I finally got my first rough timeline of what I can expect over the next year. Yes year. I originally was told that I’d be having surgery within a year of get my braces on, which was in May. And we may still be a year off. Here’s what’s what:
My teeth are very close to being straight in terms of crookedness. And the before/after changes are pretty impressive:
The problem now lies with the fact that my teeth still flair outward, especially on the top. See in this recent Xray:
This is due largely to still being overcrowded. So the doctor presented me with the most likely scenario:
– I will need to get 8 teeth removed, my 4 wisdoms and 4 bicuspids. This will allow enough room for the braces to pull the teeth around (filling in the gaps) AND tilting the teeth downward so they are perpendicular. I can schedule this whenever I want, but for a couple of reasons I think it would be early to mid March. Once extracted, there’s a problem with extra gaps in my teeth, so the braces would have to stay on longer than expected to fill in the gaps and make sure everything is ready for surgery.
– This would put me on track to be surgery-ready around October. BUT, since my recovery is 3 weeks (and I’d imagine I’d need at least one person by my side for the first 1 week definitely and likely the 2nd week as well), Ash would prefer to not miss work and money. So the ortho would be fine for me to wait to have the surgery until winter break (Christmas week or so). That would put my recovery during the entire break, but it would mean less time off work. Plus, that’s usually a dead time for my job, so probably a good time to go.
An incidental benefit of this is that the extra time with braces on my teeth while waiting for winter break would allow for more “fine tuning”, meaning after the surgery is done and I’m recovered, I’d have to have braces on for less time then.
There’s also a less likely, but still plausible scenario. In looking at my X-rays and pictures, the ortho was certain that 8 teeth would have to go. But in looking at my teeth in person, he thinks they look better than expected. He will present all info and new molds to the surgeon. It is POSSIBLE the surgeon may determine that with extracting only the 4 wisdoms and performing a palette expansion, he may not have to get rid of the bicuspids at all. This would mean less time needed for the braces to align the teeth (since they’d no longer have to fill in gaps) and I’d still be in the running for a July (summer break) surgery.
This would be preferable to me mainly because winter is sick season, and since I will be having my jaws wired shut for a little while, the less chance of getting a cold or a stomach bug or anything else that would really require me to be able to open my mouth (sneezing, vomit, etc…) the better. This is obviously preferable, especially given our family’s track record with illness. (Landen is home sick as we speak.)
In short, I won’t know which path is being chosen until I walk into the surgeon’s room to get teeth extracted. I’m going to schedule that in the next few days. I’m anticipating the worst, and that’s also the likeliest, but who knows, maybe I’ll get lucky.
Either way, I’m nowhere near done.