UK Mark's story - 15th adjustment, 68 weeks

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UK Mark's story - 15th adjustment, 68 weeks

#1 Post by markybwoy » Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:46 am

Hello everyone. Well after finding this site in January 2007 and asking for a referral at my regular dentist in February 2007, my consultation is getting close.

I am 29 and should have started this years ago. I have upper and lower class II malocclusion with severe lower crowding. All the gory pics to come for those brave enough.

Yeah it totally sucks that in the UK, there's often a waiting list to see an ortho - even for an initial consultation. I've waited 4 months just to see my guy and the consultation will cost £55 ($110). Supply and demand I suppose. Although there's enough wonky English teeth to provide the supply part... :D

I'm gonna post lots of pics and my comments. I hope somebody reads me and gets confidence and inspiration to make that first step I did back in Feb. I'm scared (a bit) and worried about comments and going into the office the first time and mostly pain and sensitivity. But this is the start of a long journey that I hope leads to a better place for being less self-conscious and more smiley. Wish me luck.

- Mark :?
Last edited by markybwoy on Mon Oct 20, 2008 5:38 am, edited 24 times in total.

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#2 Post by Marley » Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:55 am

Hey Mark!

Congrats on getting the ball rolling! I was in your same situation in Dec, when I decided to do something about my brutal smile!
One of my main concerns is what kind of comments I would get. Well.. as soon as my braces went on in March, for the first time in my life, I was all smiles!

After you get used to them, you'll completely forgot about them!

So.. way to go and you'll get over any concerns you had.. I garuntee :)

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#3 Post by Lisa65 » Sun Jun 03, 2007 10:40 am

Hi Mark

I was in your situation a year ago. I also have a class II but I'm almost 42. It took some guts to go into the ortho's office that first time and open up my mouth. I was half expecting him to recoil in horror and say my teeth were beyond redemption! Sorry you've had such a long wait for a consultation. How did you pick your ortho? I know orthos are in short supply in the UK but I'd have thought Birmingham would have a few to choose from.

I've had very few comments about my braces and I make a point of smiling at everyone! In general people don't seem to take much notice apart from wincing in sympathy :lol: With regards to pain, I haven't had much and looking at my own progress pics is enough to dispel any pessimism.

I'll be following your blog as a fellow Brit and class II-er. I look forward to seeing your pics. The people with the most severe crowding are the ones who get the most noticeable results. Check out DodgerUK's blog. He doesn't post here anymore as he's been debanded but his progress pics are awesome.

The best of luck with your consultation and treatment.


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#4 Post by hannahwebbo » Mon Jun 04, 2007 5:56 am

Hiya markybwoy

Im 22 years old and i also live in the UK. i am waiting for my first consultation. I asked my dentist for a referal some time at the beginning of April and ive got my consultation on the 27th June. The wait has been horrible as that now ive decided to do something about my teeth i want to get it started. I need to learn not to be so impatient. Im glad my wait hasnt been as long as yours, that must have been horrible! :x

I know what you mean about being worried the comments that you might get, as im worried about it to. So far my family have been really supportive but i havent told any of my friends yet. I think they will have a bit of a laugh when i tell them.

So when is your appoinment then?

I hope it goes ok for you

Hannah x

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#5 Post by Laurie » Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:57 am

Yep, hardly anyone says anything to me even when I know they notice them.


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Thanks for all the advice and kind words

#6 Post by markybwoy » Tue Jun 12, 2007 11:12 am

Cheers everybody for taking the time to write me on the board. I really appreciate it.

Lisa, well yes sure we're not as stocked with ortho's as US, Canada etc but even tho I knew that, I was surprised that my research only found 5 in Birmingham (this is in the middle of a connurbation that has the same population as LA!). Crazy. My regular dentist had a visiting ortho but he only does Saturday mornings. I was worried that if I had a problem in the middle of the week, he might not be available until the next Saturday. If I was in pain that's intolerable. My regular dentist made another recommendation so I'm going in on June 20th.

I'm not expecting people to be cruel to my face, its more the whispers at the office that's spooking me a bit. My friends are teasing me mercilessly but in a supportive kind of way!

Thanks for the pre and post tips messages. I'll kit myself up before Wednesday next week.

Thanks again.

- Mark

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#7 Post by Clairey Fairey » Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:17 pm

Hey Mark

I'm also from the UK so I can appriciate the costs and waiting times involved!!

I got my braces back in March so I'm still fairly new to the whole thing.

I agree with what Meryaten said above that braces aren't seen often in the UK and it is harder to commit to them. Especially being an adult. But I can assure you that in my experience no one notices. Everyones far to busy worrying about their own issues with how they look!!

