Hey everyone! It’s been about 8 weeks since my last post and 17 weeks since I had my braces put on. I had my 2nd adjustment today and it was quite eventful actually! I got my front two mini screws inserted. But first, I’ll catch you up on the last 8 weeks. The pain hasn’t been very bad. The worst of it was during the first week after my last adjustment. I had power chains pulling my teeth apart in a way that would make room between the roots of my teeth for the mini screws to be put in. Here was my progress as of last week:
My front teeth have come together nicely and my bottom teeth are looking pretty straight! As seen by the side view, I had a nice big side gap (the location of one of my mini screws) and my bite is pretty screwed up at this point:
For today’s appointment I just expected to go in and get my wires and ties switched out and maybe start elastics for my overbite but boy was I surprised. My teeth were in position to place my first two mini screws so I said by all means let’s get the ball rolling!!!
The first thing done was my old wires were removed and I went to go brush my teeth without the wires in. Next was the prep work for the screws which is the part of the process that took the longest. They had to make sure that they could insert the screws high enough into the bone without hitting a root. To do it right, they first used a “marker” to test the location. I can’t find a picture of what they used but from what I felt and what they described I think it may have been a very small metal pin that they could see on a CT Scan. They had to numb me with a topical anesthetic and just pushed the tiny pin into my gums in the approximate location they wanted the screw. Then we walked to the CT Scan machine that took a 360° scan of my head and they were able to see if the location they pin-pointed would be well suited for a screw. They decided they would place the screw up a little higher than they initially pinned but otherwise determined they could safely avoid the roots of my teeth and put the screw in.
I went back to my chair and the orthodontist numbed me up for real… yes it was a big needle and no it didn’t hurt. 🙂 I feel like sadly I am used to getting shots in my mouth as I’ve had my fair share of dental work done in my lifetime but he did a good job and I hardly felt it. Once I was very numb it was time to put the screw in. He lined it up, a very small 6mm screw, and just… screwed it in. There really wasn’t much to it and I didn’t feel a thing. Only one side bled a little bit. He kept commenting on how remarkably well it was going in and how the process couldn’t have gone more perfect. He had both screws placed in probably less than 5 minutes. Piece of cake. He used a ruler to record the length of my face (from nose to braces wire, from eye socket to braces, etc.) in millimeters to record how far that distance shrinks during treatment!
After that it was time to get my new wires, ligatures (elastic ties), and power chains. I chose a pretty aqua color for my lower teeth and stuck with clear chains for my top teeth. They kept the power chains in the same locations for now to keep my teeth spaced apart while my mouth is getting used to the mini screws. She then attached clear power chains to my wire and then up to the mini screw to immediately start putting that upward force on my teeth! It has been 6 hours since this was all done and I feel really great. Nothing is very sore yet and I am so relieved about that. Hopefully it doesn’t get worse.
We still aren’t ready to start elastics for my overbite yet so nothing has changed there. Overall I’m very happy with how today went and I’m not nervous at all to get the screws in the back of my upper jaw placed. As far as after care goes I was given a prescription antiseptic mouthwash to use around my screws to keep them nice and clean and decrease my chances of complications. We’ll know within a couple weeks if the placement is going to be successful (because sometimes they can fall out) so keep your fingers crossed with me that they’ll stay put!
I’m very excited to see how this changes my face and smile. 🙂
Here are the pics! (I was still numb when I took all of these haha) They’re pretty much invisible when I smile normally, which is cool.