Am I making the right decision?

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c2steph
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:13 pm

Am I making the right decision?

#1 Post by c2steph »

I don't know if I am posting correctly. It took me a long time to figure out how to post this..and I normally consider myself to be computer savvy. Anywho, I am 27 (going to be 28 soon) and I'm finally able to get braces to close my gap. I'm excited and nervous. I am not sure that I have the right ortho, but I am not sure if I can switch (if I found an ortho that I was more comfortable with).

I'm not particularly uncomforable with my current ortho, things are just moving much faster than I anticipated. I thought it would take time for him to figure out what the plan is...but it seems like he is going to wing it. Is that normal? He has lots of experience (over 30 years) so maybe that is why he can do it that way....

What have your experiences been with getting started/getting your "plan?"

beckyboo0205
Posts: 376
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:53 pm
Location: Alaska

Re: Am I making the right decision?

#2 Post by beckyboo0205 »

My case is a little different I guess because my ortho is a traveling one so he's only in town 1 day every month or so. So I did my consult... then a month later my x rays and molds... and a month later, I got my braces on. I'm not sure really how much planning he did on the off month.

But what he told me in the consult is pretty much exactly how my treatment has gone so far. I think when they have a lot of experience, they just know what they want to do right away. And maybe your case isn't a really challenging one. Mine probably wasn't... My 2 canines suck out of the arch and I had the classic front tooth gap. It was probably a pretty easy case for him to know what he wants to do.

But I would go at your own pace! The last thing you want to do is to rush into anything... especially if you have to get extractions maybe. But also, even if he sits down and plans out your treatment, it would probably only take him a day to figure it out.

sirwired
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Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:05 am

Re: Am I making the right decision?

#3 Post by sirwired »

Why do you think your ortho is "winging it"? For most cases, the ortho knows the treatment plan just by looking in your mouth; he doesn't always need x-rays and a full series of photographs to know what's wrong and how to fix it. You will get impressions (or one of those fancy new 3-d pictures taken with a wand) and probably x-rays some time before banding, but they aren't usually needed for a diagnosis and treatment plan.

Mouths usually are messed up in only a very few ways; there really aren't that many unique cases or that many different ways to treat them.

P.S. Mine was a unique case; after spending 15 solid minutes staring at my mouth (with patients stacking up in the chairs), he finally declared: "Usually by this point you are walking out the door with a treatment cost estimate and an invitation to set up your records appt. and banding date, but in this case I'm going to need full records (x-rays, pictures, impressions, and a wax bite) now and take them home and study them, as I can see what's wrong, but I'm not quite sure the best way to fix it yet." Believe it or not, this was the confident ortho; the first one I went to looked at my mouth and declared that while he could treat me, he had no confidence whatsoever that the plan would actually work, and thought I was wasting my time. The eventual plan involved some rather subtle tooth movements, followed by jaw surgery.

And all this was after a round of braces in my youth where my ortho (who was retiring in a couple of months) declared that my case was one of the 10-hardest he ever treated over his entire career. By the time I was through seeing him, I had been going to him longer than any other current patient.

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dojo
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Re: Am I making the right decision?

#4 Post by dojo »

My doctor does take photos and x-rays, but only to dcument the case. A good orthodontist can create a plan even without them, especially someone with such extensive experience.
Orthodontics patient from 2007 to 2010.
Orthodontic Braces

c2steph
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:13 pm

Re: Am I making the right decision?

#5 Post by c2steph »

Thanks, beckyboo0205, sirwired and dojo! Your responses really put me at ease! Now it all makes sense to me. I looked at other people's journey (via this website an YouTube). I now realized that some that I watched and read about were more difficult than mines so they required more to figure out a plan.

Now that I think about it, my teeth really aren't difficult at all. I just have a gap to close and a little (very little) crowding at the bottom. When I had my consult he stated that I had the option to have extractions at the bottom (two teeth). This kinda freaked me out, but at my records appointment (x-rays and pictures) he stated that he will just shave some teeth on the side (just a little bit). I was relieved, but then I thought, is this to good to be true?! Thanks why I though he was winging it.

