It's hard to believe that its been a year and a half since I got my braces off! As I mentioned in the last post, getting my braces off was not the end of the road unfortunately. I walked out of the orthodontists door with a "flipper"/retainer to fill in blank spots for two teeth (one blank spot was a baby tooth that had to be removed and would later be replaced with an implant, the other spot was what is called a peg lateral. For anyone wondering what the heck a peg lateral is...
-A peg lateral is a condition where the lateral incisors (the second tooth on either side of the front teeth) are undersized and appear smaller than normal. This situation occurs when the permanent lateral incisors do not fully develop. Sometimes, the permanent adult lateral incisor teeth do not develop at all, leaving only the baby teeth (which is exactly what happened on the opposite side of my mouth) in their place. Although some people refer to these teeth as peg laterals, they are really "over retained deciduous teeth". A true peg lateral incisor is a term reserved for the under-developed adult permanent tooth that erupts after the deciduous tooth has been lost.
So anywho, here is one of the only pictures I could find with my flipper...
All in all, I had to wear the flipper for around 4-5 months since the implant process takes that long. Implants are a 3 step process: first the oral surgeon will insert the actual implant that replaces the root of the tooth and is completely under the gum (I was put to sleep for this part). It was at this time that the oral surgeon also removed the screws from the bone graft I had done in preparation for the implant.
Then, after that is healed, the dentist connects a tiny piece to the implant called an "abutment"-this is what the tooth will actually connect to. The dentist takes lots of x-rays and molds of your teeth to get the tooth made just right for the implant. Then he just screws (at least that's what it felt like) the tooth onto the abutment...and you hear a "CLICK". It wasn't painful or anything. They put the crown on my peg lateral during the same visit.
When I looked in the mirror for the first time, and saw all of my teeth in my mouth, and NO METAL, I teared up a little. It had been a long road, but it was finally over.
That would complete Sarah's Smile!!! :)
If you are wondering if I would do it all again...the answer is YES. It's been over a year and a half since the surgery now and since then my circumstances have changed in a lot of ways, so I am happy I did it when I could. To see where I am now, you can look at my new blog: GREGG+SARAH
Thank you for following my journey!