Damon Braces in NYC/Brooklyn. Correcting my Overbite, Overjet, and Crooked Teeth. - New York, NY

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My front teeth came out last as a child so when...

My front teeth came out last as a child so when the adult teeth came in there was no room and they overlapped. I have always hated my teeth and smiling, but now I am an adult and can afford braces. I just got them put on last week and decided to go the Damon route because I did not want a mouth full of big brackets and rubber bands. My ortho wants to extract 2 healthy upper bicuspids, and I am weary, so we are expanding the arch first and if my teeth do not make movements to straighten we are going to extract. My lower jaw is pretty far back and small compared to my upper arch as well, due to overbite and tongue thrusting overjet. My tongue never had space to rest still, but in a week I already notice that is different. I will post updates and photos after every appointment!

Update #1 Starting month 3

It's going on month 2 and I've had a bit of drama with the braces. I decided to update every other month as there are not many changes yet.
I've had two brackets pop off and I was getting angry thinking shoddy work but my ortho assured me this is normal for some patients and she reattached them. Eating sucks as I am trying to follow all the rules and I have lost 20lbs giving up candy and soda and sweets! So that's a plus. She also says I may not need extractions anymore but I think I will since my front teeth are so far over my lower arch I can't imagine getting them to move back otherwise, but she is taking a wait and see approach. In the mean time she's been using something called IPR to create little gaps in my teeth and told me they can look weird at first but toward the end everything will come together. I hope so becaus my teeth are extremely sore after the IPR and I hope it doesn't make my teeth any more weird shaped. She is very subtle with it though, I like how my teeth are starting to look even though I'm living on ice cream and protein shakes at the moment.

Update 11/20/14 - About to start month 6

Month 5 is coming to a close, and I have my next appointment tomorrow for tightening. My teeth are looking more jacked up as they shift. I hate them more now, but I hope the final outcome will make me forget this awkward stage! My teeth now have gaps but my front tooth is rotating back into place again finally. Dr. Sanchez told me that I would notice different levels of wear and tear on the teeth and at the end they can file everything down evenly, but not to worry so I am not panicked about the ugly look, but I can still hate it right?!

I have not had any extractions yet, there was a risk of flaring teeth without extractions but I am glad they decided to wait and see before extracting first because so far I don't have flaring, but that could change as the front tooth rotates more into place, IDK, but I am glad they do not do needless work or things to make treatment easier for them to do. I am still paying the full rate as of now, but they already assured me they would refund my money if I don't end up needing extractions later. I really like knowing everything so I like that they always tell me. They have a new assistant who has worked on me last time, I always get nervous with assistants, but Dr. B makes sure to check all their work and no issues with loose brackets or wires popping out at all these last 3 months now!

I haven't had a cleaning yet. I don't know when they will do it, but I am guessing keeping on top of my brushing has helped with that part. I do notice its harder to remove plaque from some brackets and once a week or so I go in there with a pick to scrape anything stuck to the brackets, because I am terrified of getting decalcification spots. So far so good! :D

In these photos you will really see the difference!

1/8/15 update

I think it is now Month 7! It's been such a long road, my teeth look worse at the moment and I am hating them. I feel like my smile is slanted (one side tilts upward, the other downward) and some are jutting out even more, and my grinding is worse than ever. This is that depressing stage of braces!!!
They do look more straight though, especially the front ones, but I'm still worried at what my end results will look like since I want a pretty smile, not just nice even teeth if that makes sense.

I had another bracket fall off while I was at work, the brackets popping off make me nervous and weary because they happen randomly! This last time I heard a click, while I was talking to someone, but about 20 minutes later I felt my wire jiggling and saw my cheek was holding the bracket in place. I called the emergency service number and Dr. B fixed it for me the very next day, but her assistant (a different one from last time) tried to say because I was chewing gum it came out. Those types of comments piss me off because I'm living without my favorite foods and snacks for no reason! If they still think I'm eating things I'm not supposed to why should I stop? It happened on the side I can't eat on due to there being a coil and food easily gets caught on it, I'm hoping it was the force of new thick wires.
My next appt, is next week and I'm finally getting my first teeth cleaning since having braces on! I am excited for that oddly enough, but it's so hard keeping teeth clean with braces, I think I may pay for another one or two before the treatment is over, as those white spots I see online are scaring me.

I may not need extractions! I guess we will see, but Dr. B told me she can possibly get the results I want without extractions just using subtle IPR and so far I like their IPR methods as they do keep it subtle and natural looking! I do not want those weird overly round or square teeth I see people with! I was quoted two quotes and took the 2 year extraction route, but the first option was 14 months and no extractions so if I end up with that I was told I will get some of my money back since the treatment time and lack of extractions won't be needed and it's cheaper by like 2-3 grand, so that is a huge plus!

Let's see what happens next.

