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My crooked teeth - Invisalign

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by andy64tms, May 5, 2019.

  1. andy64tms

    andy64tms Well known member

    My crooked teeth - Invisalign,

    For two nights now I have woken up agonizing over my teeth decision. I have booked up with a new dentist to have all my wisdom and one front tooth pulled and signed up for Invisalign. I am 71 years old and my teeth story is an epic that spans 50 years, it parallels Wavy Soul’s story without the pain.

    In 1978 on arrival to the United States from the UK, my first dentist was very keen to remove and replace all my Amalgam fillings. I don’t remember exactly how many, but I went along with it when discovering they contained mercury. Compared to the dusty makeshift dental offices of 70’s England, I willingly fell into the American dental practice program.

    Fast forwarding 40 years I have a now mouth full of fillings and crowns and several root canals. Some fillings have even been replaced twice and then crowned, and I now sport a mouth of 17 crowns that are complemented by very crooked front teeth. This crowding happened very slowly over the years, and looking back I remember in 2005 my mother commenting on my ugly front teeth.

    It is with some considerable unhappiness that I have become fully aware that my four wisdom teeth are even crowned and filled, two of them with gold caps. Along the way I have trusted my skillful Chinese dentist decisions, sorting out the Insurance claims and for the most part being frugal over my treatment. Never once did he suggest removing any of these back teeth despite discussing my crooked teeth at the front. It was: “Save the tooth at all costs”.

    So now with a serious gum biting issue from my front teeth and new dentist I have to make the decision to have them pulled, since I am signing up for Invisalign treatment. I cast my mind back to the age of 12 when I first heard about wisdom teeth being pulled. What happened then? This decision is normally made by mothers and fathers. I am further angered reflecting I was at that time placed in a fucking boarding school, (home for unwanted kids). Literally I was out of sight and mind of my parents. Calm down Andy, calm down, for I am partly responsible, for the guilt is equally shared between myself, my parents and my Chinese dentist, I have to forgive and look to the future.

    Since retiring in 2011, I have started thinking about “me”. Where did these feelings of “not feeling good enough” come from, and why do they still linger. Dr. Sarno stated this was a whole new realm of psychology that needs addressing. I remember getting a humorous uplift hearing Dana Carvey’s “We are not worthy” skits on SNL.

    In 2015 under the care of my ophthalmologist, I made the decision to have my eye lids reshaped. I was having treatment for cataracts at the time, and ended up having both upper and lower lids fixed. Medicare took care of the cost for the upper lids because it was considered a peripheral vision issue. There was two-part reasoning for the lower bags that cost me money, cosmetic appearance, and I wanted to avoid the droopy pink bags that some old people have, it just does not look healthy. So now my face is spruced up a little, but my teeth look like shit.

    My research into Invisalign is controversial. I have read good and bad reviews. The trays are bothersome to deal with and I need up front knowledge about what is involved. A quick fix is not available and I know costs and time frame will be excessive, so I have made a commitment list to feel more comfortable with this decision.

    I am mentally preparing myself for the extractions. I asked my wife: “should I be nervous”? I see her as the expert making elective surgery decisions. Yes, I will be nervous, but the extractions will be the clearing of the brush for beautiful flowers to grow.
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
  2. Lainey

    Lainey Well known member

    Wow Andy,
    Sounds like you have put a lot of thought and other consideration into this process. We are the same age, I cannot say that my dental care as a child was any better than yours in England. Drills the size of lead pencils, and the concept of pulling teeth that were bad rather than having root canals or other more expensive treatments. I grew up in a city and still have memories of the dental work available. Not good in general. Brushing was not ingrained in us then as it is today. My parents ended up with partial false teeth. Sigh

    So, I get the ire. Fortunately, (or not) I was born without the wisdom teeth gene. Most of my family has none or just a couple of wisdom teeth. My issue is the result of poor dental care as a child. I have had a couple of crowns that eventually needed implants (not cheap) and general maintenance. I could have purchased a couple of economy cars with the bills. These treatments required teeth being pulled but, not wisdom teeth. I went to a dental surgeon who, with local antithetic pulled my disintegrated molar, drilled the bone directly in front of this tooth for the implant and screwed in the implant in about 10 minutes. I felt nothing. I went back to him for the second implant too. If you have a good dental surgeon pulling wisdom teeth should be part of their skill set. The eyelid procedure is very common, particularly in our age group. No apologies there.

