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Author Topic: My Journey to Removable Braces  (Read 3844 times)

Offline foobar

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My Journey to Removable Braces
« on: 01. February 2021, 23:35:32 PM »
I've just started my second try to get braces. First time (3 years ago) I went to an ortho my dentist recommended, but they would only have used brackets or invisalign, neither of which I'm interested in, so I chickened out. For a real treatment I'd rather like to have removable plates of some sort.

Now, 3 years later, my bruxism night guard starts to crack after 6 years of usage. I had the decision to get a new one or just try to go for braces again (as I don't want to pay hundreds for a new guard and then get braces, making my new guard not fit anymore anyway).

This time I searched online for orthos near me that treat adults using removable braces and found 7 whose websites stated that they do so. Those websites mention both invisalign and removable appliances separately. Judging from their website and location I called my top 3 a week ago. In that call I directly asked them if they used removable appliances which are not aligners like invisalign. That's when one of the practices said that they only use brackets or invisalign, leading to me ending the call quickly. The other two orthos do also use removable braces for adults and gave me initial consultation appointments for today and tomorrow respectively.

Since I got the appointments, I am super nervous and my whole body is just screaming "stress" all over the place. I think the last time my body reacted this strongly to stress was during the last weeks of my thesis. To those people having gone through the same thing, how do you handle your nerves building up before the appointment?!

Offline foobar

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #1 on: 02. February 2021, 00:18:22 AM »
I had my first consultation with ortho1 today morning. Before leaving the house I checked my blood pressure and pulse and they were completely through the roof! So much for wanting to stay calm…

The practice has an open treatment area with 3 chairs. I was led into a semi-private room with an open doorway to the open treatment area. Upon entering the room I instantly spotted 6 sets of appliance presentation model. Gladly, none of them was for invisalign :) Two had fixed brackets (one with metal ones and one with clear ones). Two more had removable plates and another one even a Bionator. The last one was for showing fixed retainers.

I stated from the very beginning that I'd like to have some smaller problems fixed with removable appliances which I only did at the end of the appointment 3 years ago. I'd like to think that this helped, but judging by the models I guess there really were only two options to begin with.
The orthodontist took a look at my teeth and pretty much found the same things I had collected over the years and want to get fixed. According to her, most things can be fixed with removable braces, albeit with a bit of difficulty. However, aligning my midline (2mm off) and fixing my wisdom teeth (which have enough space but are biting edge-to-edge not affecting my bite) can only be done with fixed braces and elastics (which I don't want).

The removable appliances she showed me are somewhat similar to Schwarz appliances. She said that my plates will probably with a few springs, screws and maybe other goodies. For my bruxism, she wants to apply a posterior bite plane to the lower appliance. She'll make the plane pretty thick, thicker than my night guard which has 2-3mm to relax my joint muscles. All in all she expects 1 year of treatment depending on how much I wear the braces (12h/d minimum).
For retention she showed me bonded retainers and stated that she always uses them on both jaws, usually on the front 4 or 6 teeth, sometimes even on 8. For my bruxism I'd additionally have a night guard for my lower jaw. I asked whether it'd be possible to use removable retainers instead. She wasn't really positive, stating that I'd need to wear them for the rest of my life as teeth will always shift to a certain degree and that fixed retainers are lower maintenance. I replied that I'll probably already wear the bruxism guard for the rest of my life, so it wouldn't really matter if I'd have one or two appliance in my mouth during the night. She didn't seem to positive, but also not fully negative about it.

If I go ahead with this ortho, there'll be a second appointment for record taking where they'll take two sets of molds (one for the record and one for appliance creation) and radiographs. In a third appointment she'll present the treatment plan. If I agree to still go forward with her, the braces will be fitted in a fourth appointment.


In the end, I'm already super stoked. This was a huge success as I got an offer containing just what I wanted and which I'll gladly accept. I still have a consultation tomorrow morning with a different ortho, so I'll se what they propose. But I can go into that more relaxed as I don't really "need" it anymore, already having a very good option.

Offline foobar

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #2 on: 04. February 2021, 01:10:03 AM »
Yesterday I had my consultation appointment with ortho2. I was slightly less nervous as expected. This appointment went more like what I expected most of them to go and be like. Their website stated that they use brackets, invisalign and removable braces for adults, which was confirmed when I called beforehand. The doctor himself is rather old, which should be a good indication for removable appliances.

The practice is located in a more expensive area and was pretty large. It felt more impersonal than the practice of ortho1, which was smaller and in general felt more individual. Upon being seated in a patient room, a female orthodontist explained to me that the older ortho will retire soon and thus won't take any more new patients. Instead, she'll be taking over the practice and handle all new patients.

When I was asked why I was there and answered that I'd like to have a few minor things fixed with removable non-invisalign braces, she already started to become quite dismissive. After taking a look into my mouth, she explained what was wrong with my teeth. Only some of the things I already knew about. Other things she noticed I still don't really agree with, but then again I'm not an orthodontist. After I added the things I'd like to get fixed, she stated that only brackets or invisalign will give me a satisfactory result. Removable plates won't be able to fix most things and she doesn't like using them. She only rarely uses them, for example when a single tooth relapses during / after retention. For me the only options would be fixed braces for 9-12 months or invisalign for 3-6 months.

