Monday, March 27, 2006

The Price of Beauty

I'm sure those who read this know that I wear braces. I had always been self conscious of my smile. It wasn't "perfect", but my parents chose not to put me in braces as a child. (was only for cosmetic reasons, was their rational) After the birth of my first son my teeth began to do some funky changes. They began to shift and I began to notice they were sticking out more than they used to. I also began to suffer with headaches and tightening of the jaw. 2 years ago I decided to "bite the metal" sort of speak and sought out an appointment with an orthodontist. I have to thank my trusty dental hygenist who set up the appointment and phoned me to go over my fears with me. If it wasn't for her I wouldn't have had the guts to get braces. (she followed suit 1 year later!)
I have noticed the progress has been slow. I chose not to have extractions for fear of my face having a sunking in look, aka the "Cabbage Patch Doll" look. The last few months have been painfully slow. Initially I went in to straighten my top front teeth, the top front teeth haven't even been addressed yet. The whole focus has been on my bite, which is "almost" where they want it to be. When I asked about the top teeth, the answer is "it's nothing to correct those..It's like doing a jigsaw puzzle. We want all the pieces to align together properly first!" I understand this, but I am frustrated. I can't imagine what it will be like to have my teeth back!
Today I went in for an adjustment. He checked my bite against my molds (ooh scary stuff!) and the bite's coming along wonderfully. I then asked the ortho why it hurts so much when I floss my lower front teeth. He began to examine. You know there's a problem when he begins to, "oh...hmmm". Then my ortho proceeds to tell me that I haven't hardly any hard tissue on my lower gumline. Apparently when we began this process I had a minimal amount of hard tissue. He then recommends that he would like me to get a "free gingival tissue graft!" Well that certainly isn't sounding good at all!
" mean it won't be charged against my dental coverage?" I ask.
He chuckled..."it has nothing to do with money. The periodontist will transplant (YOWZERS!!) tissue from the roof of your mouth to the lower gum line. When we started off we could have extracted 4 bicuspids. We chose not to go that route, because of how your face would sink in!"
Oh Joy!!! I've wondered all day what I've gotten myself into. All I wanted was a straight smile. I should have taken the many of thousands of dollars and got a denture.
So I am stressed out. I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon. I hope that tonight my gums will strengthen up. I phoned our cousin tonight (who is a Dental Assistant) and she said the procedure is painful. I'll have sutures hanging out at the bottom of my gumline. It can't be this week because next weekend we have a dance to go to and there's NO WAY I'm showing up with a mouth full of metal and thread!!!
All for beauty...and speaking of which, I have had to wear glasses today, because last night while I was doing my bedtime ritual, Scott began to rush me (we were going to watch the English Patient). So as I was putting eye cream around my eye I managed to get a dab of eye cream and cotton swab in my eye. Then I tried to get it out and it vanished into the deep eye socket, never to be seen again. I woke up this morning with a red eye!!!!
Help me folks, I'm falling apart!
Sorry guys and gals, I had to rant!
Have a great day! (and who said smiles are free...not this one!!)


Nin said...

yikes, sounds like you've been through quite the ordeal. I had braces for over two years, but I never went through any complications with them, now I know to not complain about those years!
rest assured though, that when it's all said and done, you'll have the smile of a movie star ;)

Chunks said...

My girlfriend Murphy got braces five years ago. She has previously had the gum grafts too and says they hurt like a sonofabitchin' mofo! Anyway, when she got her braces on, they said they had to extract a tooth. They did. Now that her teeth are straight (as straight as they could get them!) they still had gaps between them. So then she had to get veneers on her six top teeth, after bleaching for several weeks, to the tune of several thousand dollars. Now she has to either get a bridge for the missing teeth (one of which they pulled) or implants, which will cost big bucks also. She has paid over ten thousand dollars and she still has to fill those spaces with something! She has been going through this forever. She says if she had to do it all over again, she wouldn't, which is too bad, since she will have the perfect smile but nothing to smile about!
I feel your pain! The gum grafts are a big thing though, make sure you give yourself time to heal!

the therapeutic writer said...

I know a few people who've had the gum grafts. It sucks for a while but is worth it in the end (says she who fears the dentist).

kim Funk said...

hey i wear braces too!! huraa im not the only one!! what stage are you in?

Jenny said...

Stage...huh?? The ortho is still working on aligning the arches. I am on my 3rd wire. I am supposed to get them off at the end of June 06,(It'll be 2 years) but I highly think that's not going to happen.Once the Ortho addresses my top teeth (straightening) I'll be a happy camper. It's frustrating. I have a great ortho and knew that this was a tricky case, but still can't help feeling frustrated.
That's so cool you wear braces! How long? Are you almost done? Do you go to Archwired online? Do you find you notice everyone's teeth? Are you self conscious of your braces??
Okay too many questions. I gotta go and get ready for the dentist......aahhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!

Katrina said...

Wow--that sounds like a lot of hassle and discomfort, but I bet it will all be worth it when you're able to look at that dazzling smile in the mirror! Hang in there. I'll pray for your recover to go well...and quickly!

Joy said...

Owch! Sounds painful! I should get braces too - I have a bad overbite....but I am worried it would take years to fix it...

Hang in there!


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