Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Hyrax Appliance

The Hyrax Appliance. Sounds like an instrument of torture, doesn't it? ....Yeah.

I found out that that is the name of the thing my orthodontist put in my mouth today. I have included a picture of it at the bottom of this post (on a plaster model, my teeth don't look like that!).

I do have one piece of good news! When the orthodontist first talked about this appliance, he said that since I'm an adult, I would be turning it (making it wider) once a week. If I was a child I'd do it daily. Well, today he told me that some adults do turn it more often than once a week and that I can if it works for me. My current plan is to start out every 6 days and then move it down to 5 or 4 days between turns if it doesn't hurt too much. My thought is that the sooner this thing comes off, the better!

Any words of advice or sympathy are appreciated. ;)


Becky R said...

yikes! That stinks!

Mrs. Micah said...

When I was a kid my best friend had one of those. She went through a number of torture devices. Word of she said that she got used to it after a bit. It's amazing what people can adapt to.

Word of sympathy: *hugs* You can do it, but it sucks that you have to!

ladybugblue said...

Dang! I suppose the sooner you start, the sooner it will be over, but I feel for you. How's it been today?

Becky said...

Thanks for all the sympathy!

It's been a bit frustrating, Ang. There's a little bit of space between the appliance and the roof of my mouth and food keeps getting stuck up there. Grrrr!
I guess if it hasn't gotten better by next week when I go back to the orthodontist, I'll ask him for some tips.

Thanks for asking :)

Chelsea said...

Hi Becky, I have a question. I just got one of these a few weeks ago. I am now reading how bad they are in adults. (You really can't widen an adult jaw with out surgery, you end end pushing the teeth and roots outside of your jaw bone, you predispose yourself to losing teeth early..etc. etc.) How has yours been since you got in a year and a half ago? What are the results?

Becky said...

Hi Chelsea! I feel for you :) That thing was worse than braces (which I still have). I had heard about some of those side effects, but haven't had any.

My ortho did tell me when I got the Hyrax that if he started seeing my teeth pushing out, I'd have to do the surgery to widen my jaw, but that never happened.

After I got the Hyrax out (6 months), my ortho put a single wire across the top of my mouth from my second molar across to the other second molar. As far as I can tell, my teeth have stayed widened. My ortho hasn't said anything differently, so I'm assuming the results have stayed.

I think the real test will be after I get the braces and everything removed after I have surgery (I'm getting jaw surgery to move my top jaw forward, not to widen it). That won't be for another year yet.

I am curious about what my oral surgeon will say about the widening when I see him to talk about my surgery. But even that won't be for another 4 months or so :)

I hope your results end up being as good as mine!

Chelsea said...

Hi Becky,

Thanks for writing back. I have THIS Hyrax for 6 months ANOTHER hyrax for 6 months after that and then one of the half plastic retainer looking wideners. I have a long haul! If you don't mind me asking, how are you paying for the surgery? Did you get it covered? If so how much etc. etc. etc. My ortho says the only insurance company that doesn't give probs is Kaiser.

Becky said...

Wow! You do have a long haul :)

I'm still figuring out the whole insurance thing. I've been reading some things on the Yahoo! Orthognathic Surgery group about it, and it seems like a lot of insurance companies will deny coverage for the surgery. Some people have had success fighting with the insurance company, mostly by getting letters from their dentist, orthodontist, oral surgeon, and sometimes even Family Doctor!
I'm sure I'll post about the cost of the surgery on this blog as I figure things out!
I've also put some more details about my orthodontics on my personal blog, which is at Feel free to check it out - click on the "teeth" topic to just see the ortho posts.
Do you have a blog where you've been talking about your orthodontics???

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
I am wondering as an adult who has had a hyrax appliance in for 2 months now if your affects were positive and long lasting.
There are some very negative things online regarding this being used for adults.

Becky said...

Hello, Anon! I had great success with this appliance and braces. When I first started orthodontics, my orthodontist gave me about a 15% chance on not needing surgery to correct my bite. With some luck and an amazing orthodontist, I did not need to have oral surgery! I have now had a "correct" bite for over a year. I wear retainers on top and bottom at night to help keep my teeth from shifting. Good luck to you!!!!