When I was a teenager, the dentist recommended that I go for a consultation with an orthodontist citing the crowding of my lower front teeth as an issue. My mother took me and after a detailed and lengthy discussion with the orthodontist she asked me a few simple questions “Jodi, if we get braces for you, will you co-operate? Will you do your part in taking care of the braces and your teeth during the treatment?” Those were fair questions to which I responded “No! I don’t want braces!”. My mother thanked the orthodontist and told me that if I change my mind later on in life, I could pay for it.
More than a decade later, I decided to get braces and I of course had to pay for it. I was waiting for her to laugh at me but as it turns out, she doesn’t remember the consultation. This time it was again recommended by my dentist but in this case she is also my friend and I am a bit older and wiser, so I listened. She explained that the crowding in the front of my bottom row would only get worse over time and may result in the tooth or teeth at the very front becoming detached from the gum. Now, if you want to scare me, tell me I will lose my teeth. I want to preserve my own teeth as long as possible.
So off I went to the orthodontist consultation. I brought my husband for support. The consultation involves taking pictures of your current “situation”, followed by an examination and a discussion with the doctor and finally a discussion about the financial aspect of the venture. Crowding of my lower teeth was the main issue, but being the perfectionists that they are, they will always find others.
Sure I had a slight overbite but it never bothered me. I always really liked my smile. Besides, no one sees your bottom front teeth when you smile anyway. These are the thoughts that ran through my head as I tried to convince myself that I didn’t really need to get braces. As the pictures were projected on the screen I turned to my husband and said “They don’t look so bad do they? They can stay, I don’t reeeaaally need them” to which he replied “Sweetheart, I think we should fix them”.
Here’s the list of imperfections they found in my mouth:
- Slightly enlarged maxillary frenum
- Excessive overjet
- Excessive overbite
- Lower front teeth are right of centre
- Upper teeth are crowded
- Lower teeth are crowded
I was anticipating that they would now tell me how many teeth I had to extract. My brother had teeth extracted when he had his braces and it was one of the most traumatic events in his life, so I was not looking forward to it. Luckily for me, the doctor announced that they did not see the need to extract any teeth and while I was completely overjoyed by the news, I was also quite confused about where they were going to find space in my already crowded mouth to straighten out my teeth. I decided to leave it to the experts. The duration of the treatment was estimated at 20 months.
We discussed the cost and payment plan and booked the appointment for the installation of the braces.