Brandy's Braces, SARPE, Jaw Surgery Journal

This is my daily journal to my eventual perfect smile and Apnea free life. It logs my surgeries, and daily progress.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Yup I'm smiling! Found out this morning at my adjustment that I'm officially surgery ready. Ortho took impressions, then placed new size 17 steel wires in both arches. He finished it all off with a new "obscure" color powerchain on top and bottom. He gave me my impression models, and said as soon as I have a surgery date to call him and they will get me scheduled to place the surgical hooks. I have an appointment to see my OS on February 14th and get things really rolling now.

My ortho says that in terms of advancments that mine is rather small. It will probably only be about 4mm. However, he says that some people have large advancments like 8mm or 10mm, but that 4mm is what I need to make things fit properly and will make a very big difference in how things function in my mouth. Things are already feeling pretty good, my bite is so much better! I mean my teeth really come together well now. It seems strange to have them touching on both sides now. Funny how you can live so long with something disfunctional when you really have nothing to compare it to. However, once you know how its supposed to be, you really understand how messed up it was to begin with. Know what I mean?

Anyway....I'm not going to schedule my surgery til the end of May. I want the summer off to recover so rather than be sad that its 3 months away I have decided to really use this time to get prepared and ready. I'm going to get my teeth cleaned next week, some more x-ray done, and fix any necessary issue I might have with my teeth before hand. I'm going to get some MLD treatments, start exercising a bit more, eating healthier, and talk with my naturalpath about any vitamins or supplements that I can take to help me be in tip top condition for surgery. I also want to see if she can recommend something to help me ward of these bloody sinus infections I keep getting. I finished my second round of 21 day antibiotics today with only a 2 week reprieve in between doses, so I'm hoping she has some wonder supplement for me in regards to that issue as well.

Anyway.....I'm just thrilled to finally be ready and have made it this far. Soon all of this oral drama will be just a distant memory, all that will be left to show of it will be my gleaming sparkly whites! I can't wait!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Then and Now!

I was looking at my pre pics verses where we are now in my treatment. This is a few days before I got my archwires (with the spacers for my brackets in) and where my teeth are today.

When you look at them next to one another it is almost shocking how much they have changed don't you think? I hadn't realized just how much space we gained in my mouth and can't believe that all of this change has happened in 10 months. It doesn't even look like my mouth anymore! My smile is going to be enormous when these babies come off! Watch out Julia Roberts! LOL!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Look How Far My Teeth Have Come!

So I was looking at my teeth today, hoping they will be ready for surgery when I have my impressions done again on January 31st. Thought I would post the changes that have taken place in the last couple of months. Here are pics of my smile, uppers, and lowers as of today. I still see a few things that need to be tweaked, like my left canine still needs to rotate a bit, but all in all my bite is feeling pretty good these days.






Thursday, January 11, 2007

Surgery Envy? Is that a Freudian thing ya think? or just Orthognathic insanity??? I'm sure this sounds a bit crazy. I mean who in their right mind would be excited, or actively anticipating having lower jaw surgery?? However, several of my oral surgery buddies are scheduled for their respective jaw surgeries coming up in the next month or so. One on January 31st, and two on February 9th! I must admit that I'm a bit jealous, or rather envious, well ok....a little of both! I want to have mine done too! I hate that I have to wait til the end of May for mine to be done, its so not fair.

Now I realize that on a positive note I will have lots of blogs, info, and personal accounts to help me be more prepared for my actual surgery date, but some how that is not making me feel better right now. I just want to get it done and over with and May feels like a freakin eternity away! Maybe I should do it over Spring break (in March) and use up all my sick leave (63 hours worth) then go back to work for a month and a half before summer break. I just hate waiting! Patience is definitely not one of my virtures! Ughhhh!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

CRISIS Averted!

Ok, so I think I was having a little bit of a melt down last post. My husband started asking me questions about my upcoming jaw surgery that didn't make sense, and then I sorta panicked. So...I contacted my Dental Sleep Medicine Doctor. He said that sleep apnea is a common problem for people with a retronathic jaw, and that in fact a very large number of people who suffer with Sleep Apnea have it because of issues related to a underdeveloped lower jaw. This was the email he sent me:
Brandy, I would be happy to talk to you about your upcoming surgery. It does sound like it is an integral part of your orthodontics to fix your occlusion. It is also one of many treatments for sleep apnea and snoring. I have no experience in my practice on how effective it is but it does change the shape of the oropharynx, changes the muscular pull on the tongue, will probably change the direction of the muscular pull on the hyoid bone, all which affects the opening of your pharynx during sleep. The amount of effect it has is unknown, and only time will tell.
I see my ortho for impressions again on the 31st, and then I will be scheduling a pre-op consult with my Oral Surgeon. I will discuss it further with him, but originally he had told me that he was pretty sure he would be able to get at least and perhaps a bit more space from the BSSO surgery, as I was getting with my appliance. He is considered a phenonmenal surgeon here and has been practicing for 28 years so I think he probably knows what he is doing, I just wanted to hear it from someone else.

