Thursday, September 2, 2021

Lowering My Torture Level

Yay! I've reached a turning point with my jaw realignment process.

This stage requires me to wear Invisalign braces on both my top and bottom teeth, with the added torture of attaching 4 taut elastics from my top jaw to 2 silver 'hooks' that have been bonded onto my lower teeth, just at the gumline, so as not to be in the way of the bottom Invisalign tray. Complicated. When I'm not wearing the Invisalign tray, those hooks scrape and poke the inside of my lips, so I can't wait to get them back in again after I've finished eating (and brushing - AGAIN!).

Getting set up for this phase, which I'd hoped would be a drastic lowering of my torture level, involved 2 hours of lying back in the dentist's chair in hard plastic lip retractors to expose as much of my teeth surface as possible. Ouch. Did I mention they were made of hard plastic? The sharp edges made it feel as if they were cutting into my gums. With my lips out of the way, my mouth was blown dry of all saliva, and bonding adhesives were applied, cured, applied, cured, over and over again. Then the excess was picked off my teeth with a sharp tool, sounding like a loud rasp pulling my teeth from their sockets! The pungent smell of the bonding agent in my nostrils made me want to gag. 

I also kept wondering how much longer the skin on my lips could endure being stretched without splitting apart and bleeding all over the ceiling, like fat bursting from a sizzling sausage! In addition to attaching the silver hooks (which wouldn't stay on), little 'buttons' of adhesive had to be attached to certain teeth to fit the form on the Invisalign tray. Ugh. 

I came home infused with the tension that automatically permeates one's body when you've been sitting in a dentist's chair with your mouth open, totally vulnerable and at the mercy of someone with a faceguard working over you, switching appliances and tools in and out of your mouth constantly, over a period of 2 tense hours. Not relaxing. Once home, I really needed to unwind.


This is what it looks like. And no, that white stuff is not venom dripping from my fangs - it's the elastics. They sting like crazy if I lose my grip on one end in the salivary drool I generate whilst putting them in, or is it just because I'm a clumsy klutz with no finesse? Here are the ridiculously small and difficult to handle elastics:

At least I'm now rid of this medieval torture device, my non-user friendly palate expander, which I wore for 7 months, and on which I had to turn the screw to make the gap wider each week.

It was very difficult to swallow things, even saliva, with this large gap and lowered roof of my mouth. Talking and making myself understood was exhausting at times, too.

It is with great pleasure that I bid it goodbye! 

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