Adult braces … a final frontier?

I’m not contemplating going where no one has gone before, but it sure does feel like it. 

Today had my initial appointment and cleaning with a new dentist. M already went a few weeks ago and reported back that he seemed acceptable, even if he was not our prior beloved dentist of many years. We ended up changing because of a hygenist in the practice, who is also our former dentist’s sister. She’s a man-hater. I mean, patholotical man-hater. And my sensitive, rescuer husband was previously abused by her and wanted to change years ago, but instead I got him assigned to another hygenist. Only the last time he went in February, this woman came into the room where he was having his teeth cleaned and insisted upon chatting with both of them while the work is being done. Final straw. We love our former dentist, but being in the office is stressful enough without some shrew doing the social equivalent of sushi chef on my husband. 

Anyway, that’s the backstory to why we are changing dentists. Our former dentist is also 20 miles from our home, and because there is no direct freeway or easy route from home to his office, we were spending 40-45 minutes driving one way to get our teeth cleaned every 6 months. New dentist is less than 5 minutes from our home. If we wanted, it would be a pretty brief 10-15 minute walk. 

I like him the new dentist. His office has very modern practices and he seems very thorough. One of the things I wanted to discuss with him is my changing bite and smile. In the last 5 years or so my bottom teeth feel as if they are getting taller and my bite getting more and more awkward in front. I am becoming self-concious about my smile, and on my list of concerns was what, if anything, could be done to evaluate this issue. He looked at my teeth (of course) and discussed my concerns with me and is referring me to an orthodontist for a consultation. 

I know there are people even older than I am wearing braces these days. I am just having a difficult time wrapping my head around the reality of the idea of braces. However, I did make an appointment for next week and will take myself in and see what he thinks. I am (mostly) prepared for the major sticker shock of the cost. Having put 2 kids through braces 12+ years ago I know it is not cheap. And it is just a consultation; he’s not going to strap me to a table and put them on against my will. 

M is not going to be in favor of this procedure, no matter what the cost. To him my smile is fine, I am beautiful, all the things a supportive spouse says and thinks and feels about his partner. I have tried to explain to him that my teeth and bite feel wrong somehow, not painful, just off. I guess I will have to find a way to explain it more clearly. My other dentist just was not in favor of braces unless there was a really good reason, and just feeling “off” was somehow inadequate. 

This has been an expensive month in our household with dental-related issues. M just had broken crown replacement started last week, I have a crown prep scheduled in 2 weeks. Oh well. It’s been years since we have had much work done in our months and our dental budget is pretty flush. 

4 thoughts on “Adult braces … a final frontier?

  1. Wow, that’s super close for a dentist. Closest one I could find was half hour away. The rest were 1:15+. I have to say I can understand where you’re coming from a bit… I’ve never had my teeth line up, so I cant rip stuff open like other people do. Not even my incisors match, which sometimes hurt my bottom cheek/gums. I dont have the best set of teeth (missing one, one pushed way ahead the rest), but heck with it… I have a pretty smile, and I’m comfortable with it. If you would feel more comfortable getting braces done, then by all means, I think you have to explain it from that angle. May not be something you NEED, but it is something you want and can have a long term impact.

    • I am feeling super spoiled right now, knowing our DDS is about 4 blocks from our house. Since all my doctors are a couple of towns away (about 35 minute drive from home, but totally worth it), I am appreciating the dentist location very much. The orthodontist is also close, about another 5 minutes from the dentist’s office on a main road.

      The braces thing has me sort of divided and I won’t know anything for sure until I do my consult with the orthodontist and meet with my dentist again. Either way, this is a project to be started next year. More than anything, although the cost of adult braces is definitely high on my priority list, is how much time I’ll be wearing the darn things and how frequently I go in for adjustments, etc. From prior experience with 2 kids in braces, I expect it will be a fairly routine thing, like getting my hair trimmed. It’s definitely a luxury and one I will have to look at really long and hard before making a decision. Stay tuned!

  2. Sometimes, the upper teeth shift thing is a sign of impending tooth loss. Sorry that is not a too cheerful thought! I think your bottom teeth are getting taller because of receding gums. I did have tiny, short bottom teeth. Today, I looked in the car mirror for something caught in lower from tooth and thought, “My, what tall bottom teeth you have.”

  3. Perhaps, but I am almost OCD about my 6 month checkups/cleanings, brush morning and night, floss daily, and have had never had any hygenist or dentist suggest anything amiss about my gums or impending doom of my other teeth. Other than an old filling that will be replaced with a shiney new crown in a couple of weeks, I have no issues in my mouth. The changes to my bite have been very slow and gradual through the years. I am curious about what an orthodontist might recommend as treatment, hence my use of the consultation.

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