Honestly, this was pretty much what I was expecting to happen during all of the consultation appoints, them looking at my teeth and stating that they only offer brackets or invisalign. Luckily, as I already had my offer from ortho1 with what I wanted, I quickly ended the appointment with ortho2.

Upon leaving the building, I instantly called ortho1 to accept their offer and start treatment with them. Tomorrow (Thursday) will be the record-taking appointment. After that 2 more appointments until I get removable braces, just as I wanted (hopefully)! So now there is no way back for me (or at least that's what I tell myself not to chicken out in the end ;) )

An interesting thing is that I've been at 3 different orthos total so far (including the one 3 years ago) and all of them found and focused on pretty different problems of my teeth. I guess asking 3 people for their input will get you 4 different answers :)

Offline foobar

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #3 on: 06. February 2021, 00:03:53 AM »
Yesterday was my record-taking appointment. It didn't involve the orthodontist at all. Instead, the assistant prepared and handled everything. First, both a panoramic and a side-view radiograph were taken. Afterwards she photographed my side profile in addition my teeth from the front. The last thing to do where the impressions of both jaws. Luckily I didn't have any problems with that. The impression material went back into my mouth quite a lot, so far that I couldn't have my tongue not touch it. However, I didn't really need to gag. It wasn't necessarily comfortable, but it also didn't bother me significantly compared to what I've read pretty much everywhere else. While my impressions were taken, another patient next to me was lucky (or unfortunate?) enough to get a lower lip bumper installed. After my impressions, I was already finished, in fact quite a lot quicker than I expected. I have another appointment in 3 weeks to get presented and discuss the treatment plan. If (or rather once) I accept, another set of impressions will be taken to create the braces from (the ones taken yesterday are for record-keeping and treatment evaluation only). I guess 3 weeks isn't anything unusual, but that time will probably feel like ages for me. I wonder how much time they'll need to create the appliances afterwards. How long did it take for you accepting the treatment plan to getting removable braces? So what time frame can I probably expect?

Offline bdave

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #4 on: 06. February 2021, 18:51:07 PM »
That's pretty cool, good luck with your braces!
Where are you from?
Write in English, please! :)

Offline foobar

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #5 on: 06. February 2021, 21:46:48 PM »
Thanks. I'm from Germany. Guess I can call myself lucky in my quest for removable braces being from a country where at least children are still somewhat regularly treated with them.

Offline prahm

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #6 on: 10. February 2021, 23:10:55 PM »
That sounds pretty cool

Offline PlainJane

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #7 on: 12. February 2021, 11:53:29 AM »
When I got my removables as a kid they made them in house so it was all really fast - probably all farmed out to labs now though.

Offline foobar

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #8 on: 23. February 2021, 16:20:26 PM »
When I got my removables as a kid they made them in house so it was all really fast - probably all farmed out to labs now though.

I'm interested in how long it'll take after I accept the treatment plan in two days until I get my braces. If it's made in-house I'd expect it to happen quite fast similar to your experience. But unfortunately I'm expecting it to be several more dreading weeks :S

I just realized that I haven't picked a color for my braces yet, even though I'll need to decide within the next days. Of course it'll depend on what's available. I'm thinking transparent dark blue, but that may be a bit boring?

Offline foobar

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #9 on: 27. February 2021, 17:43:42 PM »
Two days ago I had another appointment where the ortho presented me with an overview of my treatment. She acknowledged all of the small things I'd like to get corrected, but also mentioned some other things that she found. There are the known slight crowding, rotation and tilting, mainly in the front. But she also explained that my front teeth are close to an edge-to-edge bite, only having a slight overbite and overjet, less than the normal expected ones. Regarding my edge-to-edge wisdom teeth, the impressions unfortunately had an air bubble where my wisdom teeth are. They took new impressions, making sure that my wisdom teeth were included this time, to see if she might be able to partially correct them.

As treatment she plans removable plates with posterior bite planes for bruxism. Maybe, depending on the new impressions, she can use buttons on the wisdom teeth to correct them. Primarily, she wants to pull back my lower and upper front teeth to increase my too small overbite and overjet while also fixing the crowding, rotations and tilting. In the upper jaw I have enough space for all of those corrections, but the lower jaw will require IPR. For retention I'll get fixed retainers as well as hawley-style retainers, each for both jaws. All in all, the treatment will take roughly 1 - 1½ years.

I should get the detailed treatment plan today, which I'll sign and hand to them on Tuesday. At that appointment yet another set of impressions will be taken for the lab to construct the appliances from. The lab is part of their practice, so the braces will be done by Thursday already, where I'll finally get them!!!

Offline Retainer101

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #10 on: 27. February 2021, 19:34:59 PM »
I never knew they made them onsite. 2 days to make them is crazy quick! Although waiting 3 weeks for my retainers was too long for the anxiety levels so quicker is probably better! Had too much time to get worried about it. By the time I got to the practice I was so nervous!

Offline foobar

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #11 on: 28. February 2021, 14:16:41 PM »
Them having the lab on-site makes me glad I chose their practice instead of others. The removable braces production step itself is just 2 days. However, with all the appointments beforehand, I'm nervous since pretty much the beginning and didn't have a good night's sleep since close to 4 weeks now. So I already had plenty of time to get and be nervous and still have several days left.

