Adam’s story: All smiles after underbite treatment
Monday, January 13, 2020
Adam Reichwald doesn’t smile much. Sure, he’ll offer an occasional hint of a smile, but rarely does he flash a big, “Say cheese!” grin.
That’s because the Green Bay teenager has what his mother Margie calls “a significant underbite.” It’s a family trait and causes him to avoid smiling, she says.
An underbite occurs when a person’s lower teeth extend beyond their upper front teeth. It can result in speech difficulties, jaw pain, headaches, TMJ, sleep apnea and teeth grinding, among other issues.
“Because of his underbite, No. 1, he’s self-conscious, and it causes a lisp … and his teeth don’t come down straight on each other, so it could lead to some teeth deformities in the future,” Margie says.
“Even on picture day, when they do class pictures, he wouldn’t smile because it’s so significant and when he talks, it’s like, ‘chicken nuggetsh,’ you know. He’s got that lisp at the end there.”
However, a recent surgical procedure at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons BayCare Clinic is among the first steps in restoring Adam’s smile.
In October, Adam had two molars extracted from his bottom jaw, the first stage of his underbite treatment. The oral surgery was performed by Dr. Chad Seubert of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons BayCare Clinic. It was necessary so Adam’s orthodontist could install braces to correct the underbite.
“One of the things I thought was cool was after, when the nurse told me I could come in and see Adam, he was smiling, like, super smile and he doesn’t smile often,” Margie says. “Partially it was the laughing gas, I’m sure. When we got in the car afterward, I said, ‘Adam, why were you smiling so much when I came back there?’ And he said, ‘Well, they kept asking me about my dog during the procedure, they kept asking me about Sally … so it just made me smile thinking about my dog.’”
Margie was so impressed by Adam’s surgical experience that she posted a glowing review of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons BayCare Clinic on Google.
“The doctor and the nurse were so compassionate and down to earth,” she says. “I felt like I was talking to my brother when I was in that room and I felt like this doctor really cared about Adam’s case.
“He was so cool and … he relaxed Adam,” she says of Seubert. “What I really liked was the doctor talked to both Adam and I, not just me as a mom. He talked to Adam and explained and asked Adam if he had any questions, so he made Adam feel like he was part of this process, too.”
After surgery, Seubert surprised Adam and Margie with an evening phone call.
“It kinda took me back because I wasn’t expecting the doctor to call,” Margie says. “He wanted to know how Adam was doing and that was pretty cool.”
Adam likely will face additional oral surgery procedures to finish correcting his underbite, Margie says. In the meantime, he’s been in good hands with the collaboration between Seubert and his orthodontist.
“I shouldn’t have worried as much because the team that took Adam back and did the work on him were so reassuring,” Margie says. “I felt so relaxed because they kept saying, ‘He’s in good hands, he’s in good hands, Mom, don’t worry.’”
Margie isn’t worried about Adam’s smile. She knows it’ll be back soon.
“He’s a happy kid. He knows his teeth will get fixed,” she says. “He’s even said to us, ‘Mom, I’ll start smiling when the underbite is gone.’”
“I’m like, ‘Jeez, that might not be for a while, buddy,’” Margie says, flashing a smile.
Dr. Chad Seubert is a surgeon with Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons BayCare Clinic. He sees patients in Green Bay, Manitowoc and Sturgeon Bay.