Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Visit to the Orthodontist

Six months ago, when Darling son KW's upper lateral incisors came off, it gave us a scare. It was the second set and naturally, we thought it was the permanent set. It was in the middle of the night when he came into my room, holding his tooth, and saying "Mama, my tooth came out"! I couldn't sleep the entire night, as it was the second tooth and it was supposed to be the permanent one! Is he going to be toothless till the full set of permanent teeth grows out before something can be done? It is going to affect his speech. So we hurriedly made an urgent appointment to see the dentist the next day.

The dentist took a look at the tooth that came off, and said "Too small to be a permanent incisor.". We insisted that it was the second tooth that emerged, hand so, he took an x-ray. Conclusion? Darling son KW had two sets of baby upper lateral incisors. How about the permanent ones? Yes, they are there and they are huge! Phew! It could have been a case where the boy had only two sets of baby incisors and .... no more!

Six months later, and still no sight of the upper two lateral incisors emerging. We can see that the gums are a little bruised. The baby canines beside are still sitting firmly, with no sign of loosening. Something has to be done. Since we were at the dental clinic for the boys' half-yearly dental check, the dentist examined the teeth and wrote a referral for us to see the orthodontist.

The man brought the boy to the orthodontics clinic this afternoon. The dentist explained to the boy what was happening to his teeth, and the boy was worried. He was reluctant to go to the clinic. But he had to. The orthodontist identified the problem/s (yes, more than one, sadly) and suggested a possible treatment.

Firstly, the central incisors are not aligned. They call it a "Cross Bite". The boy grinds his teeth in his sleep, but this is not the reason for the CrossBite. It is due to the embedded permanent incisors pushing the central incisors. As a result, one of the central incisor is further front than the other.

Secondly, there is a lack of space for the lateral incisors to emerge. One way is to extract the still firmly rooted canines. But that means he has four missing upper teeth! Not a good solution. Bad for his self esteem, as well as his speech.

Suggestion by the orthodontist? Braces. Braces, starting from the left first molar, across the canine to the central incisors, and ending at the right first molar. To fix the braces across a total of six teeth. It will help to create some space for the to-be-emerged incisors, as well as help aligned the rest of the teeth. He has to wear the braces for 5-6 months, with a visit to the orthodontist per month. There will be some soreness, and the cost? Estimated at US$1600. The financial advisor will look into our dental insurance, and give us a more confirmed cost tomorrow, which should be less than what is estimated.

So now, our job will be to convince our darling son to go for the next appointment, to have the braces fixed. It is going to be tough ....

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