Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bruder is Brace-Less!

I think our son has set some kind of a record.....not a record anyone would want to hold, mind you, but a record none the less.  Number of consecutive years spent in orthodontia!  Some kids will go two years, a few stalwart souls will hang on for three or four, but it takes true grit and stamina (and very bad luck) to be a metal mouth for SEVEN years!

I distinctly remember that fateful Panorex, back in first grade, when Lyle informed me that our son was missing teeth.  Well, duh.  He'd just lost his first baby tooth.  "No," Lyle said, "He's missing permanent teeth.  Four of them."   I asked him when he would get them.  "He won't get them.  He doesn't have them."  You'd think after 4 years of being married to a dental student I would have gleaned a certain degree of knowledge and learned that sometimes people are congenitally missing teeth.  Sometimes a person might even be missing a total of 8 teeth. (We later learned he doesn't have wisdom teeth either, a silver lining if there ever was one.)

So, he's been in some phase of ortho for a long, long time, with the actual braces starting at age 10.  He's had a palatal expander, extractions of deciduous molars and canines, headgear, rubber bands going every which way, and has basically experienced the whole orthodontic enchilada.   In addition to the missing teeth, he also had a rotated tooth and a retained baby tooth.  His orthodontist dubbed his mouth, "as complicated as it gets" and said that it would take "heroic" measures to give him a beautiful smile.

The missing teeth that were most problematic, at least appearance-wise, were the lateral incisors.  Sometimes with missing laterals, doctors will move over the canines and shave them down to look like laterals.  Lyle didn't like that option, so Bruder's canines were moved back and forth across the top of his mouth to help develop the bone that will eventually hold implants.  Through all of this, Bruder went through many stages that even a loving mother would call awkward.

When his peers were no longer missing teeth (or "sporting mixed dentition", as my husband would say), 
fake teeth were tied into the braces.
The photo below was taken on Saturday.

And then, just two days later, we went through the familiar doors of the ortho office
for Bruder's debanding appointment.

And here he is.....

....without metal in his mouth!
I seriously cannot get over it
and keep staring at him,
which is kind of creeping him out.
It will take some getting used to, but we all agree that he looks fantastic.

I can't say that he's completely done; he has fake teeth attached to a clear retainer and will get implants in a few years when we're sure he's done growing, but for the first time ever, he looks done.

And even though I'm biased,
and would think he looks handsome with or without teeth,
I'm pretty sure it was worth it.


Amy said...

Hi- I finally just found your blog again. I would love to chat with you about your time with Dr. Murray and all that comes along with it. My daughter goes to her and I would love to hear some of your thoughts and experiences.


Kelly said...

That really is a million dollar (and 7 year) smile!

D6W said...

Tell him from Sid..."Looking good!"

Joy said...

His teeth look wonderful!

Ed Hochhalter said...

He's looking good! 7 years is a long time and it seems like a long journey of missing teeth and braces. Congrats to your kid! False teeth or not, he has a great smile!