Sunday, 2 June 2013

Back in America

Hi people :) I know it's been a long time, and I'm sorry I haven't updated this blog.

I am now back in the United States for the summer and recently went back to go see my dentist. At the moment he has my DNA Appliance and is getting it repaired. He also mentioned that he will be starting me on the lower appliance; I am meant to pick up them both in about two weeks. Until then, I am wearing a retainer that he gave me so that my jaw expansion doesn't regress.

Currently I am at 13 turns, and have been for the past three weeks. I wanted to keep expanding my appliance, but because I was to near my dentist appointment, I decided to wait until he could properly shape it. It got so uncomfortable that I chose to stop expanding it until I went in to see him. (He said thevreason it was uncomfortable was because the top of the DNA Appliance rubbed against the roof of my mouth.)

I am really excited and happy, though. Two days ago he showed me a comparison between my teeth now, and from eight months ago. The expansion is very noticeable and I am so encouraged by my progress (even though it is technically behind where I should be). I thanked my dentist and told him I was so happy he practically insisted that I use the DNA Appliance over Invisalign. You don't have to wear the appliance all day like Invisalign and it does more than Invisalign could ever achieve.

I totally recommend the DNA Appliance (and this is coming from someone who was skeptical of it).

Pictures to come soon!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Two months until I'm home!!

Well, two months until I'm home. I can't wait until I get checked by my dentist! I guess I'm going to be starting the lower mouth piece, along with the top once I'm there! This is going a lot slower than I originally thought it would and I'm seeing less progress than I thought - and it is ENTIRELY my fault. This is not the fault of the DNA Appliance, but rather my clumsiness with it and my extremely busy schedule that keeps me from wearing it the recommended hours.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Broke My Appliance :(

YUP. This happened. Lovely.

I'm honestly not even sure how this happened (but I do have a hunch of why it happened and may explain it in a later post). One day last week I was at a friend's house staying the night, as we were working together on our college work. I went into her bathroom to clean my appliance before bed, and I heard a small click on the floor. The little bit on the front had fallen to the floor.

I had a WTF?!?!?!! moment.

It was midnight in Ireland but 2 PM where my dentist is, and I called him straight away. He asked me to email him pictures, describe if there was any wiggling on the intact piece, and then he'd get back to me with what to do.

I had told him there was absolutely no wiggling on the intact, jaw-widening part of the appliance. There was what appeared to be a small chip on the end of the small piece, which is why I'm assuming it fell off.

After a few days he advised me to continue on as normal with the widening bit, until I see him at home in three months and he will then fix the appliance (or order me a new one?)... and also start me on the lower appliance as well to get my lower teeth moving, as well.

Well, I also had told him that to "play catch up" I had moved my appliance a full turn instead of the half turn a week. He advised against continuing this, because he said since he is not here to monitor my changes properly, he wants to go slow. Also, he said that if I go slow the end outcome would be better. He also said that if I go to fast without him, my bite will experience problems.

So this means I'm back at a half turn a week. I'm now at 9 turns, which at one full turn the jaw is meant to expand .25 mm. I guess that means my jaw has expanded 2.25 millimeters in the 5 months I've had the appliance.   That 2.25 millimeters can be seen in the picture above, as the space in between the two pieces that is now there wasn't when I began treatment. 

(In my last post I mentioned how I lost 6 weeks of wear since I received my appliance in September. So although I've had the appliance for 5 months, I've only gotten 3.5 months of wear out of it.) 

So at this rate, I should be near 5 millimeters of expansion by the time I see my dentist in May. I hope he is happy with what he sees. :)

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Update and Pictures (FINALLY)

Okay, so I started the DNA Appliance about 4 months ago, but I have missed the past 5 or 6 weeks of treatment so I really have only about 2.5 months wear out of it! UGH. Let me explain. 

I'm an Architecture student and just had the most stressful last two months of my life at the end of this last semester.  I was working 7 days a week, doing many late and all nighters to meet assignment deadlines. (I am not a lazy student, at all. Our lecturers just give us an obscene amount of work to do! Anyway, back to the DNA Appliance.) 

Worrying about my Appliance was the last thing on my mind for about 3 weeks when I swamped with work. I was drawing up my buildings, writing research papers, studying building codes, and rendering my drawings at 4 AM, trying to stay awake by drinking massive amounts of coffee and tea. Then I ended up flying to the States for the holidays, and FORGOT my Appliance. With that mistake, another 3 weeks was lost.  

Please forgive these pictures, I was just out of the shower and there is no makeup on. Embarrassing for me, but I wasn't about to put makeup on my face before bed just because of a little vanity. :)
As you can see, my two front teeth slant backwards, while the space for the tooth sticking out is much too small. That's why it protrudes so much.
I personally believe my wisdom teeth were pushing on my lower set of teeth, causing the mild crowding.  My wisdom teeth were only removed a year ago because of the painful pressure. There was no room for them to grow and so they were halfway lodged inside my gums for years.

As you can see, my teeth are not the worst when I smile, and I take very good care of my teeth. They are healthy and white. I  just want to fix up the small crowding problems that I was born with (my upper crooked tooth) and developed from my wisdom teeth pushing over time (my lower crowded tooth).