    I too would have an issue with the Invisalign trays, they sound uncomfortable, but I would imagine you could get used to them. In past years I had a family member that used braces as an adult to straighten her teeth alignment. This was probably what was used prior to the 'trays' marketed by Invisalign.

    In any event, I wish you the best. You will know the best decision for you and it will be okay. Let me know how you do.

    andy64tms likes this.
  3. Lainey

    Lainey Well known member

    that would read 'antisthetic'
  4. had

    had Peer Supporter

    From a practical standpoint I tried Invisalign many years ago and after a short time gave up due to the discomfort of the trays. A lot of money wasted. They come from the molds with sharp edges (a common complaint) and I found myself filing them down obsessively and could never get them comfortable enough. It takes a LOT of discipline vs traditional braces since you can easily take them out and not be bothered to put them back in because they are annoying, which is why I didn't succeed with them, whereas with traditional braces you are along for the ride. You also have to commit to a night time retainer "for life" either way after straigthening or they just go back with time.

    From an emotional standpoint, after even functional interventions have made things much worse for me, I personally would never have a fashion/appearance/ego intervention. I know how aging and appearance can impact us, I have just learned it's not worth taking risks over. People who care about how straight my teeth are aren't people I want to be around anyway. As for how my appearance makes ME feel, that's not always easy, but I have learned hard lessons about outcomes. At the end of the day functionality should never be risked for fashion in my view.

    The Invisalign part isn't a huge health risk, though it's not without possible issues. If you MUST straighten your teeth I would recommend traditional braces unless you have superhuman discipline. I'd also get second/third opinions before any invasive dental procedure. I learned the hard way dentists have a large number of opportunists drilling little harmless stains out and putting in fillings etc for the cash, and would have had lots of expensive, unecessary, work done to healthy (even if ugly) teeth if not desperately seeking out other opinions because of the fear/cost of all the work. Before anyone irreversibly removes your teeth at least get confirmation it's needed and will improve your health. An ugly healthy tooth that works is way better than anything they can do for you.
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
    andy64tms and Lainey like this.
  5. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Andy, a quickie from me. Before you walk down this path take a little while to explore palate expansion. It’s less known about but much healthier in the long run.

    Hugs, plum x
    andy64tms and Lainey like this.
  6. andy64tms

    andy64tms Well known member

    Thank you Lainey,

    I remember your kind words from my post about my wife’s stroke, she is doing very well, we did have to cancel our Rocky Rail trip, but are making up for it this with an Alaskan cruise in the Fiords of Juneau next August. We have had a good year of settling into our new medical environment. Sheila is now under the care of a multitude of specialist doctors, and I am in full loving care giving mode.

    My recent investigation into Invisalign has brought up many past memories of the 60’s era dentistry. My first cavity with the wooden spinning wheel drill vibrating against my head. No injection, the smell of ether and the smiley face of my dentist; Mr. Fielding who had the blackest teeth I have ever seen. It’s a wonder I ever set foot I a dentist again.

    Not to compete, at the last count I have 17 crowns. At an average of $2,000 each is $34,000 the exact cost of my new truck. What was my Chinese dentist thinking when putting two gold crowns on two defunct wisdom teeth that he had been root-canalled and filled many times over. For twenty or so years he put his focus on maintaining his excellent work performance and perhaps his income, but what about my long term teeth prospects as they became forever crowded. I do concede my portion of the problem, my frugal background and never thinking about my self worth.

    Personally I am doing very well also, my TMS issues are at an all time low, no stress, a soothing exercise routine with mandatory afternoon naps, and I gently pass my days dealing with one thing at a time. I anticipated and have anxiety over my current teeth plans, but know it will soon pass, I am actually excited, investigation is over and now comfortably committed. The windsurfing season is upon us, and I shall attend with plastic gismos in my mouth.

    I will soon be disappearing from this website for the summer. Be well
  7. Lainey

    Lainey Well known member

    The best to you and Sheila for an enjoyable summer with lots of great times to remember.
    andy64tms likes this.
  8. andy64tms

    andy64tms Well known member

    Hi Had,
    Thank you for your reply,

    I welcome alternative opinions, and I am pretty much akin and aware of everything you have said. I am glad there will be a record that future posters can view of what we discuss. I think I am the first to tag “Invisialign”.

    One of my concerns was indeed the sharp edge issue; I had a similar irritation once with a temporary cap. It was the weekend, dentist unavailable and the pain ceased when the cap was remove. It is my hope to receive accurate trays. In any event I can remove them, and my new dentist has an unbelievable “walk in policy” for emergency issues, I will see.

    Invisalign is sometimes not offered to teenagers due to their lack of discipline, and they sometimes have to endure metal retainers with their own set of encumbrances. My granddaughter proudly wears hers with a choice of pink tabs, how times have changed since the days of childish derogatory “Metal mouth” comments.

    I have been told the night retainers are necessary for a period of several years dependant on the crowding and the reforming of the bone structure. I have been quoted $600 for four which should last 2-3 years. I am not too thrilled about this night time ritual, and muse that I am asleep anyway.

    I am basically not very vain, I asked my wife and she agrees with this. We both do not indulge in expensive clothing and we have never afforded luxuries or kept up with technology, we don’t even have smart phones. Financially secure for the first time in our lives we are fortunate to now have choices and count our blessings.

    Vanity however is a secondary factor for me, and I reflect on my success with my 5 eye surgeries. I used to have eye bags that would make a bloodhound proud, and have considered the joys of looking good and feeling good before. Amusingly I kept records of my blackened face during recovery.

    My biting issue is the other factor. I bite over a bitten area often and many a meal has been spoilt spitting out blood in the bathroom. Saying: “Don’t do it” will not replace the functionality of my mouth. At 71 my teeth have worsened over the last ten years, they will not get better. I question whether to wait another ten years perhaps at 81, and further add if not now, When?

    I liked your comment: “Superhuman Discipline”. I fit the bill and refer to myself as “OCD particular”. My wife says:”Annoyingly accurate”. Do you know of anyone else that would make a spread sheet schedule for eye drops? Perhaps Jan the CPA.:)

    My new dentist is my second opinion, I learnt more from him about my teeth in one hour than I could ever imagine. He showed me the proud work he was performing on his mother, and a slight mentioned of his activities teaching other dentists Invisalign technology.

    There is always the element of doubt in any elective surgery decision. Thank you for helping with this one.

    Be well
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
  9. andy64tms

    andy64tms Well known member

    Thank you Plum,

    How are things? There was someone looking for you the other day.

    I took a quick look at pallet expansion and it looks good for certain applications. I would be irritated with something under my tongue. I have a very small mouth and my lower jaw is the one with crooked teeth. I think I observed the addition of retainers. I am amazed that they even consider pushing bones around like they do. I am booked in to having 5 teeth pulled. Arrgh..:inpain:

    I see you are in care giving mode for four people. Having looked after my wife through her recent ailments, I know only too well the pull and wrenching on your soul. I had to certify to myself, not to resent many times over. Despite all this my love deepens for her further every day, sacrifice is love.

    Be well Andy

    I wish I had a mum like Plum

    I have a wife to help with my strife

    Now reads:

    I wish I had a mum like Plum

    I have a wife, the love of my life
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
  10. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello Andy,

    I wish you all the very best with the upcoming procedures, promise me you’ll take very good care of yourself during and afterwards. I hope your lovely wife is doing well and I send you both love. ❤️

    All here is good. I’m getting much better at setting boundaries and looking after myself, and thus I find the old people-pleasing tendencies are gently falling away. This is healing for everyone. Caring can be incredibly rewarding. I find the best way to soothe resentment is not to take on too much because this leads to overwhelm. Sarno’s Soothe-to-Rage Ratio remains the best and simplest description of this. God Bless John Sarno.

    It’s a cool rainy day here, a relief after a bank holiday that saw temperatures hotter than the rest of Europe. How rare is that?

    Love from across the pond.

    Plum x
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