I want to provide a quick update on what is going on with my orthodontic work.
I am seeing Dr. Gibbs of Michigan at the following office.
John Stepanovich, DDS
260 Jefferson Ave
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Tel. (616) 459-1267
Let’s look back a year ago, when I first discovered that the orthodontic work I had done at age 18 (I’m now 24) was detrimental to my health and physical appearance.
I had crowding and the ortho back then extracted four bicuspids.
A year ago I was hunting for orthodontist that would provide expansion for my palate and reverse what had been done. I had seen over 10 orthodontists in Michigan. ALL of them told me what I was trying to do was not possible.
Some of them claimed to be “a specialist in TMJ”, “Functional Orthodontist”, “DAMON braces orthodontist”, “DNA appliance Orthodontist”
They were all rejecting me and some even flat out told me they do not want to deal with my case because it is just too complex and beyond their skills and knowledge as an orthodontist. At least those orthos were humble enough to admit that lol.
But some ignorant ones told me to just give up and accept… “your teeth looks fine.”
Needless to say, I left many of those consultations feeling hopeless, defeated, and angry.
I was getting desperate, I had just graduated college and now looking for a full time job, I was super motivated and driven, I thought If I had to die trying I will get this.
I contemplated moving to California to see Dr. Hang. because his youtube videos was evidence that what I was trying to do was possible. which is to reverse 4 bicuspid extractions and get the 4 bicuspids back via implants. Produce a wider dental arch/smile.
Fortunately I was armed with plenty knowledge at this point, I did not allow any orthodontist to simply write me off. And shockingly I began to see that most orthodontists have no idea what they are talking about at all. Then the reality of the orthodontic profession began to unfold, most of these doctors just go to orthodontic schools and learn the basic, and this basic is really stuck in the stone ages when it comes to viewing teeth as a separate thing from rest of our face. They think if we can just straighten teeth at whatever cost then the personal will become beautiful. And these doctors spend their entire life just doing what they were taught back in school long ago. They fail to advance their knowledge in orthodontics for whatever reason they are just not driven to seek out something beyond ordinary orthodontic work.
Most are totally off in their approach when they view the teeth as separate from the rest of the body. yes the teeth can affect the body and face, more precisely the size of the palate can have, sometimes to a shocking degree, quite dramatic affect on the face, breathing capacities, and mental/emotional side.
Nature intended us to have the 4 bicuspids. It’s not genetics that cause us to have narrow palates. We are suppose to have the 4 bicuspids, so why do orthodontist think it is okay to tamper with nature?
I will be one year into treatment in August.
I have expanded my palate considerably. Both lower and the upper. I have 4 mm out of 7 mm of space that has opened up on the bottom palate for my bicuspids. On the uppers I have similar progress. I have pretty big gaps now where I used to have bicuspids. My palate is now definately bigger than What I had even before my first orthodontic treatment.
I had always thought I had a narrow face. My face is now getting wider. as It does I am seeing my eyes are becoming more symmetrical on both sides.
The dark pockets in the corner of my mouth when I smile is beginning to fill with teeth as my molars expand out.
As we advance not only sideways but forward as well as we bring the front arch more forward by creating new bone growth forward and also tipping the teeth out forward. I am getting lip support which I like very much.
When I smile the gums that used to be exposed a lot is reducing considerably.
When I talk I have a nicer appearance as I actually am beginning to have somewhat of a frontal arch of teeth instead of where as before I had two front teeth and rest of the teeth was just pulled back. So my frontal arch was literally just two front teeth it seemed like.
As we expand the upper palate, my lower jaw is able to come forward some, so I appear to have more of a jawline/chin now. Instead of the receding look before. I hope to make progress in this area though.
What is remarkable is that as the palate expands the whole face begins to look better. The doctors notice the positive changes on a monthly basis as well.
As I mentioned before, I do work with a doctor that is far more knowledgeable compared to the average. But that does not mean I put all my faith on him and just let him do however he pleases.
This time around I’m taking full responsibility and I am leading the treatment instead of the doctor dictating where the treatment goes.
If it wasn’t for my incessant pushing to allow me to continue expanding, we would of stopped expansion months ago and proceeded to then begin moving my teeth with coil springs and just open the spaces for bicuspids.
But I did not allow this because I believed I had more potential for more expansion. We were first expanding 1/8th turn every other day or so, that is pretty fast expansion.
And at a certain point the doctor told me I don’t think we can expand any further, so let’s move on to next stage.
I had stopped him dead on the track there right then and there at our monthly appointment and urged him to go for more expansion. He had to remake both the upper and lower appliance because I out grew them and now I got new appliance to fit my newly expanded mouth to expand even further.
I am now expanding only 1/8 turn every week. but I do not care that we are going slow, as long as we are still seeing positive changes I plan to continue to expand in this manner.
The reason we have to go slow now is because the lower arch, the mandible does not have a suture down the middle like the upper palate. So the it can only expand as the bone remodels around the teeth and changes shape. This take considerably longer time because if you expand too quickly without the bone catching up to support the teeth that is getting pushed out. then you will only be tipping the teeth which is not what you want.
Anyway we will see what sort of results will happen over time as I expand at this slow pace.
Will I be able to produce considerable widening of the mandible? that is the new quest for now. As I tend to have a more narrow appearance lower jaw, this would be a very nice change.
Anyway I am beginning to receive a lot of emails regarding orthodontic stuff.
What I want you to take from this article is that take your orthodontic treatment in your own hands. Just because the doctor is famous or well recognized, don’t take their word for it 100%, always question things if you do not like what you hear. Be armed with knowledge and know where you want your treatment to go. in most cases, the patient with the problem knows more about it than them. This goes to even orthotropics orthodontist like Dr. Hang or Dr. Mew or Dr. Gibbs. As I have illustrated int this article, even I had to push Dr. Gibbs A LOT to get him to go along with my plans of continuing expansion.