We knew Akank needed braces sometime in her life. Akank has been conscious about how crooked her teeth were and was waiting for the day we could take her to the dentist for braces. A visit to the dentist about six months back to evaluate if she was ready for braces exposed some hard truths.
A routine scan that was done to assess the status revealed that she had two missing teeth on her lower jaw. Where there had to be six, there were only four. It appeared to be a congenital defect that had not bothered her, nor us, till then. The conclusion that the dentist made was that we had do do away with two excess teeth on the upper jaw to even out the difference before the braces came on. The scan revealed more bad news. One of her teeth on the upper jaw, was lodged in the gum unable to find its way out, owing to a milk tooth that was blocking its way. The doctor predicted that if we let the milk tooth stay, it would fall of its own accord, when Akank was older, by which time it would be too late to intervene. The lodged tooth was growing on top of another healthy permanent tooth instead. Leaving it there would only damage the root of the other tooth, the doctor warned us. The dentist then gave us a few options on how these could be corrected.
We were not totally convinced that she needed the corrective procedures that the dentist recommended. One of the steps the doctor had outlined involved a surgical removal of the embedded tooth for which the dentist predicted that she would need a week to recuperate and heal. The moment we heard about the surgery, we hesitated. Maybe we should ask for a second opinion? Sensing our hesitancy, the doctor gave us time to think about it and get back to her within six months or whenever the school had a longish break. We discussed it at home and concluded that our 12 year old with healthy gums and brushing habits, did have issues that needed correction before it was too late.
When the school closed for the first term break, our one point agenda was to have the corrective surgery done and get the braces on before Akank got any older. We did not make any plans for the break other than the dentist visits. Akank finally had her lodged tooth surgically removed today. Plus, the milk tooth and another premolar were extracted to make space for the teeth to realign themselves when the braces came on.
It was her first experience on a surgical table under sedation. She handled herself very well throughout the procedure.She was excited and nervous at the same time since last evening. She talked about it non stop, asked us several questions, planned to resist being knocked off under sedation and plotted strategies of coping post surgical pain. She did well and has made us proud. She is on the road to recovery, albeit with three less teeth to begin a fresh new year next week.
The braces will come on in January.