Friday, October 17, 2008

lots and lots of things

Hi, everyone!

Well, quite a few significant things have happened since I last wrote. I met with a surgeon--Dr. James Vetter--last week for a consultation. After a few x-rays, Dr. Vetter sat me down and we talked for about an hour. At first he mentioned that just by looking at me and my x-rays, he thought that my top jaw needed surgery, not the bottom, because it looked deficient enough to not be supporting my cheeks and top lip very well. I must have made a funny face, because he said "Why, were you thinking the bottom?"... and I explained my entire life story to him. After taking a look at my jaws and teeth/bite a little closer, he said that if my bottom jaw is the one that is bothering me so much, he can set it back instead of bringing the top jaw forward. He said that he did not want to do both jaws, as that would be too much unnecessary surgery.

I feel a little confused; no one has really mentioned that my top jaw may only be the jaw that needs surgery. I've always been so conscious of and blamed all my worries on my bottom jaw, so it was odd to have Dr. Vetter mention only the top one. However, after examining my face, he decided that he will only perform surgery on the bottom.

Theeeen came the bad news.

Dr. Vetter said that I need my two bottom wisdom teeth removed, and that he doesn't perform the surgery until after the teeth have been out for six months.

Soooo, that would mean that if I get them out now, my surgery would be tentatively scheduled for MAY. Arrrgh! Unfortunately, the teeth are impacted, and the surgeon's office quoted me $400 for their removal. I'm seeing if Perfect Teeth will do it cheaper, but Dr. Vetter said he didn't know if Perfect Teeth would put me under, which he recommended.

Then came the quote. The surgery and doctor's fees come out to about $10,000, not including hospital fees. The lady at the office said that it will probably end up costing another $10,000 for the hospital stay and anesthesiologist and all that, which comes up to a grand total of about $20,000. She wants to begin doing the insurance paperwork three months before my surgery. She also mentioned that I should not get my hopes up for Cigna to pay a dime of my surgery costs. Oh, please, please be wrong.

I had a dentist appointment on Tuesday, and my dentist and another doctor there said that Dr. Vetter is an excellent surgeon and that he is a perfectionist. So.. that's good! I'm totally disgusting and this was the FIRST time I've gotten my teeth cleaned since getting braces a year ago (I know, I know!), and it really wasn't as bad as I'd thought. After reprimanding me, the dentist looked at my teeth, sat back, and said he'd never seen braces so clean! So HA! I'm sure it helped that I went a little crazy with my toothbrush in the shower before my appointment, ha ha ha.

I had an orthodontist appointment yesterday morning, and I noticed a letter in my file from Dr. Vetter to my ortho. In it, he mentioned that he wants to do a lower jaw setback, and he asked if it would be possible for Dr. Arango to "tip out" my top front teeth in order to offer more support for my upper lip. Dr. Arango reminded me that we still had to close up this gap in my bottom teeth before I could have surgery... I'm assuming that will be taken care of within six months. I have a purple chain on now, and my teeth are sore! Yippee!

I'll post pics later... I had some ready to go and then realized that there was a chunk of food in my teeth in all the pictures. Whoops! I'm also going to email Dr. Vetter and ask him to send me copies of my x-rays, so that I can post them up here!

Take care! And if anyone has any comments or suggestions, I'd be more than happy to hear them, and thanks ahead of time! :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

oh snap, that gap

i had my adjustment on tuesday, and there isn't anything too exciting to report.

I had my chain changed (bluuue!) and today the teeth around my gap are sore, yay! dr. arango didn't even mention the surgery... in fact, he was on the phone while he was checking my teeth.

next appointment is october something or other.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008


...I tried to post an entry a couple of days ago, but blogger decided it would have none of that, and so I angrily abandoned it for awhile.

I was pretty sick during the week of my last scheduled appointment, so I had to reschedule. My next adjustment is September 16. My front bottom teeth have moved only slightly, and there is no way the gap will be closed by my next ortho visit.

