The day has arrived. I finally got my braces put on. I had a really good experience today. It was pretty simple and actually faster than I thought (about 1.5 hours total). I got to sit in one of the main chairs today instead of going into any of the various side offices.. moving up in the world!
So first thing she did was make sure the appliance they had made fit correctly. Last week after they fit bands around my molars they took an impression of my mouth so they could make a TPA which is attached to the bands. The TPA is a Trans-Palatal Arch that connects to my molars and goes across the top of my mouth:
This helps maintain space but they also need its help when it comes to treating my gummy smile. They’re calling mine an “intrusion TPA” because they are going to use it to intrude my teeth up into my jaw. Yep, you read that right.
Here’s the lowdown on my treatment plan: the orthodontist is intruding my entire top row of teeth, front and back, upwards into my jaw. How is he going to accomplish this? Well he needs an anchoring point, and that anchor is going to be 4 temporary anchoring devices also called “TADs” or “mini screws” that will screw into my upper jaw bone between the roots of my teeth. I will have 2 screws in the front gums and one screw on each side in the far back. Each screw will have a spring that is attached to either the TPA or my front braces, creating an upward force that will move my teeth and gums vertically, decreasing the distance of visible gums I have showing. Here are some pictures of what it is going to look like. (I have the TPA (middle picture) but I do not have the mini screws done yet.)
I HIGHLY recommend going to this webpage I took these pictures from. The girl in these photos has the most incredible results with this treatment and I only hope mine are as amazing! I know it looks barbaric but it’s far nicer than the surgery I would have needed.
I also suggest watching this animation on Youtube that shows a sped up view of the process.
So as of right now we are just straightening what needs straightened, closing up my gap between my front teeth, and tipping the roots of a couple of my teeth in a way which will allow for the insertion of the mini screws.
The rest of my appointment was pretty straight forward. After the TPA was fitted it was glued onto my back teeth and cured with a blue light. After that the top and bottom brackets were glued to my teeth and also cured with the light. There was a little bit of pressure as she placed the wire in the brackets. My top brackets have a “door” on them with a hinge. She places the wire inside then closes the door so I do not need the tiny rubber bands that hold the wire onto the bracket. My bottom brackets are traditional metal so I just got silver bands put on those. I have a clear power chain (a bunch of tiny bands connected together) across my front top teeth to help squeeze them together and close my gap.
After the braces were on I was given a bag full of new items to care for my braces with and a new T-shirt (wahoo!)
Now we wait! My next appointment is in 2 months. I am sure I will write again and update on how things are going and how the pain is. So far they don’t hurt at all but I was advised to keep ibuprofen in my system to help the pain from getting too bad so I took some of that earlier. The TPA doesn’t make me talk as weird as I thought it was going to, but it’s pretty annoying to eat with already. My food gets stuck in between the appliance and the roof of my mouth. Yuck! I have a feeling my tongue is going to get torn up from talking and rubbing against it. We’ll see how things go.
Thanks for reading! and here are my pictures from today: