Taking a Gamble - Camp Hill, PA

I'm 19 years old and started college this past...

I'm 19 years old and started college this past fall. I've never been a fan of my teeth and I blame their state on braces that I had about 10 years ago. When I was 7 my dentist recommended braces and within a year I had partial braces on my front teeth. The only issue was that my braces were straightening about 2 adult teeth and primarily my baby teeth. During this process, my upper left baby canine fell out. At the time however, I had a metal bar that attached the brackets on my 4 front teeth to my molars in the back. This metal left no place for my tooth to grow in, therefore creating what i call..."the fang."

This was initially what lead me to go to an Invisalign consultation today. I vowed to never have braces again even though I know my smile needs orthodontic work. I was excited, hopful and feeling good about it. That vanished when the orthodontist came in and the first thing she said to me was "you will need to have 4 of your teeth pulled due to crowding." When i had braces before, they tried addressing my crowding issues with expanders, bands etc. and talked about removing teeth, but decided it wasn't necessary (probably because of my age). The crowding didn't surprise me, but being told today that I need four bicuspid's removed (the teeth between my molars and canines, sorry for the bad description) scares the crap out of me. I really hate the idea of removing 4 perfectly healthy teeth and the uncertainty of the outcome. My orthodontist assured me the gaps will be filled and the missing teeth won't be noticable by the end, but who thinks about losing teeth at 19? I'm also afraid of what eating is going to be like, I eat my meals in a dining hall and 90% of the time its with other people. I paid the down payment today for the invisalign, so this is all getting done in the next few weeks (including my extraction) but I'm feeling really indifferent about it right now.


I can totally understand your fear about having the teeth removed. I had braces when I was 12 and they didn't need to extract any teeth. I'm now 45 and due to not wearing my retainer, my teeth crowded again. I was told that I'd have to have my bottom lateral incisor removed in order to make it work. Whether your 19 or 45, getting teeth removed is not fun. I tried to argue for the retention of my tooth, but lost. They took it out and I was heartbroken. Not only that the tooth is missing, but that it's right up front! They put a pontic in my bottom tray, so when I'm wearing them, you can't tell. I know you have to eat in the dining hall and that's going to be a challenge, but it will work out and the gaps will close. I have to wait until tray 9 to see some movement, but at least I know it's coming. I'm currently on tray 1 of 23. I was supposed to only wear them for two weeks each, but my first tray is still tighter than it should be, so I have another 2 weeks in them. My first 3 or 4 days of treatment was an emotional roller coaster of doubt, regret, and more than a few tears. I started a blog on here too to help me walk myself through this. It does get better. Keep your eye on the prize and know that you were smarter than me to start treatment early so you can have beautiful teeth for the rest of your life--rather than spending the next 25 years feeling more and more uncomfortable with your smile. I look forward to reading about your progress. --Renee
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I appreciate the support, Renne. Thank you! I go next week for a consultation for my extraction. The first few nights I had a lot of anxiety and kept looking at my teeth in the mirror. However, a few days ago I took a look at the pictures of my teeth they gave me to show me which teeth they would be removing. I previously had been avoiding them in hopes that I may forget that I am having them removed. When I did eventually look at them, I kind of came to peace with having them removed and starting this whole process. I saw my crowded teeth, my somewhat funny looking jaw, and everything the orthodontist told me about. I don't expect it to be easy, but I do believe I am ready for this.=)
I'm glad you're moving toward acceptance. I did the same thing with looking in the mirror. However, be ready because it will still come as a shock when the teeth are actually removed--and there will be a bit of grieving once they're gone. Good luck next week! -- Renee

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