Over 50s -

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XX50XX
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Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:27 am

Over 50s -

#1 Post by XX50XX » Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:02 am

What made you decide to take the plunge? I'm a borderline surgical class 2 case and have noticed my front teeth getting longer over time from receding gums. I'm not sure if my bite has anything to do with it, but I have a bilateral posterior open bite and get a lot of wear on my back teeth and none on the front. Being borderline surgical, there's obviously some skeletal involvement for me which means a retruded mandible along with a large overjet. I currently use a Gelb splint to relieve the pressure on the TMJs and love how it changes my jawline muscularly. As well, it completely eliminates my migraines. Without it, I have so much tension in my face and neck that people think I'm angry all the time when I'm not. Because of the retruded jaw, I think that people assume that I'm stupid, because that's how people with this particular facial configuration have been depicted repeatedly in pop culture. I know that sounds crazy, but people really do judge you based on your appearance as I've found out the hard way. IN fact, the last job that I had, that's exactly how I was treated despite the fact that I graduated from my health science program with a 4.0. Because of having to deal with abusive comments from people in my family and workplace for many years, I really want to move forward with fixing things but I'll set up the appointment and then panic and cancel it. *sigh*

My main issue today is that I really don't like how my face is aging. The Gelb splint also eliminates the waddle and jowels I was developing before going back to using it for the migraines. It's just amazing how such a little thing can have that big of an impact in so many ways. It's convinced me to make another appointment to see an orthodontist, but already I'm starting to panic and contemplating canceling it. Part of it is because I have a dental phobia and the other part is that I've read a lot of comments from older adults that say having orthodontic treatment was the worst decision they ever made because of the pain and the hassle.

So you see, I can come up with so many positive reasons to move forward, but I'm feeling frozen at the same time. Here's another thing, I'm worried about some gum recession around my upper and lower incisors. My jaw is not quite straight because of my bite being off for so long. What scares me even more than this is ending up like my friend's husband, who can't find a dentist to do his dentures because he has a crooked jaw. The poor man is losing his teeth due to a raging gum disease (that's a whole other story) and can't get dentures made. Implants to that degree are simply too expensive for most people to have an entire mouth of them done (myself included).

At this stage, I literally feel like I need someone to hold my hand, tell me it will all be okay and for the best. Why? What about this makes a person feel this level of fear when they have so much to gain by it? Ugh. I feel so stupid even posting this novel.

jem
Posts: 925
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:05 am
Location: UK

Re: Over 50s -

#2 Post by jem » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:10 am

At 57 I kind of dipped my toe in the water rather than took any plunge. See my story below and my recent post about reaching 5 years since ending active treatment. I did not have major issues but did have problems with my upper front left quadrant which needed something done. I have no regrets other than not dealing with other minor orthodontic issues at the same time.

God luck!

Jem
Sectional brace with Damon clear brackets fitted to front 6 upper teeth 3 January 2012
Brackets added to premolars 2 April 2012
Estimated treatment time originally 6-9 months
. Brace removed on 22 July 2013 after 18 months and 19 days
Now enjoying bonded upper retainer plus part time essix/hawley( I have both)

Click here for my story http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... =9&t=42194

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djspeece
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Location: North Canton, Ohio USA

Re: Over 50s -

#3 Post by djspeece » Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:04 am

I was about 62 when i started my little orthodontic adventure. At issue was a poorly installed crown on a lower premolar that had allowed the remaining tooth to decay, and subsequently be extracted. I was offered two options: an implant or braces. I was initially leaning toward the implant, but my general dentist persuaded me to go with braces because they would improve my bite and tweak some other minor issues, that could worsen with age. She made a good case. I had some minor cosmetic issues, very minor, and I was happy with my smile overall and had no pain. Braces are not for the faint of heart, frankly. There is discomfort with new archwires, and most of us had to suffer with powerchains and/or elastics. There is some discomfort, without a doubt. Oral hygiene after eating is nearly mandatory. However, you do get used to all of it over time, especially if you keep your eye on the end-game. One important aspect is to find a qualified orthodontist to whom you can warmly relate. I insisted on a board-certified ortho -- not that it's any guarantee, but it is evidence that the practitioner took the extra steps to demonstrate mastery. As an RN I think this is important (and i think you said you are in healthcare as well). Very few orthos are board-certified, according to my (now former) ortho. Mine had an excellent, quite dry sense of humor which matched well with my style of humor, which is not subtle in any way.
Best idea is to keep the appointment, listen to your options. If better teeth can give you more confidence, then it would be worth it. Stand tall. Be proud of your looks, even if they are not perfect. Let the inner light shine through. And don't take crap from anyone :gavel: . Fear of the unknown is normal. I had my share at the start. Especially for the first few months. Face your fears, evaluate the situation, move forward. You'll get through it. We all do. I've been out of braces for three years, and am glad that i did it. I might not have been so enthusiastic right after they were put on, of course. The other important detail is that people don't even notice them! Can you believe it? And here's something else -- when they come off, THEY DON'T EVEN NOTICE THAT! Are you kidding me? Do you know what a pain those things were?
Sorry, lost my mind for a minute there.
Anyhow -- fear is normal, be curious, find an ortho you trust, and rock on.
Best of luck to you!
Dan

