• I welcomed back a fresh strong lisp due to new bite blocks
  • Extraction healing is coming along nicely
  • I prepared for my TAD implant by doing some mild mental parkour
  • Progress photos at the bottom of the post

The 18-month mark felt like I had reverted to the beginning of this journey because two familiar friends had reappeared: bite blocks and a lisp. These two are akin to a mandatory package deal – the former brings the latter. And so, upon receipt of 3 new bite blocks, I also welcomed the return of a heavy lisp. Since my new bite blocks were directly behind my front teeth this time, it caused my tongue to frequently hit into them whenever I spoke thus making every pronunciation a concentrated effort. But it was something I had to learn to live with – again – as the blocks were to further correct my facial asymmetry and original deep overbite.

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Additionally, due to the extraction of my (literally) big baby tooth, I could not chew from the left side of mouth since there was now large area of exposed gum that was too sensitive to textures and temperatures. Furthermore, my teeth were not even lined up on that same side still (i.e., they did not touch) due to the asymmetry issue. In short, I have not been using the left side of my jaw for a few months now while my right jaw started an indefinite double shift.

A few months later, I had a TAD (Temporary Anchorage Device) implant installed in my gums. To understand why this caused me to mental parkour a few nights, it is important to understand what a TAD essentially is – a miniature surgical screw that is hand drilled into the gums. Although I will not deny that my imagination ran away with it, however, in my defense, I can promise you that no patient likes the mental image of this procedure. But the reality is that anesthesia and painkillers made quick work of the TAD installation and the ordeal was over in minutes.

So why did I need a TAD? My back molar was particularly resistant to normal forces from braces so it literally needed an extra pull to close the large gap. This is quite normal as the roots of our back teeth are physically thicker and bigger than those of our front teeth. Interestingly enough, I have heard that TADs, a relatively new technology, replaced the need for headgear, which would have been a lot to fathom at my age so I feel quite thankful for our society’s technological advancements.

Progress photos:

Hopefully the upcoming 2-year mark will be the concluding post of this journey. Fingers crossed!

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