Friday, February 8, 2008

Braces, jaw surgery...Part II

Three months ago, I visited a TMJ specialist to get a new occlusal splint for my TMJ problem and was shocked by his recommendations.
Yesterday, Taciturn and I visited a new orthodontist who proposes a little surgery, not a huge amount that can only be done by one person like the other guy did. He told us what his tentative plan would be, but we were reassured by his words that he wanted to present my case to his partners (the other guy was in solo practice) and discuss me before he came up with a definitive plan. He said he wanted to use the brain power that was available to him.

The other thing that actually made us feel better in an odd way was that this new orthodontist offered no guarantees. The first guy was kind of cocky in that way. And I always wonder in this day and age about folks in solo practice. Do they not play well with others?

Dr. E agreed with the first guy that my bite is extremely complicated. He looked closely at the mouth model from my pre-treatment in 1982 to see how my mouth originally was before I had braces the first time at age 25, and noted some things in my original bite that made me a set up for TMJ.

In other words, I am one of those people who should have had braces, headgear, the whole shibang when I was ten. But, since in those days my family barely had money for food to eat let alone anything else, I didn't. In fact, my first visit to a dentist took place at age 12.

So parents, when the dentist says maybe you should think about braces for your young children and you can afford it, go for it. Try to help them avoid what I've gone through for over twenty-five years. Better to do this when the bones are still forming than when they are set. This is why I have to have facial surgery. What must be accomplished through surgery now could have been done with headgear as a child.

Again, preventative care simply is better overall in terms of human misery, as well as cheaper. See all of my posts on SCHIP.

Before I get off on that particular soapbox again, we plan to use Dr. E and his partners. They will make my treatment models in a couple of weeks, and present a detailed plan to us on Good Friday of all days (gotta take appointments when they are available). And we'll go from there!

1 comment:

FranIAm said...

Holy moly Laura. Wow. I am sorry that you have to go through this, but glad that you are feeling better about this dentist and this approach.

Many prayers your way.