expanders. I've had the headgear on since 8 pm, and I will wear it till 8 am. There are four thick elastics that I can see out of the corner of my eye, two on each side.

I'm just not quite ready to hang out in the den with this. I can hear Janice out there joking with some friends about her elastics, her tiny little elastics. Oh well. Only twelve more months. Or more.




Offline brims

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Re: STORY: Short-term pain for long-term gain
« Reply #37 on: 25. April 2018, 18:33:28 PM »
Great stuff! Your tone and descriptions are terrific!

Offline libtech

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Re: STORY: Short-term pain for long-term gain
« Reply #38 on: 26. April 2018, 01:39:50 AM »
Keep going. Great story so far

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: STORY: Short-term pain for long-term gain
« Reply #39 on: 26. April 2018, 01:52:59 AM »
The latest parts have been added to The Archive.

Offline bradhov

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Re: STORY: Short-term pain for long-term gain
« Reply #40 on: 26. April 2018, 01:54:46 AM »
nice addition to the story !

Offline carking

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Re: STORY: Short-term pain for long-term gain
« Reply #41 on: 27. April 2018, 17:44:03 PM »
It keeps getting better! Great job

Offline ekaj123

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Re: STORY: Short-term pain for long-term gain
« Reply #42 on: 30. April 2018, 08:29:33 AM »
Great story cant wait to read more.

Offline tg2002

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Re: STORY: Short-term pain for long-term gain
« Reply #43 on: 10. May 2018, 04:22:48 AM »
Awesome story! I'm always looking forward to the new instalments

Offline lemonlyman89

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Re: STORY: Short-term pain for long-term gain
« Reply #44 on: 30. December 2018, 22:11:22 PM »
Is there a continuation of this story?