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Buddist saying

XX50XX
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:27 am

Re: Over 50s -

#4 Post by XX50XX » Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:20 pm

Here's the thing, the very idea of this fills me with panic and dread to the point that I can't even talk about it with my husband. I think it's my most vulnerable topic of discussion which makes the process incredibly invasive for me. I've had dentists say the most horrible things, things that made me feel like a monstrosity, "You have the worst bite I've ever seen," that sort of thing. In my youth, they wanted to treat the problem with a Frankel device, which was the most horrifying thing ever. And of course, my siblings had such a heyday with it that their ridicule continued well into my adult years. Even my parents joined in the abuse, and continued it as well, then told me I wasn't worth spending the money on, so never did anything to help me despite the fact they had plenty of money to do so. I just wonder if there's so much psychological damage accumulated that I may never have the courage to move beyond it.

I realize that this level of fear is totally irrational, which actually compounds things by having me question my sanity. lol I believe that the years of abuse have resulted in an actual panic disorder over this. I know that my husband wouldn't be anything but supportive and loving. I no longer maintain contact with my family, so they don't count. I don't have any workplace relations to worry about, since my health dive-bombed and I haven't worked in ten years except for that four month stint I tried last fall where I was treated like an idiot. There's something about this that rips open so many past wounds I've never really healed from, because the world is full of cruel people that can't seem to withhold on making jabs at my self-esteem year after year. I hate this feeling of being like a helpless five year old opening myself up to even more comments about my teeth.

The whole thing is, taking the plunge would ensure those comments would stop. But there's this wall of emotion I can't seem to push through, even knowing that it's likely going to be short-lived, a veritable drop in the lifelong bucket of time. I may actually need to go on a bender to move beyond it and get it done, and I'm not a drinker. My consult is next week. It's a consult! That's it! And I'm freaking out to this degree. I can't imagine sitting in a chair and actually letting someone put braces on me at this stage, feeling this way now. I'm terrified of a simple consult. I'm 50 years old and feeling like such a child on the verge of tears over a simple consult.

To get the Gelb splint, I had to dope myself up with Xanax for a good week or two spanning the before and after. I may need something stronger for this. LOL

assertives
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Re: Over 50s -

#5 Post by assertives » Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:37 pm

I'm not in my 50s, but I can totally relate to the mental abuse from family part. I too suffered mental abuse from my father over every part of my life actually, but my teeth have been the mother of all my self-loathing and insecurities. I had a deep bite and protrusion. I also have moderate crowding. When I was a kid, my teeth "supposedly" came in straight, but I had a tongue thrust habit.

My dad warned me against it, but being the curious 10 year old that I was, the tongue thrusting didn't stop. I subsequently developed the bugs bunny looking front teeth. My aunt saw it and told my dad to send me to an orthodontist to get it fixed. She has always been a proponent of how important a good and healthy bite is in the family. But we didn't have that kind of money. So my dad slapped me and scolded me. He was sh!t pissed that I didn't listen to him regarding my tongue thrust which now resulted in him needing to spend a couple of grand over them. My aunt stepped in and offered to pay for my treatment but my dad turned her down because of a face issue. Why would he let his younger sister pay for his own kid's treatment? So he told my aunt that he will pay.

That was not the end of it. He did not get over the fact that he needed to shell out thousands of dollars which could have been avoided had I listened to him. My teeth would randomly trigger a slap or a berating session when I accidentally smiled or laughed wide open in the midst of everyday mundane life. I subsequently learned to hide my teeth and to smile with my mouth closed. I also told my dad I didn't want treatment cos what do I know I was only 10 and I guess I also didn't want that much hate and negative vibes surrounding my treatment.

I grew up and my dad moved on from that episode. But I didn't. I "inherited" his hatred of my teeth and I lived hating my teeth (and pretty much everything else about myself) and taking photos candid or otherwise would make me flare up. I spent 20 odd years living like that and hating myself. Super long story short, I woke up one day and decided I was going to get braces. I simply have ran out of energy hating myself and I barely had any energy left to survive regular life for the rest of my life. I made that decision because I wanted to "pay penance" for that childhood mistake and move on. I told myself if any side effects or unwanted problems/complications came from the treatment, I will spend the next 20 years or so hating myself, but as far as that childhood mistake is concerned, I would have paid my dues.

I too had massive anxieties prior to starting and choosing my ortho. I think it is normal. I'm now slightly over a year into my treatment, and while the overbite and deepbite is still in the process of getting corrected, some amount of healing has taken place for me emotionally and mentally as I started noticing people's teeth more and realise that alot of people don't have perfect teeth too and those who had, have had ortho work done.

