January 15, 2012 10:52 PM Subscribe
Is my new dentist trying to convince me to get braces unnecessarily? Lots more agonizing inside!
posted by easy, lucky, free to health & fitness (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I visited a new dentist last week, the only one in the area who accepts my health insurance. I chipped a front tooth on a beer bottle (classy, I know) and asked if it could be fixed. New Dentist immediately expressed a great deal of concern over the condition of my bite and said that my teeth, particularly on the bottom, are extremely crowded as a result of my small/narrow jaw. The fracture in my front tooth, she explained, is a result of my overly tight bite. She recommended that I have an orthodontic consultation immediately, and expressed that she would like to have me in braces within a month.
This seems a little bit...alarmist to me. I'm nearly 24 years old, and none of my previous dentists have ever expressed any concern over the state of my teeth and jaw. My bottom teeth are pretty crowded, but not unbearably so, and my upper teeth look straight enough to me. I also really don't want to go through the braces-wearing process at this point in my life if I don't absolutely have to*. I asked New Dentist about Invisalign but she said my bite issues are too severe.
New Dentist has an orthodontist to which she refers patients. I took the appointment she offered, but am really having some second thoughts. Is she somehow trying to convince me to pay for braces I don't really need? Is this just some sort of this-is-Los-Angeles-everyone-must-want-straight-white-piano-teeth thing? Should I consider getting free consultations elsewhere?
Finally, New Dentist quoted me a total price of $1750 including the retainers at the end, which seems unbelievably low for this area (southern California). I actually really liked New Dentist, but for some reason, the whole braces issue has me feeling uneasy. She was very emphatic that my bite is a mess. Does any of this sound sketchy to you, or am I merely looking for a reason to avoid orthodontia?
*Also, yes, I realize that it's a total first-world problem to "not want" braces as an adult. I feel incredibly shallow for worrying about how I'd look with braces on my teeth, but I can't deny that it will be a factor in my decision-making.