I was checking out a site on orthonathic surgery and found a case study of a guy who had severe sleep apnea and a class II malocculsion like me! His Apnea was completely eliminated with the BSSO so I was pretty psyched about seeing that too! It will all be amazing once its finished!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Minor Adjustment but possibly Major problems!

Ok, so I went to the ortho today to get my pokey archwire cut, and ended up getting my powerchains replaced too. I sorta have a little plan worked out now. My ortho only schedules appts every 8 weeks. Since powerchains pretty much lose their effectiveness after about a week, I usually try and wait until about 1 month between my appointments. I schedule my pokey wire cuts on Friday with my regular assistant. She is really nice and very helpful..and on Fridays the ortho is out of the office. So she cuts my wire, and I ask "if you have time do you think I can get some new powerchains put on?" She of course says yes, so...I get like an adjustment between adjustments. I personally think its awesome.

So we are planning on BSSO (lower jaw advancement) in May. I probably need to reiterate that I'm doing all of this (ortho, SARPE, and surgery) strictly to rid myself of my sleep apnea, not for vanity whatsoever. That part is strictly a benefit of all of this. So as we are getting close I'm the heck is a lower jaw advancment going to fix my apnea. When I go to sleep at night, my already underdeveloped jaw relaxes and falls back, causing my tongue to block my airways so I can't breathe. I used a mandibular advancement device before this that would pull my lower jaw forward so that my lower teeth were just underneath my uppers (probably where they would normally be if my jaw was not retronathic.) So if they do a BSSO, all that is going to do is extend my lower jaw and make it longer, but I don't see how that is going to fix my problem, if anything I could see me still having to use a mandibular advancement device, only now they would have to extend my jaw into a significant underbite because it would be longer instead of its normal underdeveloped length.

There is a surgical procedure to fix sleep apnea that involves a BSSO, however you also have to have a Lefort 1, to move your maxilla forward a bit also. It would definitly change my facial appearance, and I would then be having both upper and lower jaw surgery. There is also a procedure called a Genioglossus Advancement Which is sorta similar to a genioplasty in that it is done to the chin, and it can be combined with BSSO.

I scheduled an appointment with my Dental Sleep Medicine Doctor. My OS and Orthodontis are great, but one is dental surgeon. the other a teeth engineer, neither are experts on correcting sleep apnea. Imagine if I had all of this done and nothing changed. I would be do upset! So...I'm back in research mode trying to figure this out.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Ok...It's official! I'm in Frozen Hell!

LOOK at how much snow we have! We got 22 inches just today! (click on pics if you want to see them larger)

I've have been snowblowing like crazy! AND I have to drive to my orthos office tomorrow in this mess. Please let it stop already!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Why Must Vacations Come to an End??? this was me/us last week. Beautiful sun, gorgeous surf, tan, gloriously happy, living it up in Maui. You know it is a bad sign when no matter where you go on vacation you never want to come back home. That is how I feel everytime I leave Alaska. Probably time to get the heck out of here eh?

This is me now....depressed! and here is what I get to look at every day for the next 4 more months UGHHH! and it just won't stop I tell you! Do you feel my pain? I ask myself every year, why I stay in this god forsaken place. Still have not come up with an answer! I do know that I'm really, really, really starting to dislike the winters here though. I hate snow, hate the cold, and I'm not a winter sports person at all. Yet I spend 9.5 months of every year pretty much emersed in winter. I must be out of my mind!

As for my teeth all is doing well at the moment. I still have the space on the bottom that I'm so waiting to get closed. The powerchain doesn't appear to be doing anything!

I'm going in to see the ortho Thursday morning as I need a pokey archwire trimmed down. I'm hoping the assistant will have time and just change my powerchains while I'm there. That is what she did last time. The top teeth are doing ok. The last couple of days my front teeth have been a bit irritable though. They are tingly, like the nerves are regenerating some more in that area. That is the area that is still a tiny bit numb in spots so I'm assuming that is what is happening. My sinuses are all stuffed up again. I have been doing nasal irrigation at my ENT's request to try and ward off anymore sinus infections and help clear things up, but I don't think it is working. He is not sure what is wrong with me. Says my sinuses look fine, but based on my symptoms etc, something is obviously wrong. I think I'm a conundrum to them. Hopefully we will eventually get it all figured out.