Offline carking

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #12 on: 01. March 2021, 17:07:02 PM »
@foobar That's exciting! Looking forward to seeing pictures of your appliance and progress

Offline foobar

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #13 on: 01. March 2021, 23:59:38 PM »
The detailed treatment plan mainly contains what was already discussed beforehand. The diagnosis sounds like my whole mouth is a construction site ;) Treatment plan is as expected, except that it doesn't mention anything regarding my wisdom teeth. Guess that'll be a question for tomorrow.

When I get my appliances on Thursday I'll absolutely post pictures of them!

Offline foobar

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #14 on: 02. March 2021, 21:25:08 PM »
Today I had my final non-braces appointment, where yet again, another set of impressions were taken. I asked her about fixing my wisdom teeth, which was left out in the detailed treatment plan. She said, that it might be fixable with buttons but is not related to the removable plates. She'll take another look at that when I receive my appliances in two days. I was also able to convince her to make the upper plate fill my whole palate instead of being horseshoe-like. So if everything goes according to plan, I may get beyond the treatment of my dreams (removable plates filling a lot of space), possibly having buttons and elastics as well (what else would you need buttons for)! :D

Offline bdave

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #15 on: 03. March 2021, 18:52:24 PM »
That's crazy man, you're so lucky! How much will the treatment cost (approx.)?
Write in English, please! :)

Offline foobar

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #16 on: 03. March 2021, 19:17:42 PM »
The estimate is around 4000€. I guess that'll increase with all my special requests which hadn't been part of the treatment plan (like the buttons).

I'm really starting to dread the appointment tomorrow. On one hand side, it could be even better than what I am dreaming of for over a decade, on the other hand side I could be overhyped and get disappointed because the appliances are different from what I expected, or I could even realize that reality isn't as amazing as fiction. But hey, at least I'll know which one of the three it'll be in less than 24 hours :)

Offline foobar

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #17 on: 05. March 2021, 00:08:25 AM »
I got half of my braces today. Unfortunately, the model for the upper plate seems to have warped slightly. The appliance fit the model perfectly, but doesn't fit my jaw, which the ortho wasn't able to fix. Another set of impressions for the upper jaw was taken and the appliance will be remade. Thus I only got the lower appliance for now and will get the one for the upper jaw in one week.

Here are some pictures:
http://dereferer.org/?https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/530075173014077451/817415470420197386/1.jpg
http://dereferer.org/?https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/530075173014077451/817415467693637712/2.jpg
http://dereferer.org/?https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/530075173014077451/817415476749402132/3.jpg

The lower brace feels absolutely massive. Talking is pretty hard already and the tongue feels very restricted. And I only have 50% of the appliances so far :) Even if I learned to speak with the lower appliance alone, I'll need to relearn how to speak anyway once I get the plate for the upper jaw.
I didn't get a close look at the non-fitting upper appliance, but from what I could make out, it looked like it had a Y-screw and several springs, some of which were going back to the wisdom teeth. So maybe no buttons and elastics for me…

For now I'm just supposed to get used to them as nothing has been activated yet. Still, everything feels like a weird surreal dream, but I hope the dream will never end ;)

Offline retained

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #18 on: 05. March 2021, 00:16:37 AM »
Great so far.
It does look quite bulky.
Its strange that the top surface is not very polished. Looks like it was shaped with grinder but not polished. Is there mor to do on it.?

I always think that my bottom retainer has more effect on my speech than the top one.

Offline foobar

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #19 on: 05. March 2021, 09:54:32 AM »
The top surface was polished originally, but I couldn't bite on it properly. Only a single tooth connected. Thus the ortho ground away material until it fit better.
I always think that my bottom retainer has more effect on my speech than the top one.
The top one looked quite bulky as well and was pretty thick in the front. It'll be interesting to see which one will affect my speech more. It won't be a fair comparison though, as I'll already have worn and practiced with the lower one for a week.

Offline Embracer

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #20 on: 05. March 2021, 11:28:08 AM »
I am surprised your ortho did not make your brace with clear or clear pink acrylic rather than blue. Or did you ask for it to be blue? Blue will be quite visible, which for me would be fine if it was just for night time retainer wear or just to wear for fun. However,  for proper orthodontic use you will have to wear your braces 24/7 and blue will be pretty obvious in everyday use. Perhaps you are more outgoing and self-confident than me. Is your top brace also blue or is it a different colour?

I agree the brace does look quite bulky and can understand that it might affect your speech. However, I am sure your speech will adapt quickly and it is perhaps a blessing in disguise that you will have to wait a week to get your top brace so as to have some time to adapt your speech to the bottom brace before having to adapt to the top brace as well.

Good luck with your treatment. Perhaps you will be able to post some pictures wearing your braces?

Offline foobar

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #21 on: 05. March 2021, 16:46:08 PM »
I don't need to wear them 24/7. I should have them in for a minimum of 12 hours a day, but should strive for 14-16 hours if possible. I'm definitely not self-confident enough to leave my house with my braces (yet?). As the top plate has a labial bow, which will be visible instantly, a discrete color doesn't really matter. So even though they did have a transparent option, I just went with blue for both jaws. And I definitely like how the color turned out!

