I’m currently on #9 of 19 in my second refinement and things are going alright I guess. If you’re a regular reader, you probably noticed that I pulled the blog for a little while. I was having second thoughts on all the angry shit I wrote since I was in the process of clearing my mind, accepting my fate with my provider, and possibly accepting that my dream of having straight teeth has gone out the window. I was also trying to move forward with rebuilding my patient/doctor relationship. I’m pretty sure she’s read this blog, but I’m still not certain. Things were getting better so I figured I’d just remove it. Then I got to thinking… all the BS I’ve gone through is 100% true and 100% frustrating. Just because things are better now doesn’t mean that all the crap that I went through before this is invalid. If I can help someone dodge the hang-ups I’ve had, then I’ve done my job. This is why I’ve decided to put my blog back online.
Things are going better between me and my orthodontist. The last time I saw her, she excitedly told me that she’d just returned from one of several Invisalign workshops. I’m guessing she learned some stuff because I showed her a new gap that was forming between two of my lower incisors and unlike before when she’d dance around a solution for the problem, this time she seemed pretty confident in her new course of action (skipping several lower trays). This gap is completely closed now.
I’m starting to wonder if I’ll ever have straight teeth. Have I been delusional all along? It’s been two years since I began treatment and I’m nowhere close to being done. I’m a regular follower of a popular Invisalign forum filled with people just like me- adults who’ve finally decided to do something about their crooked teeth, overjet, or whatever it is that bothers them. Given my numerous setbacks, I think I’ve done a decent job at keeping a positive outlook but I will be honest and say that I get pretty demotivated when I read about people finishing treatment who’ve started even a year after I began. And some of these people’s results are so drastic, it’s impossible not to compare my “befores” with their “befores” and think: ‘Wow. What the hell???’. I totally understand that orthodontics is far more than just fixing the aesthetic view of a person’s front teeth and I was never under the impression that my case was the same as anyone else’s based on looks, but come on. Come on!!
All it would take is a simple google search and you’d immediately find Invisalign patient cases that appear to be waaaay worse than mine who were in and out of treatment in far less time than twenty-eight months (I still have about four months to go if things work out the way they’re “supposed to”) . Why do I have teeth that refuse to budge? Am I a freak of nature? I’d like to think that it’s because I have an inexperienced Invisalign provider, but I’m having second thoughts. My first provider told me that he might have problems rotating one of my canines, but never mentioned the laterals. My upper right one seems to be cemented into place.
In the shot above, the first one was taken before I started treatment (and clearly before I was aware of whitening strips) and the second was just four weeks ago. When going into this whole thing, I was more concerned about correcting a fixable part of my smile in order to detract from the larger issue- how much my gum tissue shows when I smile. More on that later… I have a plan.
I will say though that aside from a sharp edge caused by my orthodontist’s shoddy IPR job a year ago, my lower teeth are pretty much perfect. I’m very happy with how they look. My top teeth on the other hand, well that’s a different story. They don’t appear to have been graced by the hand of an orthodontist for an entire two years. That’s for damn sure. My best friend’s upper incisors were pointing towards the back of her throat. She had her braces put on three months before I started treatment (September 2011) and they were removed last May. Now her teeth are perfect. Bitch.
So yeah. The depressing reality is that I may not get straight teeth like I had planned. I’m so, so tired of this whole process. I just want to be done already.