I have a tendency to over analyze things. I guess I should trust his skills and knowledge. After all, he does this for a living.

beckyboo0205
Posts: 376
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:53 pm
Location: Alaska

Re: Am I making the right decision?

#6 Post by beckyboo0205 »

I am also a fellow overanalyzer!

c2steph
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:13 pm

Re: Am I making the right decision?

#7 Post by c2steph »

beckyboo0205, I'm so glad I'm not the only one : )

kathydell
Posts: 268
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:02 pm

Re: Am I making the right decision?

#8 Post by kathydell »

I would suggest two things - don't let anyone move you too quickly and trust your gut. I had two consults. Both went as quickly as you described. One ortho was very convenient but I just didn't connect with him. The other was terribly inconvenient given I'm a working professional. However, I really connected with her and her staff. Similar costs and each gave me 2 treatment plans. So, I went with the terribly inconvenient one that I loved. This is a journey and you have to have a partnership with your ortho. I wouldn't let the quickness of the treatment plan development scare you, but I would say talk with both of them a little more. You have to be comfortable and feel like you have a partner.

c2steph
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:13 pm

Re: Am I making the right decision?

#9 Post by c2steph »

Thanks kathydell. I really appreciate the advice. I didn't even get a second consult so I guess I should really do that before I move forward.

c2steph
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:13 pm

Re: Am I making the right decision?

#10 Post by c2steph »

I had my second consultation today and I'm still confused about which orthodontist that I want to choose. This orthodontist was very nice and he confirmed what the 1st ortho said initially. The 1st one recommended that I have two teeth at the bottom removed to correct my under bite (I had two teeth at the top removed because of cavities). Then when I went back for x-rays he stated that he will just file down some teeth on the bottom to correct the overcrowding. He didn't mention anything about the under bit the second time. This really threw me for a loop. This is why I went to get the 2nd consultation.

So at the consultation today the 2nd ortho told me that I have 2 options. Have two teeth at the bottom removed or get implants at the top. He stated that it will be easier to removed teeth and more cost effective (implants/or bridges are expensive). I asked him if I had any other options and he stated that those were the only two. The 1st ortho didn't mention the implants..he just stated that I would have spaces in the back at the top. The 2nd ortho also said that he would put the braces on and then I would get the teeth removed (so that the missing teeth would be less noticeable).

What do you all think about removing teeth? Have you all had to remove teeth (other than wisdom teeth) to get braces. I'm nervous/hesitant about it, but if it is the best option... I also did a list of pros and cons to try to figure this out. Tell me what you think.

Also I wonder if this will effect my appearance negatively (like will my profile look crazy if I choose the wrong option...I'm so confused).


Pros and Cons:


1st orthodontist:
Pros:
1. I like the atmosphere/open concept/friendly helpful staff.
2. I like the office manager/orthodontist's wife.

Cons:
1. I don't like that he switched my "plan" without explaining why he changed it.
2. He is very straight to the point/no small talk (I can deal with this because his wife is the opposite).
3. They offer a payment plan but you have to put down $600.



2nd orthodontist:

Pros:
1. He is very friendly.
2. He explained my options very well and why extractions were the best choice (economically).
3. They offer a payment plan with no money down.
4. It is closer to my house and job (although the 1st one is not that far).
5. I was given more detailed information about the price.

Cons:
1. I already received x-rays at the 1st orthodontist and signed the payment form. So I'm not sure if I can turn back now (if I decide to go with the 2nd orthodontist). I wonder if I can get the x-rays transferred so I don't have to pay for them twice (if I choose the 2nd orthodontist).
2. My dentist recommended the 1st orthodontist.
3. When I arrived there was only one other patient in the waiting room. It makes me wonder about his practice (its weird that there wasn't more people there, but it was at the end of the day).


What do you all think? I don't know who to choose or which treatment to choose. Please help!
28yrs old planning to get braces soon.
My journey so far:http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... 13&t=46316
Putting my braces on hold: http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... 13&t=46364

c2steph
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:13 pm

Re: Am I making the right decision?