Regarding speech I'm currently just taking them out whenever I have meetings, which doesn't really help with learning to talk in them. Home office and digital meetings are definitely a blessing and curse in that regard :) I'm not sure how long it'll take for me to get used to them enough that I'll just leave them in (at least when talking to friends).

Offline carking

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #22 on: 05. March 2021, 17:04:40 PM »
Your bottom appliance looks nice!

Offline Embracer

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #23 on: 05. March 2021, 17:25:41 PM »
Hi Foobar,

 I initially wanted a removable brace ( like I had in my youth) when I started out with my adult  orthodontic treatment, but it did not seem to be an option these days with any ortho. I eventually went with a fixed brace with clear Damon brackets and came to realise that it was probably a good option for me to have a fixed brace because I would have been constantly taking a removable one out and would not have had the willpower to wear it enough. Having a fixed brace meant I had to acknowledge it both with friends and in my work, and after I had broken the ice with it, it became less of a deal.

It will probably be best to try to wear your braces 24/7, in terms of both speed of speech improvement and efficiency of treatment. It would be ideal if you could have a couple of weeks holiday spent doing a lot of talking with someone you trust. Then you could present yourself to the world with your braces and make yourself understood and after first meeting with people, it will become no big deal for them.

FYI I wear a hawley retainer at night which I really like . I would be happy to have a blue one like your braces.

Offline bdave

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #24 on: 05. March 2021, 18:40:38 PM »
Your appliance looks cool! Why are there so many springs in the front?
Also, could you please post a pic while wearing it? Thank you
Write in English, please! :)

Offline foobar

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #25 on: 07. March 2021, 01:53:16 AM »
Why are there so many springs in the front?
Those springs will probably be used to align my front teeth, which are slightly crowded and rotated. I'm wondering why they won't need a labial bow for that, but I guess they know what they are doing.

I initially wanted a removable brace [...], but it did not seem to be an option these days with any ortho.
I also needed to look around for quite a while. It helps tremendously to live in a large metropolis where I had lots of orthos to choose from. But even here, from among hundreds of orthos, I didn't find many that had removable braces on their website, and even less that actually use them for treament.

It will probably be best to try to wear your braces 24/7, in terms of both speed of speech improvement and efficiency of treatment.
It's always easy to say that, especially after you've already done something similar ;) At this point I'd also recommend everyone that's thinking about getting braces to just go for it. However, it took me over a decade and 3 attempts to actually go through with it, having chickened out of 2 earlier attempts.

I've thought about this, and you're probably right. For now I think it makes sense to wear them around my friends (mostly in voice chat anyway). They likely couldn't care less about it, and it increases my wear time and makes it easier for me (no need to take them out and put them back in repeatedly). During work meetings I'll still take them out though.

Regarding speaking, with just the lower plate I can create most sounds perfectly fine (when I talk a bit slower than normal). The only problems are (post-)alveolar fricatives (e.g. "sh", "s", "z"). After a day of trying to relearn how to talk, I think I've somewhat managed "sh". But my "s" sounds very unnatural. The way I create that sound also won't work once I get the top plate. It's crazy to realize how many words actually have an "s"-like sound somewhere in them, it feels close to every second one. It'll be interesting to see which sounds the top plate will restrict, as I'm surprised how little different sounds the bottom one actually hinders (even though just the "s" is already a pita).

Also, could you please post a pic while wearing it?
No, sorry.

Offline Retainer101

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #26 on: 07. March 2021, 20:56:32 PM »
That is some appliance! When I finished my treatment I thought I had the perfect smile but 6 months into retainers I’ve looked closer and while they are straight they aren’t as aligned as I would like. Having a Hawley retainer I guess I have looked closer at my teeth and I just noticed my top Centre and bottom Centre are not meeting in the middle and the left side is more flush than the right side. I’m not sure I share your confidence to try sorting it out, even with working from home. I deff couldn’t do fixed braces again, maybe Invisalign might work but I’d be scared they gave me a functional appliance and I can’t say I’d have your confidence. Fair play to you for having the balls to go for the treatment.

Offline foobar

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #27 on: 10. March 2021, 18:51:17 PM »
(I know that my images of the lower brace have been removed. I don't know why they were flagged as virus as virustotal finds nothing wrong with them. I've written to Marty and am waiting for a response on how I can restore the links / reupload the images.)

Quick update after close to a week of wearing the bottom brace, and one day before getting the upper one. I've told most of my friends that I have braces by now, and they really don't care in the slightest. It's just an "ok" and that's it. No more mention about it. Talking hasn't improved much. I can talk faster again, but "s" sounds are still impacted. Probably even more so tomorrow when I get the top plate. Some friends say that they hear quite a difference when I'm talking, others didn't notice anything (at least in voicechat). With having my braces in around friends I've been able to consistently wear them 16-20 hours each day, which is way more than I expected to be able to do. Maybe it's just the honeymoon period :)

I've already noticed that my teeth don't meet perfectly anymore, even though nothing has been activated yet. I guess that's due to biting into the bite-plane all the time when wearing the brace. That'll be something I'll (need to) get used to during the next year. I also have slight headaches every now and again, probably because my jaws are further apart than I'm used to.

