Above is a x-ray view of my current progress of reversing bicuspid extractions.
I have pretty much regained enough space on the bottom arch, as I have been in fixed braces with coil springs from the beginning.
Now the upper needs to catch up. I have almost enough space between the teeth, but there’s still not enough room for implants at the roots.
Notice how the roots are still not moved over.
Quite logically, body of teeth moves easier than getting the roots to move. My orthodontist is now putting in kinks in the wire to get more movement at the roots.
Its a bit hard to explain with words but I believe its a bit like this:
Right now the teeth is tipped like above. But this time my ortho put kinks in the wire to slightly force the teeth one way to move or rotate the roots forwards. The blue square represents the stopper that’s in place that prevents any of the re-opened space from closing. So essentially with these kinks it puts slightly altered directional forces and it gets more movement at the roots.
We are estimating another 3-4 month but could take longer, its a bit more tricky to get the roots to move it seems.
This is something I didn’t anticipate, but its good to know that my ortho expected this and fully understood what to do next. I left this to the orthodontic professional that’s been in practice since 1960.
So far its been around 2 to 2.5 years since I began. The process of getting implants could take another half year. So in total I’m looking at 3 years for this whole process.
The benefits I gained and considered what I learned now about this process, I am glad I did it.
Cost of treatment?
$8,000 for the reverse extraction orthodontic work. (including acceledent and crane)
$8,000 for 4 bicuspid implants.
(I am looking at ceramic ones, Zirconia, as I hear it is better than titanium for various reasons such as more resistant to corrosion and more bio-friendly)
some believe metal is known to trigger auto-immune response, mess with meridian (body’s electrical circuits), and corrosion leaking toxicity into the body,..
I still need to do research, Zirconia, seems fairly new as there is only one doctor in Michigan providing it.
Thank you to one of my reader, Brigitte, for mentioning it.
So this process is a big investment, for me it was worth every penny, I paid monthly fee of $275 a month for ortho work so with my regular day job it was manageable, however for the implants oral surgeon require up front half down and the other half due like a month later, so there is need to save up money for that.
I posted more detail before & after on this membership post.
To recap very quickly
- Yes this process of re-expanding the palate does improve the face
- I have expanded from 32 mm (inter molar width) to 40 mm in 1.5 year
- I used biobloc stage 1 for expansion
- less nasal blockages
- more space for the tongue
- resolved sleep apnea & snoring
- oral and body posture is improving
- Smile is wider (this was my main objective in the beginning)
- Dental arch looking more natural now.
- after expansion, we used self-ligating braces with coil springs to re-open rest of the spaces needed for implants. (you need 7 mm)
But new discovery…
The more I research about this process, the more I learn that it is all about oral posture and muscle tone.
- I would have to say one of the biggest discovery of this process has been how poor my posture was.
you must first learn what is wrong before you can begin to correct it.
It’s really a case of learning from mistake than anything. the mistake being my posture.
I never knew about the importance of oral posture before I started this journey, and learning more about it and trying to practice it, I could see how my body was constantly trying to revert back to poor posture which began teaching me, perhaps the true cause of malocclusion.
Stages of Posture Changes…
There were stages I went through when learning about my posture and trying to change it, it was not over night but slow gradual trial & error / discovery process, spanning many months.. and still on going.
- First I concentrated on keeping mouth closed, and tongue on the roof. (the tip of the tongue at the spot)
- Then I noticed even with lip sealed, my jaws were open and teeth were apart most of the time, and when less conscious the tongue would fall down and be lower in the mouth at the occlusal plane (between the teeth)
- Next, I started strengthening my jaw muscles via increased chewing, and noticed keeping mouth closed with teeth in contact became easier, but not perfect. the jaws would come apart still time to time.
- And one day, I learned about importance of keeping the posterior tongue on the roof.
- The back of the tongue is proving to be a major component, might be the biggest, because as I began training this portion, I noticed that the teeth were coming into light contact automatically as now the back of the tongue was taking control and supporting the closing of the mouth.
“It is the balance of the jaw’s biting force with the back of the tongue pressing against the roof, that creates an antagonistic pairing” -Mike Mew
All muscles in the body have this antagonistic pairing, like a finger has one muscle group that pulls one way and another that pulls the other way.
I am noticing changes in unconscious posture as I notice more often my jaws are closed than ever before, where as not too long ago they were habitually open even if my lips were sealed.
From what I am learning so far, it is changing posture that will prove to be life changing and bring about true lasting results.
Particularly the balance between biting muscle and the tongue.
Now I am discovering that, reversing extraction spaces has just been 1 leg of the journey. Most important was to get expansion so that there is adequate space for the tongue. The next leg of the journey is about muscle strengthening and postural training.
The Ortho work gave me good results in the last 2 years, but what is the consequence of working consciously with muscles for the next 5 years and beyond… ??