Other than that, nothing really new going on. I'm thinking about my surgery more (if that's possible), and I would love to have a date to be able to write on my calendar and circle with a big red pen.

happy labor day!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

die, gap

i would just like to express my frustrations:

the gap has not moved in a month.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008


this stubborn gap isn't closing at all! i don't see how it will be better in three weeks. RAH!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ortho visit... red chain!

Thanks to everyone for their input on my tooth/gum pain. It has subsided for now, and I'm silly and haven't made a dentist appointment yet. But I so will!

I had my latest adjustment this past Tuesday, and it is the first adjustment in which my teeth haven't been sore afterward. I had my old, silver powerchain replaced with a fancy red one; which, oddly enough, seems less noticeable than the silver one. Go figure.

I still have this annoying gap in my bottom teeth, but Dr. Arango says it's closing. "It just takes awhile," he told me. Argh! My next appointment is August 22, and that is when we're supposed to look at surgeons. I hope this pesky gap is closed by then. Already, though, I can't fit my tongue all the way in it, like I could a few days ago.

I saw some pictures a few days ago of myself from the side... my bottom lip sticks out so much! It looks like someone punched me. I'm really hoping to have my surgery in December, after this next semester is over. Hoping, hoping...

Take care!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I've been having a lot of pain in the gum area between two of my top teeth since I had the power chain put on. The area has been really sensitive to hot and cold, and tonight the pain started to shoot upwards into my face, and I can't really drink anything without feeling like someone just ran her fingernails down a chalkboard. To make it worse, I tried flossing between the two teeth and blood started pouring out of the irritated gum. There doesn't seem to be any food or anything stuck up there... I'm really worried. Unfortunately it's the weekend and I can't call a dentist until Monday.. Owwie, it hurts!! What could it be?!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


i had my latest ortho. appointment yesterday, and lookie what I got:

and, uh, yeah.. they hurt! i'm pretty excited about that awful gap closing up, though!

my next appointment is july 22.. a month shorter than usual! dr. arango said that we can start looking at surgeons the appointment after that. I so just had butterflies in my stomach when I typed that!

nathan and i went to florida last week for his step sister's graduation. i loved the humidity and the heat, and the beach was awesome! of course there were lots of pictures that were taken, and i tried very hard not to shy away from the camera, but.. let's just say i can't wait until i can have a big old toothy smile for every picture!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

gappy gap gap

thanks for everyone's input on clenching/grinding... glad to know I'm not the only one!

this gap is getting craaazaaay; people at work are calling me madonna :)

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Lately (since I've stopped wearing the elastics) I've been waking up at night to find myself grinding my teeth together. I don't know if my mouth just got used to the elastics holding my jaws together at night, or if my teeth fitting together differently now is causing me to grind. Has anyone else had a problem with this? I'm afraid I'm going to mess something up in there!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

metal mouth

metal mouth!

today i was irritated when I couldn't cut a really long spaghetti noodle with my front teeth. someday, someday...

quick update

i'm pretty sure Shontell has the right idea with the black and white picture thing: my teeth are all white in grayscale instead of sort-of yellow and weird looking! yay!

let's make a game of it. who can find the food in my braces? it's like where's waldo! ... sick!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

bye bye, crossbite.

I had my ortho appointment on Monday. Yay, yay, yay: no more elastics!! They did leave the buttons on, though, just in case my teeth start moving back to where they were. But I whined to the girl about them and she put pretty, tiny pink bands on them so they don't scratch my tongue. Weirdly enough, I kind of miss the bands holding my mouth closed; now I have to do it myself!! :)

I had a smaller wire put on top and a bigger one put on the bottom. The gap in my front bottom teeth is getting smaller and smaller...

I would post pics, but quite frankly, I just ate and there is food in my teeth. Ew!