I'm really intrigued by the appointment tomorrow, not only because I'll finally get to embrace (pun intended) the upper plate, but also because I'm interested in when / how the braces will be activated and whether buttons will still be part of my treatment or not (which didn't get mentioned last week).

I just noticed my top Centre and bottom Centre are not meeting in the middle

That sounds like your midline is shifted. All 3 orthos I've been to said that correcting the midline can only be done with fixed brackets unforunately. My slightly off-center midline is my only concern that won't be corrected during this treatment as I went with removable braces.

Offline foobar

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #28 on: 11. March 2021, 23:54:54 PM »
(The images for the lower appliance are available again.)

With one week delay, I got my top appliance today!

Images:
http://dereferer.org/?http://dereferer.org/?https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/530075173014077451/819671435995512883/1.jpg
http://dereferer.org/?http://dereferer.org/?https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/530075173014077451/819671461886296094/2.jpg
http://dereferer.org/?http://dereferer.org/?https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/530075173014077451/819671454198923284/3.jpg
http://dereferer.org/?http://dereferer.org/?https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/530075173014077451/819671456492552222/4.jpg

Isn't it a beauty with all of those springs? :)

The brace doesn't cover as much of the palate as I expected. They said that my brace already goes back further than they usually make them. They had bad experiences with plates that fill large parts of the palate in the past, so they went with this design for me.
There is quite some wax residue on the finger springs in the front, which you can also see in some places in the images. I've tried to remove it with a toothbrush without much success. I guess it'll flake off over time and usage.

Talking just became really hard! It's nothing compared to just the lower brace. This upper plate makes talking extra complicated, because it doesn't sit flush against the palate. Instead, there is a small gap of a millimeter or so between the brace and my palate where air can flow through and saliva build up. The former means that any fricative is pretty much impossible now, while the latter results in me spitting all over the place while talking… Let's see how this improves over the next few weeks.

The ortho started activating some springs on the lower appliance. I can really feel the pressure immediately.

All in all I must say that the appliances are very very close to my (real, non-fictional) dream treatment! I'm super happy that I finally took the plunge!

Offline besinger

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #29 on: 12. March 2021, 00:25:36 AM »
that all sounds very interesting, thank you for sharing your experiences! Would be great to see how the applainces look in your mouth! Can you share some shots? Cheers from Berlin, Jan

Offline retained

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #30 on: 12. March 2021, 01:38:07 AM »
Sounds like a challenge and really great.
I wonder if the top one will fit up to your palate more as it starts to move things around.?

It was always my ultimate dream to have retainers and I could believe the feeling when I finally got them. After a time I took the plunge and had another top one made to cover almost my entire palate.
I have to say that I do prefer that feeling.

Offline Embracer

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #31 on: 12. March 2021, 11:51:03 AM »
Gosh that is a really complex appliance. I think I can count 14 metal components in addition to the expansion screw and complicated labial bow -  which I assume is designed that way to give flexibility for opposing forces to the springs behind your front teeth.

Do the springs at the back of your upper appliance actually touch your wisdom teeth or are they designed for attaching elastics?

Are your expansion screws being activated yet? What does your ortho say about the viability of expansion in adults?

What is the purpose of the bite plane on your lower appliance? It does seem odd that the lower appliance does not have a labial bow. Perhaps your ortho is just opening up space with this one and will follow it with a second lower appliance to actually straighten your lower teeth. Rotation must be a challenge with a removable appliance.

Are you managing much wear time with both appliances?

Sorry to ask so many questions but your treatment is really interesting. Kudos to you for pressing for your choice of removable braces when it would have been easier to go with fixed braces.

Good luck!


Offline carking

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #32 on: 12. March 2021, 17:10:36 PM »
Very nice!

Offline Retainer101

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #33 on: 12. March 2021, 17:58:01 PM »
How are you getting on with them? How long do you have to wear them for? I was so nervous going to get my retainers I can’t imagine how you felt getting those

Offline foobar

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #34 on: 13. March 2021, 01:18:11 AM »
Can you share some shots?
No, sorry.

I wonder if the top one will fit up to your palate more as it starts to move things around.?
I don't think so. I always create a slight vacuum in my mouth, which resulted in my bruxism night guard leaving indentations in my gums, which I used as reason asking them to have the plate cover my full palate. Instead, they designed the plate to not touch the gums to prevent me sucking that negative pressure. Guess that's partially my own fault in the end, trying to use somewhat bogus reasons trying to make the appliances more extreme.

I took the plunge and had another top one made to cover almost my entire palate. I have to say that I do prefer that feeling.
Now you're just trying to make me envious! ;) I guess I still have a chance for them to create a new top plate, if I have some sensible reasons on why I don't like the current top plate. The ortho said that I should try getting used to the current plate for now and see if it works for me, and if not we'll see what we can do. Any ideas / suggestions for arguments? Another idea would be to ask for the full-palate plate for my retainers, so I get to enjoy both types in the end.

labial bow -  which I assume is designed that way to give flexibility for opposing forces to the springs behind your front teeth.
The two straight springs between the finger springs of my outer incisors and canines are to move the canines back. I think the labial bow is formed that way to control the movement of the canines better as the two loops are (or will be when adjusted) touching my canines. For counteracting the opposing forces of the finger springs a normal labial bow would probably be just fine.