It all depends on the angle I'm smiling from, really, to see how noticeable my crooked teeth are. (Again, no makeup. Eesh.)
Just another angle of my crooked tooth.

I'm back in Ireland now, and put it back in about 4 nights ago. It wasn't tight, to my surprise, so I'm assuming while I didn't progress, I haven't regressed either. (!!) 

In order to "play catch up" I tightened the Appliance about THREE notches, in comparison to my usual half-turn-a-week. I don't know if that is right or wrong to do, but gosh I could feel it. It was TIGHT and I woke up feeling the pressure more than ever (not pain, just pressure). Now that tightness has loosened up after the fifth night, I'm assuming a lot of push is happening. :) 

I don't really have much more to say except, ugh, I'm behind in my treatment now but I will go to one turn a week now, rather than half a turn. I want to see more progress by the time I return home for the summer and talk to my dentist in May. While I can't see any change (sigh), I know there has been. The other night I counted the turns back to where I started (writing the turns down so I didn't forget where I was at), and tried to put it back in. It did NOT fit at all. That's how I know something is going on, because it fit like a glove in September. Now I can't even put it in my mouth when it's set to where it was at the very beginning!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Quick Facts

a) I do not snore heavily. My boyfriend has told me I snore quite a lot while drunk, but other than that I do not except every so often, pretty quietly.  I am not sure if the appliance has changed my light snoring to less often or ... maybe not snoring at all? I will have to ask my boyfriend about it soon. 

b) I do not suffer from Sleep Apnea, and I have always slept well and dream all the time so have not considered this appliance to change my sleeping or dreaming. 

c) I have had slight baggies under my eyes since I was a little girl, and have not yet noticed any change in the venous eye pooling. I really hope to see an improvement in this :( 

d) I have not yet noticed a change in my profile - but I am still only 5 weeks into the procedure. 

e) I have noticed a widening of my jaw and a slight widening of the spaces in between my teeth, so change is happening!!!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

DNA Appliance: 5 weeks in

So I am now in Ireland again, and will not see my dentist again until May 2013.  He said because of our distance I will have to take it slower than his usual patients, and only do half a turn per week rather than a full turn per week.  But he said going slow is not a bad thing! He said it will actually be good for my teeth to go slow, and will have better results. 

During the first week of wearing my appliance, I experienced a bit of a painful pressure on my (very) crooked canine. It sticks out very far and I woke up with it feeling pretty sore! I didn't worry about it too much because it wasn't that painful, mostly just a bit bothersome and the dull pain would go away after an hour of having the appliance out. I could feel the pressure, and even the first night, it felt like it had done something. 

I wore it about 12 hours a day the first two weeks and struggled to keep it in the optimum 16 hours a day.  My dentist, once questioned about this, again said it is 'okay' ... that it would be better with 16 hours, but he understands that I am a waitress during the summer and I find it nearly impossible to do my job while wearing it, as it make me talk pretty funny and with a lisp!

Once I arrived here in Ireland, I began wearing it as much as possible. I have just come to terms that with my schedule, it won't be possible to get the 16 hours a day in. I aim for 12 hours a day.  About 5 days a week I actually wear it 12 hours. Sometimes I fall short, as when my boyfriend kisses me he asks me to take it out - and once we are done kissing and tired and falling asleep, I have forgotten to put it back in after. :(

Also I go out drinking with friends about one night a week, and I do not wear it out to the nightclubs I go to. I end up staying in the night clubs until about 4am, and I'll wear it from 4am til about 12 noon. So, as you can see, things like making out and going out nightclubbing have cut down my hours a bit! I don't worry about this too much because other than those instances, I am very consistent and motivated in getting my hours in. :)

And despite my shortcomings, I have definitely seen a difference in my teeth. First off, there is an ever-so-slight space in between my two front teeth that was not there before. I wrote my dentist about the very small gap, and he said it shouldn't get any bigger. The gap appears to be about .5mm wide and it is proof that my jaw is widening and creating extra space for my teeth.

Now all I need to do is wait for my crooked canine to fill up that extra space as my jaw widens more in the next few months :)

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

DNA APPLIANCE: A bit more about me

OH! And by the way... I think I should mention something. My teeth are NOT badly crooked. (I will take a picture when I have time and put it in this post.)

I have only mild crowding on the bottom (and experience a slightly painful pressure due to this crowding).  Up top, I have one canine that does not have enough room and sticks out very far. Other than that, my teeth are mostly aligned - other than my two front teeth slightly slanted inwards.  

So my goal with this process is to finally feel very confident with my smile.  I tend to find myself smiling with my mouth closed and trying to hide my protruding canine. I also do not want my lower (slightly) crooked teeth to keep getting worse with age, as my dentist has told me they would.  (I have noticed them getting worse in the past four years, as well, so I believe they will keep getting worse if I don't do anything now.)

I am looking to widen my arch, giving it more of a "U" shape than a "V" shape ... and want my canine to finally be straight with my other teeth.  In order to do this, by widening my jaw line, I will finally have room for this canine to 'fall into place.'