Wednesday, February 08, 2006

And so it begins...

After years of being unhappy with my teeth, I finally decided that it was time to do something about it. Dentistry and orthodontics have come so far in the last 20 years that it's really just a choice as to whether one wishes to have straight teeth or not, assuming one can afford it. I'm almost 30 now and I have a desire to get this handled after years of being self-conscious about my smile.

From a historical viewpoint the only orthodontics I've had previously was a retainer that I wore for a while when I was about 12 years old cira 1988. I think the idea was to widen my palate. I have no memory of whether this was considered successful at the time. I didn't continue with other treatment and braces because my parents couldn't afford it for me.

Fast-forward to the spring of 2005. I have a confession to make - I had been watching the television show Extreme Makeover and was inspired by some of the people on it to do something for myself. They made it look like magic of course, but I knew I could relate to how the people on the show felt self-conscious, ugly, unnoticed, etc. I was always absolutely amazed at how the doctors, and denstists in particular, were able to make such a profound improvement in their clients appearance. For me, I knew that my teeth were the one thing I would change about myself.

After 10 years of not seeing a dentist (yes, very bad, I know!) I knew that I had to go for a general check-up and then find out about cosmetic options. It turns out that the cosmetic dentist that I ended up visiting (right across the street!) has been a consultant on City TV and is well respected. His name is Dr. Goldshlager and I would recommend him to anyone. After several rounds of minor cavity fillings and a cleaning by the hygenist (after 10 years I really was lucky to have a mouth that was in very reasonable shape!) we had a chat about what my options were. Initially I had it in my mind that I would just get veneers, a quick fix, like the people on Extreme Makeover. My dentist offered to use a product called Lumineers on 10 of my top teeth. However, it was clear that he knew I would benefit much more from orthodontic treatment since I have a fairly bad problem with my bite. Lumineers would only mask that problem as it continues to get worse the older I get. "Graham", he said (I'm paraphrasing here), "if I was your brother, and knowing what I know now as a dentist, I can give you a cosmetic solution but I really think you need something more comprehensive". Naturally I wanted to understand all the options and had him refer me to an orthodontist.


At 6:27 PM, Blogger Shontell said...

I used to watch this show called The Swan, don't know if you had ever heard of it, and I would just be amazed at what they were doing to these average, everyday people. ESPECIALLY their smiles. I became aware of my crooked smile when I was a teenager and all my friends were getting their braces off and looking beautiful and here I was with this hidious grill. ;*( I called it my mutation! lol Because of it I wouldn't socialize and became very shy and ... UM.. ackward! LOL

Later on down the road I know we would have had problems but mainly I am getting this surgery to help my self-esteem and Kudos to you for doing the same!


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