Do the springs at the back of your upper appliance actually touch your wisdom teeth or are they designed for attaching elastics?
I think they are intended to touch the molars and move them inwards once activated. Currently one sits in the middle of the wisdom tooth while the other is sitting close to the gum line (which will most likely be fixed when they are activated). For elastics the wires are probably too long and at a weird angle where elastics would create too much torque.

Are your expansion screws being activated yet? What does your ortho say about the viability of expansion in adults?
The expansion screws aren't activated yet. I don't know if the plan is to activate them at some point at all. The ortho hasn't mentioned anything about expansion or the screws so far. They could be there for a reason (which I'd definitely enjoy :) ), but they could also just be there because they are incorporated into every appliance they build? I don't know. But their mere existence would suggest that they'll be activated in due time, which I really hope for. In the top jaw I have enough space for all my teeth and the planned movements. Only in my lower jaw my incisors are a little crowded. Maybe they'll try to tip my teeth slightly to make room, but then again the ortho plans IPR for the lower incisors.

What is the purpose of the bite plane on your lower appliance?
I grind and grit my teeth a lot, resulting in strong abrasions. The bite plane is used similarly to a bruxism guard.

It does seem odd that the lower appliance does not have a labial bow. Perhaps your ortho is just opening up space with this one and will follow it with a second lower appliance to actually straighten your lower teeth. Rotation must be a challenge with a removable appliance.
I don't think that a second appliance is planned. At least from the treatment plan there is one appliance per jaw during treatment, and one set each of bonded and removable retainers. Rotations and other movements are done with all of the finger springs, of which there are plenty! How the fine-tuned alignment will be done I'm wondering myself. I'd have expected a labial bow as well.

Are you managing much wear time with both appliances?
I've only gotten the top plate yesterday, so I can't really comment on that yet. Considering that all of my friends know about my braces by now, and can understand me (I sound different, but perfectly intelligible), I only take them out during business meetings and when eating. So far, with just the lower plate, I've managed to have them in 16-20 hours each day, which I expect (read: hope) to make with both appliances as well.

Sorry to ask so many questions but your treatment is really interesting.
Ask away! I'm having a blast answering all the questions! Can't really get a conversation about braces started with my friends, as they just don't care, so this forum is the next best thing :) (Also, it helps getting me to 30 posts :D )

Kudos to you for pressing for your choice of removable braces when it would have been easier to go with fixed braces.
Fixed braces were never an option for me personally. I wouldn't have my teeth fixed if I hadn't found an ortho willing to treat me with removable plates. Even though it may not seem like it given the crazy appliances, I only have very slight imperfections, nothing that would require treatment if I didn't want it.

How are you getting on with them?
So far pretty good. They feel as nice as I hoped for. Some teeth started to move, which hurt like hell, just as expected. The only two problems are the expansion screw with its gap between the two halfs of the top plate, which irritate my tongue quite a lot, and the two springs between the top right molars, which are angled in a way that they pinch my tongue whenever I move it over them. So all in all my tongue isn't too happy right now, but I somehow anticipated these kinds of problems. Hopefully my tongue gets used to that so I won't wake up with my tongue hurting in the future.

How long do you have to wear them for?
I need to wear them a minimum of 12 hours a day, but should try to keep them in for 14-16 hours. The longer I wear them, the sooner I'll be done (though I'm not sure if that's a good thing ;) ). So far I make 16-20 hours each day, let's see if it stays that way.

I was so nervous going to get my retainers I can’t imagine how you felt getting those
Before getting the bottom plate (and expecting to get the top one), I was extremely nervous. I can't remember ever having been that nervous before in my whole life, not even before defending my thesis. My blood pressure and pulse were completely through the roof, even higher than when I'm doing sports. Adrenaline was pumping like hell. As it turns out, theorizing about an event for over a decade and playing it through in my head a million times didn't help me in the slightest for this one.
When getting the top appliance a week later, for some reason I was much more relaxed. Still pretty nervous, but not nearly as much as before the previous appointment.

Offline retained

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #35 on: 13. March 2021, 18:09:50 PM »
Am enjoying reading all the answers.
I understand exactly what you mean about the nervousness / blood pressure!
When I eventually went ahead and made my appointment to go and get my (completely unnecessary) retainers and I went for the impressions, I think I was almost passing out with the anticipation. Then I had to go away and wait a week or more for the call to go back for fitting. That was the longest week of my life!
The feeling when the technician put them in was unbelievable. He asked me how they felt. I could hardly answer.

Offline Embracer

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #36 on: 14. March 2021, 15:18:50 PM »
Presumably if your ortho has not discussed expansion with you, they will not have given you a key to turn the expansion screws?

I had IPR as part of my orthodontic treatment. I think my ortho was looking to find about 3mm of extra space. It seemed to do the trick with the help of a short powerchain. It is not at all painful, but perhaps a little disconcerting the first time. My ortho did it all by hand rather than using any powered equipment and i was a lot happier with that approach.

Have you had any part of your upper brace activated yet? Or are you due another visit to your ortho.

How is your speech progressing? I  expect you will reach a stage where your speech improves to the extent that you will be able to have a go at wearing your braces for work meetings too. I think it would be desirable to aim for that. For treatment with other types of removable braces like invisalign and inman aligners, orthodontists seem to require 22 hours plus per day. I can't imagine it can be very good for your teeth to have persistent periods of tooth movement whilst wearing your braces followed by persistent relapse when you are not wearing them.

