Wednesday, June 07, 2006

WMDs found and removed

That's Weapons of Mass Dentalwork for those who might be wondering.

I've been working on a blog article about using the Internet for research and how to determine which websites are credible and which are not. I've found some great information and think you'll both enjoy it and that it will be helpful to you in your own research.

However, that blog is on the back burner because...

Today was the day!

After four extractions (and four dry sockets), x-rays, impressions, bonding the braces on, a stainless steel bar across the roof of my mouth for about a year and adjustments too numerous to count, twenty-eight long months of orthodontic treatment came to an end this morning. I was too excited to eat and spent the morning pacing the house and/or trying unsuccessfully to read. Then off I went for my 11:00 appointment.

First they polished the backs of my lower teeth and installed a bonded permanent retainer. That's really fun (not!) because they put this stretcher in your mouth that makes you feel like a wide-mouth bass. And the cement they use tastes really, really nasty.

Once they had the retainer in place, they took off the braces. Oh the noises! It sounded like they were cracking my molars into pieces, and considering that most of them are crowns, I was hoping it wasn't what it sounded like. They assured me everything was normal even if it was disturbing. Then they popped the brackets off the remaining teeth and voila!

Here you have one set of upper and lower braces for sale -- cheap!

It's difficult to take your own photo. Obviously you can only do close-ups, which are way too unflattering especially early in the morning. But here's the before shot with braces in place. Yikes! Look at those crowsfeet... uh... smile lines.

Here's the after photo with straight teeth. I've had to fight an urge to run out and buy everything I couldn't eat for the past twenty-eight months -- corn on the cob, Snickers bars, nuts, popcorn. But I'm being good.

To give you an idea of what the orthodontist had to work with, here are some more "before" photos. They're up close and personal and they ain't pretty.

From top to bottom: Center view, view of lower teeth, view of upper teeth.

These were taken prior to the extractions. The teeth just in front of the molars were the ones pulled to make room for the orthodontist to straighten things up.

Weren't they a mess?

After the braces came off, they polished off all the cement (they really should give nitrous oxide for this because that high-pitched hum and the smell of burning dental cement is enough to make you scream) and did an impression of my upper teeth so they can make my retainer. Yuck again! That stuff tastes almost as bad as the cement. I'll go back in two weeks to get my upper retainer.

And what does this have to do with writing?

How about that things don't often come easy? Or that the books we all love to read didn't just appear on the shelf. Perhaps the author had to struggle a bit and endure some discomfort. Maybe the author had to take something out and get rid of it even though she didn't want to. Or maybe it's about how sometimes you have to look beyond the obvious and external the way an x-ray does. Or maybe you could say that like my teeth, sometimes a manuscript is a complete mess, but with a plan of action, perseverence and patience, it becomes something good. Maybe the plot is a little out of whack and you need to apply some gentle pressure to your characters to get them straightened out.

On the other hand, maybe this has nothing whatsoever to do with writing and I'm just excited about my smile. A big thank you goes out to Dr. Charles Ray Graham and his staff for their expertise. Without them, I wouldn't be smiling quite so much today.

P.S. Got an email from DIL today and GrandBaby2Be is going to be induced next Tuesday.


Bronwyn Jameson said...

Woo-hoo, Marilyn. Love that smile!

Jennifer Y. said...

Congrats on getting the braces off and on Grandbaby2Be. We are currently waiting on my sis to have her little girl...she is possibly going to be induced today (June 7)...I love babies.

Your Mother said...

Oh, how pretty your teeth are! "Tis a shame you had to endure so much to get what your mother and sister got at birth. But we did not get curly hair either. Luv U! Your Mother

blueberri said...

Your new smile is fantastic, Marilyn!

There was a lot of tooth movement that was beautifully orchestrated.

Your closeups are beautiful like the person you are!

I bet you could sell dental ads for braces now. You're blog entry is great!

Have a great smile day! WOOHOO

Kathy said...

Oh, the glorious joy! Oh, the beautiful smile! Can anything but a grandbaby's birth compare?

It may have seemed like a lifetime to you, PM, but the agony was well worth it. Enjoy your perfect smile! Flash it all over town. And make sure to share it with Tuesday's bundle of joy.

Congratulations. I know how much you have been looking forward to this. Have a great day. :-D


Angel said...

Alright, Marilyn! Way to go on the new smile. You look beautiful.

Isn't it funny how writing is often a reflection of real life?

Congratulations. Treat yourself to some popcorn today!

Instigator said...

Congratulations, PM! I know you've been waiting for this day for a long time. Enjoy it :-)


Carol B. said...

Beautiful smile. I'm jealous!

Fingers crossed on Grandbaby2Be.

gailbarrett said...

WOW, Marilyn! What dramatic results. I am so envious that you have your braces off since I've had mine on for three years and counting.... but if my results end up as great as yours, it will all be worth it. Wonderful!!!!