Operation Braceface: Day Five

Today was kind of a big day: I scheduled my extractions. After December 6th, there’s no turning back.

My orthodontist, Dr. N., told me during my initial consultation that I’d need to have four teeth removed. After doing some research online, it seems that these teeth (the first bicuspids, or “fours,” as the orthodontic staff call them) are fairly common extractions for adult braces.

Of course, after getting my wisdom teeth extracted a couple years back, I was initially fearing the worst: twice as much pain with getting four teeth extracted as for two. I took some time during a break in my work today to Google “tooth extraction braces” and discovered a site that’s going to be a go-to resource for me in months to come: Archwired.com. Specifically, Archwired’s guide on Getting Teeth Extracted for Braces. If my experience is like other adults’, this should be no big thing — not nearly as bad as getting my one over-erupted and one impacted wisdom tooth removed.

So, I have my extraction scheduled for Thursday, December 6, 2012. I’m leaning on my faith in Dr. N’s knowledge and experience, since he won’t have seen me since the braces went on, and so won’t have been able to determine how I’m responding to treatment so far. He’s just done this enough that he knows.

My first adjustment is about one month after the extraction, at which point I’m expecting to get the remainder of my archwires put in place. Only the front ones are in right now, and the second bicuspid and first molar have brackets but no wires. The “fours,” of course, have no brackets installed, since they’re getting extracted. Anyway… I wonder if I’ll get chains to help bridge the gaps, like I’ve heard some people have gotten?

As far as how Life has been with braces for less than a week… My teeth still hurt. The day after getting the braces on — now that was the worst. Lunch was soup and macaroni salad from the deli across the street from my work, and that sort of worked out. It feels like the fours on the right side are trying to move without braces, because they hurt like crazy when I try to chew on them. So, all chewing happens on the left side of my mouth (which I’m used to, since I had gum surgery on the right side about a month ago). I can’t tear or bite with my incisors; they’re still too painful. I’ve only been able to touch my front teeth together without pain for the past day or so. Thanksgiving will be a study in mashed potatoes — hold the pecan pie.

Aaron always jokes that I’m the anti-Wolverine — I take longer than usual to heal. I hope this doesn’t affect the movement of my teeth.

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