3 years of pain, 5 thousand dollars, and my teeth are worse than when I started...
September 1, 2009 7:21 AM Subscribe
Dentist filter: How to manage being unhappy with the results of braces? Teeth not straight, discolored, and full mouth retainer causing panic attacks.
A few years ago, I got braces because I didn't like my bottom teeth. The dentist wanted to correct my overbite, which didn't bother me, but he said was important to fixing the overall health of my teeth. He also wanted to fix the gap between my front teeth, which had gotten larger with time.
Now I've had the braces off for about two months, and a month ago the dentist gave me a "full mouth" retainer, which is like something boxers wear when they fight...in that if you have it in, you can't talk, eat, drink, etc. It has these little metal prongs in it that grab your teeth when you put it on, that happen to hit where I have crowns, so when I take it off, it's pulling on the crowns.
I'm supposed to wear this thing for 4 hours a day, plus at night. I can't wear it at night, because when I've tried, I have massive panic attacks about not being able to breathe, and I almost pulled out my teeth trying to get it out of my mouth. It was horrible.
Finding time in the day when I don't talk has been tricky, but I have managed to find time to wear it, even though I'm concerned about losing my crowns...which will cost as much as the braces if I have to get them all replaced.
Despite all of this, my teeth look worse now than before I started. My teeth are seriously crooked again, layering on top of one another in a way they never did before, the top spacing is atrocious and I'm embarrassed to open my mouth or smile. They're dingy and yellow from the braces, there's still bits of epoxy (or whatever they use to etch your teeth and then attach the brackets) everywhere, despite having them cleaned 3x in the last month, I've got a ton of pits, brown spots, and cavities now where the bands were, and all in all, I feel like I paid 5k to make my teeth worse.
When I took my son to the pediatric dentist last week, and she told me that he was going to need braces when he got older and I told her that I'd just gotten mine off, you should have seen the look of horror on her face when she looked at my teeth. Her first comment was "He's not an orthodontist, is he?".
I didn't know that general dentists could do ortho work without being orthodontists, I thought it was required specialist qualification, but apparently in Texas, it does not. Any dentist can do it.
I have an appointment to see the dentist this morning, it's the first time I could get in since getting the retainer...what is the best way to approach what I see as radical problems with the treatment I've received, and what solutions should I ask him to undertake?