#11 Post by c2steph »

Here are some pictures of my teeth in case anyone is curious.

Image


Image


As you can see I have a gap, an under bite, and overcrowding at the bottom.
28yrs old planning to get braces soon.
My journey so far:http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... 13&t=46316
Putting my braces on hold: http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... 13&t=46364

fosterp
Posts: 337
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:04 pm
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Re: Am I making the right decision?

#12 Post by fosterp »

You aren't committed to one person just because you have had x-rays. If you paid for the x-rays, then that office is obligated to release them to whomever you ask them to. If they took them for their own diagnostics (as in, you didn't pay for the consultation) then you can ask them, although if they do it they would be doing it as a courtesy to you. If you want to be sly about it, you can just ask them to give you a copy of the xrays on a disc or e-mail them to you because you want to look at them on your own (and then just take them with you to the next dr).

As someone that has shuffled back and forth between multiple dental offices, oral surgeons, etc - I know the x-ray fiasco can be kind of stupid and expensive. Dr's love to send you through the x-ray machine for any excuse even as bad as "oh your other ones are a month old so we should take new ones" - unless something major happened during that time that they are looking for - nothing is going to change in a few months. So you can just bring yours and tell them when they were taken and insist that you don't want to pay for more unless they give you a really good reason for it.

As far as treatment plan - the choice between implants and extractions is tough. It's hard for any of us to say which is better because we aren't you and also because we don't have pictures of your full profile. I think the main thing you want to be looking for is how the orthodontics will affect your lip support as I think that will be the primary difference between the implant/extraction scenario. The simply act of straightening your top arch will provide a little more lip support on top, and then extracting at the bottom will reduce lip support on the bottom. This isn't necessarily a good or bad thing - if you already have prominent or a protrusive profile then pulling the teeth back will actually improve your profile.

Ultimately you should be trying to go with which ortho and office you feel more confident in - if you go to a place that you feel is the "logically better" choice but you don't feel comfortable in, your going to have to convince yourself throughout your entire treatment that you made a good choice. Your perception of your outcome is going to be a lot more dependent on your confidence in your ortho, even more so than your actual results. Example: my outcome in treatment didn't meet my expectations, but because I went with the Dr I had the most confidence in, I am still satisfied at the result and attribute the shortfall into me not having realistic expectations - I still think my Dr did the best he could (and the best result I could get for my situation). If I had gone with someone I had less confidence in, the same result would leave me unhappy because I would be thinking I made a mistake. Even if objectively a different Dr would have achieved a better result, my perception is by and large too important to yield to any sort of "logical argument" that a different Dr would have done better. So the point is - your satisfaction - which is the ultimate goal - will result from going with the Dr you have the greatest confidence in.

If you aren't sure which one inspires the greatest confidence, then the best way to figure it out is to test them. Gather up some good questions that you have, and go and ask. Usually you will get a much better feel this way. I think probably an important thing you will want to know is how the different treatment options will affect your profile. Most importantly - don't accept an answer at face value - ask them to explain you WHY their answer is so. If he says your profile won't change - ask him to explain how extractions will not affect your face.

When you do this, most Dr's can't keep up the "salesman face" and their true chairside manner will be revealed in this way. Most Dr's have a canned salespitch that they have practiced - but they haven't practiced being grilled by their patients. The way they respond is the way you can expect them to respond throughout most of the treatment.

c2steph
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:13 pm

Re: Am I making the right decision?

#13 Post by c2steph »

Thank you so much fosterp!! I really appreciate your detailed response and advice! You really gave me a lot to think about. I didn't realize that getting braces would be such a difficult decision! I am going to make a list of questions (especially regarding my profile and lip support as you suggested...because I think that is extremely important) and get some real answers.

At this point, I don't know which ortho I am confident in, but once I start asking more questions hopefully I will find out.
28yrs old planning to get braces soon.
My journey so far:http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... 13&t=46316
Putting my braces on hold: http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... 13&t=46364

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