Dr. Arango said we can probably start talking about surgery by my next appointment, and that my teeth are doing everything they're supposed to be doing. that's good enough, I guess.

OHHH and I was silly enough to allow my dentist appointment for a cleaning to be scheduled the day after my ortho adjustment, and I had to cancel it because my freakin' teeth were killing me. Duh! I should have realized that before. I pictured them digging in my gums and scraping my sore teeth, and I'm pretty sure there would have been some tears involved. No thanks.

Next appointment: June 13th.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


blah, called off work today, and i'm feeling terrible!

i decided to post some pics of my bite without elastics; in all my other posted pics they're still on. i feel like my teeth fit together differently every day, yet i'm not sure if the elastics are doing what they're supposed to do. let's hope they are; i'm so tired of them!

my next appointment is this monday, woo hoo! i plan on bringing up my surgery, since it's been six months that i've had the braces and dr. arango hasn't mentioned surgery at all. i hope he hasn't forgotten, ha ha hoo. i'd like to know where i stand. i've been obsessed with surgery websites these past few weeks; at this point i can't even imagine having a surgery date!

oh yeah... we got a tv too! :) it's lovely.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Gaps, Gaps, Gaps

So now I have two gaps, and my bite seems to be way off-kilter. Yikes! My teeth are getting a little discolored, too.. I swear I brush a lot! :) Happy late St. Patricks Day, everyone!

Friday, February 29, 2008

braces, what braces?

i have a gap between my front bottom teeth now, it's so cool! and i have one or two different teeth hurt every day.

not much to report besides that... my birthday is in two months from today, though!

happy leap day!

this is my "braces, what braces?" smile. :)

Sunday, February 10, 2008


I. Hate. Rubberbands.

Thank you.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

the third visit

today i had my third visit at the orthodontist's office. i wasn't sure what would be happening today, and i was hoping it would just be time for new wires.

alas, i was wrong.

dr. arango said that my crossbite looked pretty bad and that he wanted to put in some rubberbands. Boo! so they were installed, and i have four bands on the right side of my mouth and two on the left. plus new wires. ow!

dr. arango mentioned that there is also a surgery to correct the bite that would run around $10,000, but that he thought rubberbands do a fine job too and are obviously cheaper.

it's a little weird not being able to open my mouth very wide, but i'm already used to how they feel. the only thing is eating... i have to take them out to do that, which is hard to do at work (i'm usually just grabbing something here and there and popping it into my mouth).

also, the assistant asked if i wanted colored or clear rubberbands, and i chose clear. i think i'd feel super dorky with colored ones!! :)


my tongue looks like a slimy weird creature, but you can see the rubberbands!

look how open my bite is now!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

3 Months!

Here is my bite, three months in:

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Happy 2008!

Today I realized that my braces have been on for almost three months! Part of me feels like they've been on forever--I guess that means I've officially gotten used to them. I had a lovely holiday and this weekend I'm going skiing and staying the night in a swanky hotel(okay, that's not true, it's a Hampton Inn) with my boyfriend. The more days I take off, the less I want to work! School starts next Tuesday...already!

All of my back teeth are touching now, and my bite is more even and closed. I can't believe this is happening so fast! I'll dig out my camera later and post some pics to prove it.

One thing I almost forgot...the other day I was playing around with the wire on my back tooth with my tongue and it came out!! I felt all my teeth shift a little at being let loose, but I was able to stick the wire back into the bracket. Should I go to the orthodontist? Did I loosen everything up? It doesn't really feel different. At this point I'm planning on waiting until my next appointment, February 7, to go in.

britton recently asked when my surgery is... and I wish I had an answer to that! My ortho said that we'd worry about it more when the time was closer.. however, I do want to have a little more information than that, so I plan to ask him some more questions at my next appointment.

Thanks again to everyone for comments and support! I appreciate it! I'd write more, but braces have just become a part of my life now, and that part of my life is pretty boring. :) I still daydream about when it's all done, though...