This is a great site - I have spent most of the last 4 evenings reading everyone's stories, with my jaw dropping open at the amazing transformation in other members' teeth! I thought I would post my own story and pics on here, so that anyone who's interested can follow me from day 1.
I'm a 28 year old female living in UK, I work as a physio in a hospital, and also teach dancing, and perform in shows, so I know the difference having a lovely smile can make. I have never been ashamed of my smile, and have accepted my teeth as part of me. Lots of people are kind enough to say I have a lovely smile, and from a distance, I wouldn't disagree, but when you start to really get close, the problems are very evident.
I share a similar story to many other people - had a horrible dentist as a child (he gave me two fillings without warning me about what he was about to do!). Consequently was too nervous to see a dentist throughout most of my teenage years, and missed out on NHS funded orthodontic treatment. My main concern is crowding at the front of my right upper arch, and the fact that my canines are high (with the right rotated and poking forwards), so I don't have that nice 'line' of teeth running from central incisors to molars.
I finally found a dentist I trust at the age of 22, and saw an orthodontist to discuss getting my top teeth straightened (I wasn't worried about the bottom set, as I very rarely show them when I talk or smile). I was hoping it would be a simple case of a removable or fixed brace, maybe for a year.........
But oh no, it wasn't that simple! The orthodontist explained that I have:
- An abnormal bite, with my lower teeth shifted to the left of my top teeth (I'm sure this has a proper term, but I'm not sure what - maybe somebody can tell me?) and my molars contact before my front teeth so I can only touch one tiny spot between my front teeth, and to do this, I have to push my bottom jaw forwards and even further to the left.
- A tongue thrust
- Obvious crowding / overlapping top and bottom.
Top arch, with the offending incisor and tilted molars (and horrible fillings)
Bottom arch, note front crowding and twisting
Natural smile (looks so much worse close up!)
Natural bite (poor midline)
Making front teeth meet (note lower jaw shifted to left)
Bite from left
Bite from right (YUK! - you can see the side surface of central incisor)
Left side profile, I think my bottom lip is shifted to left due to my bite
To resolve this would require 4 extractions (1 from each side, top and bottom), and 2 years of fixed braces top and bottom. I wasn't prepared for this, nor was I prepared for the Â£4000 quote! I decided I could live with my teeth, rather than part with the money (especially after 3 years as a student!).
So 6 years later, I have lived with my crooked teeth. But recently, my partner and I have been noticing that my right central incisor seems to be poking forward more, and tends to sit on my lip if I'm only doing a half smile. It is also longer than it's twin, as I am wearing the left one down due to my strange bite. I am also worried that my right lateral incisor is starting to slip further behind the central, and I think if ignore my teeth any longer, there is a chance my right central incisor might start to over lap the left one. (Hopefully the pics will make it easier to understand).
My dentist said we could monitor the position of my teeth by taking a mould, and then repeating in 5 and 10 years. It was a thought, but what further uneven damage and wear would have happened to my teeth in those years, and what if the crowding was getting worse? I would have waited 5 or 10 years for treatment that could be done now.
So I am waiting for my appointment with the ortho. I am getting impatient, which is not good !
Anybody give me a rough idea how long I will be waiting?
I am keen to hear people's opinions on my teeth, and place your bets on what treatment I will need. I am curious to see if I still need extractions, all my wisdom teeth are through. I don't know if they do arch expanders in the UK, but my top arch is definitely narrower than the bottom (don't you think?). I am betting on extractions on the bottom at least, fixed braces (think I will go with ceramics for the top), elastics at some point for the bite, and a minumum
of 18 months.
I have got all this knowledge from reading all your stories, so thanks to all of you who have gone to the trouble of posting your brace diaries.
Hopefully I will have some news (and some pics for you soon).