I know my motivations and objectives for getting treatment isn't exactly the healthiest, but the process of it has helped me heal. So I do want to encourage you to invest in yourself even if your family didn't think you were worth investing in. You may just find some kind of healing yourself too and of course, there are other benefits that come with getting your bite fixed such as, being able to clean your teeth better, no more headaches, jaw joints relief, no more premature wearing of teeth, better periodontal health, etc, etc to look forward to.

XX50XX
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:27 am

Re: Over 50s -

#6 Post by XX50XX » Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:05 am

Well, I just have to say that you all have so much courage and are an inspiration to me in that regard. The truth is, those negative people in our lives would have found some other fault within us to harp on even if we were born with perfect smiles. Mine even faulted me for going to college to better my life and still tells me it was the worst and dumbest decision I ever made. I am feeling better about this today, partly pharmaceutical and partly the kind and encouraging words here from getting that off of my mind. Thank you for providing a safe place to unload the garbage. It helped me to see more clearly what's underlying the anxiety and put it in perspective. My feelings are way out of proportion to the situation. I'll be fine. I may need pharmaceutical help to get through it, but if it does get me through it, it will be for the best. Six more days until the moment of truth, and I know I don't have the worst bite on the planet. I've seen some seriously screwed up bites on YouTube. My teeth are rather straight. There is some minor crowding that's developed over time, but pretty much all that needs done is moving them from class 2 to 1. The ortho is board certified and has specialized training in craniofacial pain and TMJ disorders. With the perio on staff, he has everything I need under one roof. Plus, he's affordable. I asked about the savings plans offered through insurance companies since our insurance no longer covers adult ortho, and they told me that their fees are usually lower than what is offered through the savings plans.

XX50XX
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Re: Over 50s -

#7 Post by XX50XX » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:12 am

Assertives, I'm really glad that you found some healing. Nobody should be subjected to that kind of treatment from their family. We didn't have a lot of physical violence, but the psychological and emotional abuse was pretty toxic for me. No contact has been healing in terms of preventing further harm. I spent a lifetime trying to understand what was wrong with me only to find out in the end it wasn't me that was the problem. It was them. I was the garbage can for their own self-loathing. My image was the voodoo doll they created to unload their own fears and insecurities. When they see me and interact with me, it's not me they're seeing. It's the mirage they created for me, one they despise because it's a walking mirror for the things they hate in themselves. I'm so done walking around with that extra load that doesn't belong on my shoulders. Maybe this is the last step in shrugging it off. I do hope that it heals me in that way like it has you. It would be a wonderful thing, as if I can finally become the person I was meant to be. I'll just keep that thought in mind moving forward. It's one more positive to hold onto throughout this journey.

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djspeece
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Re: Over 50s -

#8 Post by djspeece » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:19 am

Wow, those are truly heart-wrenching stories.
I think my post was rather insensitive, and for that I do apologize.
Dan

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Buddist saying

XX50XX
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:27 am

Re: Over 50s -

#9 Post by XX50XX » Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:40 am

djspeece wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:19 am
Wow, those are truly heart-wrenching stories.
I think my post was rather insensitive, and for that I do apologize.
I didn't notice anything insensitive in the least. No worries.

I did go through with the consult, no problem. He said that because of the TMJ issues (I get migraines) and the splint that I've been using, he didn't want to use any intraoral appliances to correct the class 2 on one side, and so that might not be fixable. He also said that if I'm in a comfort zone with that, he had to warn me that it would change and I may end up with migraines again. So now there's that to contemplate. I was hoping that it would be possible to replicate the bite/jaw position (whatever you call it) that I have wearing the splint, but he said that's not possible. Hmm.

C11
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Re: Over 50s -

#10 Post by C11 » Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:10 am

[quote=XX50XX post_id=503736 time=1533051645 user_id=32235]
[quote=djspeece post_id=503670 time=1532701171 user_id=20342]
Wow, those are truly heart-wrenching stories.
I think my post was rather insensitive, and for that I do apologize.
[/quote]

I didn't notice anything insensitive in the least. No worries.

I did go through with the consult, no problem. He said that because of the TMJ issues (I get migraines) and the splint that I've been using, he didn't want to use any intraoral appliances to correct the class 2 on one side, and so that might not be fixable. He also said that if I'm in a comfort zone with that, he had to warn me that it would change and I may end up with migraines again. So now there's that to contemplate. I was hoping that it would be possible to replicate the bite/jaw position (whatever you call it) that I have wearing the splint, but he said that's not possible. Hmm.
[/quote]

I'm finishing up TMJ splint treatment, and was going to have my bite fixed as part of stage 2 (at one consultation I was told I was class 2 on one side. After a lengthy time in splints, I'm now told I'm class 2 on both sides.) After reading your post, I'm getting concerned about them attempting to fix my class 2. Is it something that can't be treated with your TMJ because it's an uneven class 2, or would it be the same thing if it was on both sides? Thanks.

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