I have crowding of the upper teeth and an overjet, my lowers were quite unusual because one of the lower insicors had grown behind all the rest and was totally out of place, but by doing this it allowed for all the other teeth to grow correctly! This tooth has be pulled and the lowers look sooo much better!!

Anyway I wouldn't worry about the appiontments. Nothing hurts!! There are no negative comments made and its actully quite exciting going back knowing that your well on the way to a smile you always wanted!!

By the way, Leicester must be an orthodontics hot spot, theres loads of orthos here!!

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welcome aboard

#8 Post by cssteam904 » Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:30 pm

I have only been in braces since Feb 08, 07. So, I had all the same concerns as you have. What will people say, will they hurt, etc.... I have only had one person say something to me since (that I didn't tell in advance)....and that was wow, i have noticed you are smiling a lot more lately...have you always had braces?? And that was when I told her that nope got them in February. Then the conversation turned back to work...As far as them hurting, I have had some discomfort but no major pain. I have taken the advised of Karen and several other people on this site. Daily salt water rinses, chew even if it is uncomfortable, and a bit of advise from me...."GET EXTRA TOOTHBRUSHES, YOU WILL GO THRU THEM LIKE WATER"...oh and if you get the orthodontic tooth brushes, to me, they seem to work better...

well enough rambling....have fun and keep us posted
A thing of beauty is JOY forever.




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Decisions, decisions

#9 Post by markybwoy » Wed Jun 20, 2007 8:52 am

Well, my head is spinning after my consult. I have decisions to make and not really sure what to do next. The good side to that is that my records appointment isn't for another 4 weeks, so I have time to research and ask around.

The low down is
4mm overbite
2mm centre-line shift to the left
Occlusal to the left almost perfect, to the right needs adjustment
Two extractions, one upper one lower both on right side
18-24 months in braces
Elastics for a while
Another year in retainer, then 3 nights a week



Because of the center-line shift, my ortho was not keen on Invisalign or the UK made equivalent, ClearStep. He says there's a 50% chance I might end up disappointed after Invisalign.

Options are

* cermaic uppers and metal lowers
* linguals

The lower tooth he's picked out to lose I won't miss at all, its one of the reasons I got into this in the first place. But my upper right side is good. I haven't even got fillings in them. I'm struggling with the idea of having a perfectly good tooth flushed down the bucket.

Also, I don't know how to decide which option to go for.

I asked my ortho, if you were me, what would you do? He smiled (for the first time ever I think!) and dodged the question saying, either a) learn to live with it or b) do it properly and by that I mean both braces and elastics

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#10 Post by MissDiana » Wed Jun 20, 2007 11:01 am

Hi Mark! I don't really have any helpful information, but I wanted to say welcome and congratulations for taking this step!
Braces on 4/4/07 -
Braces off 3/31/08!

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#11 Post by joney » Wed Jun 20, 2007 11:38 am

Hi Mark

Just saw your story. I live near London and I'm 42. I spotted similarities between us. I had two right side extractions due to my midline being off. I've been really pleased with my progress so far. My midline was off due to an extraction when I was a teenager. I hated getting healthy teeth extracted but there was no way my teeth could have been fixed otherwise. I have no regrets but remember thinking just before the extractions that I was at the point of no return.

Don't worry about comments when you get your brace. If there are any comments it will be a two minute wonder and pretty soon people forget about it, and so will you.

Hope it all goes well.
2 Extractions 2nd November 2006
Brace On 10th November 2006
Top brace off 26 June 2008 (19 1/2 months)


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#12 Post by mikecl » Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:00 pm

Hi Mark

Just wanted to say that you should follow Karen's advice and seek at least one other opinion.

I'm 34 and live in the UK and finally made the decision to get something done about my bite and smile earlier this year. I also had a lack of orthos to choose from and initially I only made one appointment. However, after reading as much on this site as I could I decided to make a second appointment with another ortho and I am very glad I did.

One of the orthos took approx 30 seconds to decide Invisilign was the best option whilst the second wanted to wait until she had analysed the impressions and x-rays. The second ortho recommended upper and lower braces and one extraction on the lower arch. She offered the choice of linguals but said they can play havoc with your tongue and a lot of people find them difficult to get used to.

I went with the second ortho and the fixed braces because I was more comfortable in how she explained her decision and her approach in general.

I have therefore been wearing an upper ceramic brace for 1 month (lower one follows on 13 July) and only two people at work have asked about them. My advice is to go for it but in the knowledge that you are 100% comfortable with what has been proposed by your ortho.



