I had always wanted to get my crooked and overlapped two front incisor teeth realigned since school days. It is really not that bad compared to some other people's whom I have seen. But I am vain and I really have an issue with that. I never got around to do it because of the cost involved. During the CNY gathering, I consulted a dentist friend of mine. Contacts were made to his course mate who is still in His Majesty's Service to look into my case.
During my first visit, this orthodontist took an impression of my teeth. I was also asked to have two X-rays done for my teeth. We discussed at great length the different treatments available. I was taken aback when he told me that I should not and cannot crown my two front teeth as advised by two dentist in private practice. From his explanation, I realized that the dentists in private practice did not take other important and pertinent issues into consideration. Maybe they are not orthodontists. I would not be able to bite my upper and lower teeth properly. The upper and lower teeth would be misaligned after the crowning! The outcome would have been disastrous! The orthodontist recommended wearing braces. We also discussed some of the more expensive braces but aesthetically eye pleasing ones. There is the porcelain ones where people would not be able to see the metal pieces when you open your mouth. There is also a procedure where the duration of wearing the braces can be reduced. He would embed two pins into the gums and use them to hold and align the braces. It sounded gory but he assured me that there would be minimal discomfort. I suppose that is the privilege of having some friends who can connect you up. You get more attention.
Today was the second appointment. The orthodontist had a good look at the X-rays and showed me the impression of my teeth. He told me that it would not be possible to file my teeth which I was hoping he could do. That way I would be able to save the four teeth he need to extract. He told me to consider carefully. Once the teeth is extracted, there is no turning back. I am really lousy with pain and seeing blood. It really scares me. I have nearly fainted a few times when I saw blood or come into contact with it.
The orthodontist then suggested that I extract the wisdom tooth that is of no use. That will give him the space he need to rearrange the teeth. An implant would be done. The two front incisor teeth will be moved apart so that that they no longer overlap when the rest of the teeth are moved towards the back of the jaw. Then the next procedure would be to move the two front teeth inwards and align them with the rest. If I am not satisfied, then only would we consider extraction. This would be a more conservative treatment. This sounded more palatable to me.
He told me that I could leave the lower teeth as it is since there would be no misalignment between the upper and lower teeth. Alternatively I could extract one of my canine tooth, file the rest of it and have my braces fixed. I agreed to this procedure.
I used to question and pass some sarcastic remarks when people go to great lengths to look good. I suppose today I get an opportunity to understand these people better. I also got to know myself a little better too. Even though I have a phobia with pain and blood, I am willing to go through all this hassle and discomfort which will last for at least two years. After that I would still need to wear a retainer to ensure that it does not relapse. I am so vain.