Monday, February 01, 2010


This morning was the consultation with the orthodontist. Tomorrow we have a consultation with the oral surgeon to discuss the easy little Step 1 -- extraction of Andrew's wisdom teeth.

Step 2 is expansion of his upper palate. Although this works 100% of the time in preteens, the orthodontist says it also works in about 90% of adult patients. The growth plates in his wrist show that he's done growing (hooray for not needing bigger shoes!!!!) so the "suture" in his palate is firming up but hopefully can be treated without surgery. After he heals from the removal of his wisdom teeth, he will spend 2-4 weeks with this appliance on the roof of his mouth, widening his palate.

Assuming the appliance works and he grows a nice big fat space between his front teeth, he will then have braces for about 3 years to improve his bite. His teeth will not be completely corrected after the braces but should be much improved. We consulted with two orthodontists; both said correction will be impossible given what a mess he has in his mouth, whether he has surgery or not. But today there was good news from the in-depth examination a couple of weeks ago. In spite of the crossbite and openbite, everything else looks like it's in alignment with itself and should respond to treatment fairly well.

If the appliance doesn't work to widen his palate, then we will have to consult again with the oral surgeon about palate surgery and costs and risks.

Overall, because there are so many things wrong with his mouth, the orthodontia will be a step-by-step procedure. If everything goes as it should, the repairs will be long but relatively simple. But there are so many variables that could present kinks. So for right now, we're going to get rid of those wisdom teeth and then try the expander ... and pray that the expander does what the doctor wants it to do! Hopefully by summer we will have Andrew in nice, boring braces with no prospect for palate surgery.


  1. This is indeed good news!!!! Go Expander!

  2. Hey! I had an expander for a while. Funny.

  3. Lynea wore an expander and it worked! Praying that it does the trick for Andrew.

  4. We saw the oral surgeon today about the wisdom teeth. Those are scheduled to come out next week. But he said it looked like Andrew would need surgery for the expander. He said it can be done outpatient but should probably be a one-night stay. I hope the orthodontist's plan to try it without surgery works! We should know before Easter.

  5. Hoping it all works and no surgery needed!