I guess it is different when treatment is completed and you gradually move  from 24/7 retainer wear to just overnight or even just a couple of nights per week.

I presume you are mostly working remotely because of covid? Has the remoteness from other people caused by covid made it easier for you to proceed with your treatment?

All the best

Offline foobar

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #37 on: 18. March 2021, 02:03:07 AM »
Update after nearly one week with both braces:

The bottom brace is perfectly fine. It fits well and doesn't produce any sore spots. When it was activated during the last appointment, the next few days the activated teeth hurt quite a lot, which I expected but was somehow still surprised by. However, it wasn't too bad, as I was still able to eat all of my normal food. Due to the top plate moving things around slightly even though it's not yet activated, and the new occlusion surface of the lower grinding planes resulting in pretty strong clenching, all of my teeth are a bit sensitive in general.
The top appliance on the other hand is a pita. It had a sharp edge in the tongue region, one wisdom teeth spring was digging into the gums, the labial bow exerted force on one tooth which shouldn't be the case yet, two springs are formed in a way that they pinch my tongue when I move it to that spot, and two small pieces of plastic already broke off. A few of the finger-springs also poke my tongue when I touch them. Due to all of those reasons I went to the ortho on Monday, who fixed most of them (apart from the pinching and poking springs where "just don't move your tongue there" is a valid solution I guess ;) ). The last few days were better, and at least my tongue isn't hurting all the time anymore.

The activated bottom teeth moved quite quickly to their new position. Already two days after the spring activation, they were in their new position and stay there since (I can't feel any further movement with my tongue since then, and the ache reduced significantly after 2 days). But already that small adjustment resulted in none of my chewing surfaces matching up like before anymore. That happened way earlier than I expected. I feel like I'm not able to chew properly anymore but instead just mush up food. It's a weird feeling.

Regarding the wax and how to remove it, an ultrasound cleaner apparently works wonders! All of the wax is gone.

I think I was almost passing out with the anticipation.
That describes it pretty much perfectly. Way better description than I tried to achieve in several sentences :)

He asked me how they felt. I could hardly answer.
My ortho also asked me if I felt any pressure. I was so overwhelmed with everything that I couldn't say anything. I just sat there in awe of everything that was happening. Even if I wanted to answer, I just didn't feel anything at all in that moment. It was incredible. Unfortunately, already in the second appointment a week later when I got the top plate, the anticipation and feeling of awe wasn't quite as strong anymore. I hope that it'll be back strong for my first adjustment in 5 weeks time. One week maybe wasn't enough time to calm down enough to get hyped up again before the next appointment.

Presumably if your ortho has not discussed expansion with you, they will not have given you a key to turn the expansion screws? [...] Have you had any part of your upper brace activated yet? Or are you due another visit to your ortho.
No key whatsoever. So far only a few finger springs on the lower appliance have been activated to start rotating my lower front teeth, and that was also only done because I needed the second appointment for my upper brace. My first proper adjustment will be at my next appointment in 5 weeks. At that time I'll hopefully be introduced to all the active parts of my appliances, including the expansion screws. When asking about how my teeth will be moved the ortho referred to that appointment. Until then I should just get used to the braces.

I had IPR as part of my orthodontic treatment. I think my ortho was looking to find about 3mm of extra space. [...] It is not at all painful, but perhaps a little disconcerting the first time. My ortho did it all by hand rather than using any powered equipment and i was a lot happier with that approach.
3mm sounds quite a lot! For me I suspect it'll only be around 1-1.5 mm of space that'll be needed (though my ortho hasn't mentioned any specific number). I still hope that it's not needed and instead can be achieved with a little bit of expansion / tipping. At least your positive experience takes away a bit of my fear for that part of the treatment.

How is your speech progressing? I expect you will reach a stage where your speech improves to the extent that you will be able to have a go at wearing your braces for work meetings too. [...] I presume you are mostly working remotely because of covid? Has the remoteness from other people caused by covid made it easier for you to proceed with your treatment?
Talking is improving little by little. I've managed most sounds somewhat well, and I'm starting to find ways to make my alveolar and postalveolar fricatives sound not as bad, but also still not good. Probably around the time I'll lose the braces again, I'll finally have mastered talking :D Currently I don't expect pronunciation to improve enough for me to wear the braces during work meetings. Maybe in one-on-one meetings with one of my coworkers with which I have probably around 50% of my meeting time at work. However, due to SARS-CoV-2 and home-office I usually have no more than 2-3 hours of meetings per day anyway. Staying home most of the time definitely helps with wear-time a lot!
I'm not sure if covid was a major deciding factor for me to get braces now. Al least I haven't consciously used it for any decision, but it probably had a subliminal effect.

