Wednesday, August 15, 2007

B-Day of a Different Sort

Thursday, September 6th is officially my B-Day!

Not the usual B-day, of course, celebrating my birth. Rather, September 6th is the day I'm scheduled to get the braces on! Yesterday the orthodontist took the needed x-rays, made the molds, and explained the process to me, step-by-step. You see, the braces will not serve to close the "gap" I mentioned in my last post, but to open it wider so that an implant can be placed there. Here's how it will work...

Before the braces go on, they'll insert a metal implant into the gumline where the gap is. The implant rod has divets made of a material that attracts surrounding bone tissue. Kind of like planting a "tooth seed," the bone tissue will start attaching itself to and growing around the implant while the braces are on (as little as 12-15 months!). While the braces are on, I'll have a bridge tooth to stand in the gap. My ortho says nobody will ever be able to tell it's not a real tooth...we'll see. After the braces comes off, a tiny screw inside the implant will be unscrewed just a bit, just enough for the dentist to then "build" a tooth (from porcelain) around the implant. And voila, a brand new pretty tooth and a beautiful smile!

The engineering and technology is amazing! I'm both excited and a little scared. Even though the ortho tells me that this isn't a "painful" process, and I'll have some anaesthesia, I don't deal well with pain :( I am thrilled, however, about the possibility that I could have them off by the time MLA rolls around next December. If they aren't off, they still won't be too noticeable (I hope). I'm getting SmartClip braces, which are ceramic (clear-ish) on top and metal on bottom. It's pretty hard to see someone's bottom teeth during regular conversation, so I shouldn't look too freakish as the only 31-yr old with braces.

So yes, I have 3 more weeks until the big day...I can't even imagine how it must feel to smile without worrying how much of my teeth are showing, or whether people can see the gap. I just know I'm going to love the results! Maybe I'll post before and after pics??

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