My sixth adjustment was last week. Of course, I took photos that evening, although I knew I might not document the actual adjustment for a few days yet.
The focus this time around is on getting my lowers in place — closing the gaps, aligning the tops of the teeth — because they need to be in their final position before Dr. N. can determine the final position of the upper arch.
There honestly didn’t seem to be much movement that I could see between July and September’s visits. My upper cuspids may have moved back a touch, thanks to the elastics, but the lowers didn’t really close up like I’d expected they would.
Dr. N. made sure I’d get some movement this time. He started me on an 18 x 18 square wire on the bottom, which his assistant explained will fit into the brackets more snugly and guide the teeth into vertical alignment, as well, so all my teeth will be the same height. I also have crimp stops again, to keep some of my teeth from moving backwards along the archwire, and I have chains on the bottom across basically my entire arch — #6 on the left to #6 on the right.
(A week after the fact, I can tell that the new wires and chains are doing their jobs. Ouch.)
My top teeth still have the round 18 archwire, same chains as last time, and same elastic configuration.
After Dr. N. gave his assistant her instructions and left to see another patient, I asked her for some clarifications about what was going on in my mouth, and explained that my teeth have moved so much that I’m having trouble chewing properly. Used to be that my overbite was so pronounced that when I chewed with my molars, my top front teeth were so far in front that they wouldn’t touch the bottom ones at all. Now, if I try to grind with my molars, my front teeth tap before my molars even come close. She explained that it’s all part of the process — the square wires will help bring everything into vertical alignment, plus I’ll eventually have triangle elastics to bring the top and bottom teeth together and touching. In the end, all my teeth will touch at the same time — which is apparently how “normal” teeth are set up. Huh.
I’ve been taking photos at every adjustment, but sometimes it really takes a side-by-side comparison to really see the progress. So, here’s February (three months into treatment) versus September (ten months into treatment). What a difference.
I still have a ways to go, but the change is definitely positive.