For treatment with other types of removable braces like invisalign and inman aligners, orthodontists seem to require 22 hours plus per day. I can't imagine it can be very good for your teeth to have persistent periods of tooth movement whilst wearing your braces followed by persistent relapse when you are not wearing them.
My ortho recommends 12-16 hours each day for adults. Even for children she recommends only 14-16 hours with removable braces. I guess she's able to achieve all the movement in that time-frame. Treatment will maybe take longer than when wearing them full-time. Currently I'm easily able to get 16-20 hours per day, which should be more than enough. I'll see how it turns out in the appointment after the next appointment, when we'll see the first results of spring activations. I can start adapting from there if movements are too slow or unstable.
Once home office is over, I don't know if I'll wear the braces during working hours, so that may reduce my wear time down to 12-14 hours. I'm allowed 2-3 days of home office per week (even before SARS-CoV-2 hit), so I can make up time during those days. But I'll tackle that once we get there (which may still take some time as for my company there's no rush to get us back on-site).

Offline Embracer

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #38 on: 19. March 2021, 11:13:36 AM »
Sounds like you are doing well!

Offline AlexwithBraces

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #39 on: 26. March 2021, 09:37:38 AM »
How is the bottom expander? I would love to get one, but never really clear on effectiveness in young adults

Offline cancelledDSD

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #40 on: 06. April 2021, 19:03:16 PM »
Wow that sounds like such a great treatment so far! I’m quite envious! I’m looking forwards to more updates to see how it is going.

Offline foobar

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #41 on: 09. April 2021, 18:43:25 PM »
Quick update after 4 weeks of having both appliances with 11 days to go until my first adjustment.

Already two days after the spring activation, they were in their new position and stay there since
Yeah that was a wrong statement. That tooth is still wandering forward bit by bit. In fact, even though nothing else has been activated, several of my teeth are moving around. For example the spring for an upper lateral incisor is touching my central incisor, inducing some forward tipping. I guess that's what the getting-used-to-the-braces-phase is for, to let the removable appliance settle, allowing incremental changes afterwards. For fun I tried inserting my old bruxism night guard. Two weeks ago it still fit with a little pressure, now I can barely insert it. There's definitely more movement happening without any activations yet than I expected.

At this point I'm pretty used to the braces and have them in most of the time (~20+ hours on most days). There are still some rough edges, and my subconscious suction while sleeping makes parts of my cheek and tongue get pinched between the plates and teeth, resulting in several sore spots (and a bruise in my cheek). Nothing that requires an urgent appointment, but I'll ask my ortho about that at the next appointment how that can be improved.
There are times when I completely forget that I have the plates in and it just feels natural, and then there are the times where I'm hyper-aware of the braces, feeling them fill large parts of my mouth, prodding and poking my tongue, cheeks and lips. I still wish I'd have gotten an upper plate filling the whole palate. But what I have is very very close to my dreams, so I can't complain.
My grinding and clenching has already left quite some marks in the bite plane. My TMJ isn't used to the more open position due the bite plane yet and aches and cracks every now and again.

Talking is improving week by week. It still sounds different than without the braces in, and I don't expect that to change, but at least I can make distinct "s", "z" and "sh" sounds now :) I'll most likely always sound different while wearing the braces. Previously, with my ~1mm thick night guard, I was able to talk without a noticeable difference after some time, but that one is way less intrusive and I've had it for 6 years instead of the expected 1-1.5 years I'll have these braces.
On some days when I wear the braces all the time except for eating, I start to have trouble speaking without them when taking them out before meals. I takes some minutes for my mouth to adapt back to not having the braces in anymore. Unfortunately the reverse is also true and after putting the appliance back in it sometimes takes 30min until I get used to having them back in. It's intriguing to see how quickly the body can adapt to these things.

I've also received the first invoice from the ortho. For the appliances I've found some weird discrepancies. The numbers that are correct in the invoice are 16 active springs (6 each for upper and lower frontal 6 teeth, 2 in the upper appliance for moving back my canines, and 2 in the upper appliance for my wisdom teeth = 16) and 2 two-arm clasps (the two adam's clasps in the upper plate). However, additionally it lists a labial bow and a modified labial bow. The latter probably means the one on upper brace, but my lower brace doesn't have a labial bow, so I don't know why there are two in the invoice. There are also 10 triangular clasps in the invoice, but I count only 8 (6 bottom, 2 top). I'm not sure if I'm missing something or if the invoice might be wrong.
Either way, my private health insurance covers all of the cost (and already payed for the invoice), but I'll still ask my ortho about it out of personal interest.

All in all I'm not regretting my decision to get these braces in the slightest so for and am very satisfied with them. It's just such a joy to have and wear them, such a fulfilling feeling after all these years dreaming about such a treatment!

How is the bottom expander? I would love to get one, but never really clear on effectiveness in young adults

I can't comment on expansion yet, as my ortho hasn't talked about that topic with me so far. I expect my appointment in two weeks for my first adjustments to touch upon that topic. My guess is that it'll mainly be used for tipping the teeth a bit, but I don't know. I hope I can tell you more in two weeks.

Offline retained

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Re: My Journey to Removable Braces
« Reply #42 on: 10. April 2021, 00:08:06 AM »
Thanks for the detailed update. All sounds good and its interesting that there have been quite a few noticeable changes even before activation.
Interesting to hear that speech is slightly difficult for a time when you take them out.
I certainly found that after wearing my simple retainer / bite plate absolutely full time for a few years (purely by choice). A couple of times I had to quickly disappear from a situation and put it back in because it was embarrassingly difficult to speak without it. I did like that though !

Will be good to get the next instalment..