Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Jaime's Consultations #1 and #2

Yesterday was a busy day. Aside from working and going to my usual Tuesday night curling, I also had my first two braces consultations.

Consultation #1: Dr. T.

So far, the big "pro" for this orthodontist is the fact it's very close to my work (and home). The office is modern and clean and my appointment began on time (something I appreciate).

I was pleased that in several places in their office, they display a digital slide show of before and afters of their patients. Of course, all of them were kids, but some of them had way worse teeth than mine (and Andrea's).

After doing a (free) panoramic x-ray and side views and looking in my mouth a bit, I was told my jaw is steeper than the average jaw, and that if I ever want to fix everything, I'd need to get jaw surgery. Dr. T. didn't seem to think this is a necessity for me, as he said my jaw may revert to how it is anyway. With this in mind, I was given 3 options:

1. Have Dr. T. remove some teeth, then go to an oral surgeon for the jaw surgery, let that heal, then get braces for 2 years. Total cost approximately $10, 000. Ouch, literally and figuratively.

2. Get some teeth removed, braces for 2 years: $6200. This was the option the orthodontist seemed to think was best. I need to double check if the quoted price included tooth extractions.

3. No teeth extractions, braces for 2 years: "four thousand something."

Consultation #2: Dr. S.

The big pro with this dentist (he's not an orthodontist) is that it's very close to my apartment, less than 5 minutes driving.

The office was a bit older and busier, since it's a regular dentist office. A dental assistant of some kind took a look at my provided x-ray, then poked around my teeth a bit. She seemed to be looking at my gum recession more than anything, which was weird.

The dentist came in and his examination of my mouth and teeth was very strange. The best way to describe it was he was manhandling my teeth. He was pretty rough, pushing on my teeth and cheeks. He wasn't actually hurting me, but his hands were all over my face. I became aware of how ridiculous it probably looked and had to keep myself from laughing!

He presented 2 options:

1. Yada yada messed up jaw, I could get surgery but he doesn't think I really need it. Do that, get braces. No quoted price on that.

2. Get my 2 remaining wisdom teeth removed, then get 4 more teeth removed, then metal braces for no more than 2 years, "probably less." $6200. He said they do ceramic (which is what I want) but that he hates doing them and doesn't recommend them. That alone made me decide I probably won't go with this dentist. Personally, I'd rather have ceramic braces 2 years than have metal braces for 18-24 months. Maybe I'll feel differently once I have them, but right now that's how I feel.

I also had to pay $75 for that opinion. Whatever happened to "penny for your thoughts." Blah.

Tonight, my own dentist is giving me his opinion (hopefully it's free). I have a great dentist, but I'm anticipating he'll be the most expensive.

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