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Braces at 30 – Post Consultation Thoughts

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[Stock photo - definitely not my teeth, but soon, I hope]

Braces at 30 – Post Consultation Thoughts

It’s been 8 weeks since my consultation with the orthodontist and I’ve certainly been giving braces a lot of thought.

The first thing I did was book an appointment at my dentist to talk about my options after having braces.  I wanted to know aftercare for these options and of course costs.  Veneers, restorative work and bridges are not permanent, so I also wanted to know how long they could last and ongoing costs.  To me this seems like a sensible thing to do, right?  Understanding everything I’m letting myself in for, especially costs, before taking the plunge and having two teeth removed and fixed appliances fitted.  Well, I don’t know if it’s just my dentists, but they never seem to want to tell me anything. 

The dentist was a little flustered as the receptionist had mistakenly booked me in for a check-up instead of a consultation.  She was about to lean the chair back and take a look at my teeth, when I asked if she really needed to and she asked why she wouldn’t… So after a little confusion we realised she was told it was a check-up and my orthodontist notes hadn’t been passed to her before my appointment.  This meant I had to try and explain as quickly as I could the proposed plans.  At first she said she can’t really suggest anything until the gaps are actually there and she has something to work with.  I said I can’t possibly go ahead with two years of braces and gaps without fully understanding what will happen in my mouth after and the costs, etc, so she told me as best she could.  It wasn’t the most informative or reassuring appointment I was expecting, but I did find out some facts and make some decisions.

I’d had a little look on the internet beforehand and read veneers and bridges last around 5 years.  This didn’t sound long, so I was pleased the dentist said they should last ten years plus, if looked after properly.  They are basically like real teeth and will last longer if cared for.  Phew.  This sounds much more reasonable than having to replace every five years.  She also confirmed a veneer would look much better over the peg tooth instead of restorative work.  Restorative work made from the same filling material, will discolour over time – no thanks, not right at the front of my mouth!

I’d also been freaking out looking up bridge work on the internet.  I watched something where they basically make peg teeth out of the two teeth either side of the false teeth so there’s something to stick the bridge to.  So you would technically lose three natural looking teeth.  The dentist said they would be able to fix a bridge to the back of my two surrounding teeth and would need to etch away some tooth a little, for the adhesive to bond better I guess, meaning my surrounding teeth will still be totally natural from the front.  Phew.

The veneer will cost about £350 and the bridge with false tooth attached approximately £500.  If I look after them really well I’ll only need them replaced every 10 years, or even less.  This was much better than the five years I was expecting them to say, so I felt quite relieved.

The total quote for the fixed appliances (braces) was £2800 for both sets of teeth.  For one set it’s £1800.  So there’s a bit of a saving if both are done at the same time.  I only have a gap at the bottom in the middle which I’d like closed (I swear it’s appeared/got much larger since starting all this), so I had decided to get just the top set done.  It seemed excessive to spend £1000 closing one gap (but also they’d pull my teeth more upright to improve my bite).  I was totally set on just having my top teeth fixed with a brace, until the past week.

Now I’ve decided, again, to go for the whole lot, top and bottom.  I can just imagine getting to the end of two long years, having just the top done, and wishing I had the bottom done too!  Wouldn’t that be typical?  It would be very typical of me too.  Then I’d have another two years of braces if this was the case!  So I’m going to just go for it and have both sets done at once.  Luckily they’ll let me spread the cost over the whole time, so I’ve got some time to magic up the money!  

Two years (hopefully) and I’ll have perfect teeth, top and bottom.  I’m still really anxious about having the two teeth removed and gaps for such a long time, but I’m just going to have to deal with it (or hide away in solitude for the duration!).  I’m worried I’ll lose my confidence too.  I’ve grown so much and developed so much more confidence in myself (obviously not with my looks yet), since having children, and I worry I’m going to shatter it by doing this.  It’s the only way I can get the teeth I would like and hopefully gain more confidence overall, so I’ve made my decision and I’m going for it.  Eek! 

I’ll be having my moulds taken next week, so I’ll be blogging about this experience very soon.  I’ve also thought about posting pictures of my teeth. I’m not brave enough yet, but will show before/after/time lapse photos at the end of the whole experience.