Upper Ceramic Brace - 11 May 2007
1 Extraction and Lower Ceramic Brace - 13 July 2007
2 x Elastics - 9 April 2008

Story so far... ... c&start=30

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2nd consult

#13 Post by markybwoy » Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:17 pm

Thanks for the wise words - I wasn't planning on seeing another ortho but now considering your advice I think that's a good idea and well worth the money.

I don't suspect ortho1 is radically wrong, he didn't say anything shocking and I was quite pleased that he encouraged me to rule out Clearstep/Invisalign. That tells me he is a pragmatist rather than an optomist. I wouldn't say he was exactly warm and friendly, but my instinct was he knew his stuff and I could find trust to place easily. However, I think it will be good for my own sanity and peace of mind to have another session. What's the harm?

Weirdly, today, just two days after my 1st consult, somebody handed me a flyer for a new dentist just opposite my office! First I had trouble finding an ortho at all and was on a waiting list for four months - the next thing they are drumming up patients by handing out flyers on my street corner! Their website says their ortho has 400 cases under his belt and they are 10 seconds walk from the office!

The shock of being told that I'm looking at two extractions has worn off. As I mentioned, I won't miss my wonky lower right lateral 2 (see, I'm beginnning to speak the language) from an aesthetic point of view. The upper right bicuspid that has to go is probably a price I have to pay. I think I have come to terms with it. But, of course, I will ask ortho2.

Having slept on the braces options, I'm thinking that I couldn't handle the linguals. Reading horror stories about severe tongue soreness, being unable to bite down and a strong lisp for the first few weeks is too much to bear. I'd rather my braces were visible and I have to explain myself over and over when people spot them, rather than have a lisp. Even if it's just for a few weeks, I couldn't do my job with a lisp as I'm on the phone quite a lot and I can't take three weeks off work to learn to speak again. I think I'd be a lot more self conscious with a lisp than a metal mouth. Another factor, upper and lower linguals will be £5,600 compared to £3,900 for ceramics uppers and metal lowers. This stuff isn't easy, is it?

It's really comforting to hear that people recognise bits of my case and can see some similarities. I feel less of a freak. Also, the stories on here are truly inspirational. I agree, DodgerUK's story is jaw dropping (no pun intended). The improvement in such a short time is mind-blowing, what an inspiration, truly a life-changing result.

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#14 Post by Clairey Fairey » Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:28 pm

Hey Mark

Yeah its definately a good idea to go for a few consultations. I didn't!! And now wish I had and weighed up all the options. I didn't realised there were so many choices in orthodontics until I found this site but by then I'd already commited to the first and only ortho I visited.

Go for the ceramics!! They look good, u can't see them from a distance!!

My friend at college said when he first saw mine. "Thought you were having fixed braces, not a retainer"!! Yey so all he could see was the wire!!

Good luck with it all. The extractions will be worth it in the end :D

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2nd consult

#15 Post by markybwoy » Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:07 am

Had my 2nd consult today with Ortho2. He was a breath of fresh air compared to Ortho1. They both confirmed the same disgnosis and they both said I'm a slightly unusual case with extractions only on one side.

I asked the same question - 'if you were me, what would you do?' and instead of dodging it, he thought about it properly and suggested his opinion. I found him so much easier to talk to.

I looked up both on the net - top tip for or any researching Brits, a good starting point is the British Orthodontic Society, then the General Dental Council and ... Specialist
Here you can see qualifications, practice locations and a flag if there are any outstanding professional complaints/fitness to practice hearings.

Now Ortho2 has 10 years less experience than Ortho1 and he has one less qualification. But peversely, I'm certainly choosing Ortho2 because he confirmed exactly the same diagnosis and had a better chairside manner. He also made a specific recommendation on the type of braces and explained why. I spoke with him for 50 minutes, he took his time, explained everything and didn't charge me for the consultation. Ortho1 did answer my questions, but he powered through it in 15 minutes and it cost me £50.

Also, Ortho1 is only here one day per month. I'm worried if I got a problem I might be stuck until the next 4 week visit. Ortho2 says he will see me about every 5 weeks, so that's immediately more flexible. I want my treatment to be scheduled around my progress, not around the Ortho's travelling schedule.

I feel a great weight lifted as I've made a decision and feel like I've explored the options in an informed way. Thanks guys!

Subject to impressions and writing up the treatment plan, probably I'm looking at GAC Interactive Mystique ceramic self-ligating brackets and an estimated 15 months treatment.

Anyone know this GAC I.M. stuff? Ortho1 said their brackets are made by their lab in London, but Ortho2 says he imports these from New York.

Next stops are x-rays, impressions and extractions! Gulp.

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