March 2015

I think I am developing TMJ, I have had tons of pain in my mouth so at my Feb appointment, Dr. Sanchez told me I had a wisdom tooth infected back there and it had to come out. My first con with this office comes when I asked for a referral for the surgery because they do not take my insurance and I couldn't afford to have them do it. The con is because my insurance made an error and had me approved for an emergency surgery but it had to be used within 48 hours. What a let down when I go to pick up my referral and I get an xray photo instead, because "my insurance won't approve it" if the referral is from them. Really they forgot and couldn't get it to me but I didn't appreciate being argued with (by staff not the doctors) when I had spoke to my insurance company already!

I decided to schedule a tightening this month instead and pray the infection doesn't come back or worse, while my insurance got me in with my new dentist for next month. I did not get adjustments in Feb because of the infection, and will get my next one in two weeks.

All my wisdom teeth are now hurting so I guess the tooth movement is effecting them now because I am 30 and never had issues or knew my wisdoms were back there! Upon looking at my xray though I can clearly see my wisdom teeth are pointing sideways at my back molars and this was at my first appointment so I wish they had told me to remove them then before applying brackets!

My teeth are looking great for now! I wish my front tooth was rotating more! HURRY UP! Lol but all my friends notice a huge difference and I feel ok to smile more as it's not noticeable except up close! Yay! Straightening my teeth has brought out the ugliness in the ridges of them, Dr. B "filed" down some of the edges for me but says it's best to wait till the end when she has a clear view of how it all looks before shaping the teeth.

All in all I am happy with my progress but it's so frustrating during this awkward phase! My teeth hurt, they don't "fit" in my mouth (lots of tongue biting, lip chomping, and cheek chewing unintentionally), and I've started to "grind" at night. I will ask about a night guard at my next appointment to try and ease that a bit. Damon braces so far no elastics so that is a HUGE pro for anyone undecided! They are super easy to keep clean (except the "hook" style brackets!) and adjustments are a breeze compared to what I see in other patients! I also love that as my teeth get straighter their appearance becomes less noticeable when talking. Can't wait for summer! I think by then I will have a clear view of how great it is all looking!

Original X Ray. Before photo.

Not worth it

I have finally decided that getting braces was not worth it at all. This has nothing to do with my dentist as they have been great, except for not mentioning that the shape of my teeth would not give me the ideal I had in my mind. I wish they had dental programs similar to plastic surgeons where you can get an idea of your results before hand, my front teeth still have that overlap and it is noticeable to anyone looking closely enough. While I AM happy enough with my smile to not hide it specifically, I m not happy enough with it to go around smiling and laughing as much as I would like to. It is still something I am conscious of. I did not need extractions so I recommend trying the Damon system if you want to avoid them as it did widen my arch.

Another reason I am not feeling like it was worth it, is because now I feel like my tongue doesnt fit in my mouth anymore. IDK if this is normal or just something that bothers me, but I have teeth marks all on the sides from chewing on it, or sores from biting my lips in places as my mouth feels almost too small now. Its not a huge deal by any means, but it becomes bothersome at times, especially at night when I wake up in the morning and my lip or cheek or tongue are sore from the teeth being pushed down on those areas. My braces are not fully off yet, and they may do some filing to even them out and this may help with that issue, so I will still update again fully when the debonding process is over! (Next appointment) Damon braces work quickly! HUGE con as now I have a big balance to pay off before they can get removed since I am done before the expected time frame, and paying 5 months of payments at once will be tough, but again just another one of those things that isn't anybody's fault, and probably a huge plus to those who want them off quickly!

If I knew what I know now, I would have gotten breast implants and saved $1000 in the process. LOL or at least gone with veneers for the same cost of just the upper 6 teeth. It has been recommend to me to get some gums removed for help shaping the teeth further (I dont have a gummy smile at all) and I may do that next to see if it helps me feel better about the evenness of my mouth. My teeth are like different shapes and sizes and it is MORE noticeable now that they are straight so I still hate them. If I do get more work done on them I will still be using the same dentist, because I love Dr. Barillas and Dr. Sanchez, they are like artists for teeth, but I would definitely make sure you ask your dentist about stuff like this when doing a consult, it was not something I even imagined being an issue since everyone I know with braces or who had braces before have the most perfect teeth, and I feel like mine are ugly anyway and all my money is down the drain which hurts because I thought this was something that would be able to fully correct my smile. At least when you get plastic surgery you know going in that it will look better even if it is not your ideal body goal, especially thanks to so many before and after pics, but with teeth before and after pics they do not place you in that mind set. So, I wouldn't do this again, and I definitely will not get veneers now, but my teeth definitely look way better and I don't have to feel like everyone is staring at my mouth when I smile anymore which is a great feeling.
Dr. Ingrid Barillas

I chose this woman as my orthodontist because she was the only one who gave me multiple treatment options for my case with REAL results, she didn't just say everything would work, she told me if I did A. B. or C. what the results would be with each, which would be most cost effective, and which would give me the results I wanted. Her office was also FULL of patients every time I went in there, unlike other offices which were mostly empty. I felt secure knowing this is something she does on a daily basis. Having an office in Brooklyn is also a big plus for me. She also has a wonderful staff as well as a regular dentist on her staff so it has become my one stop place for all my dental needs at the moment since I have no insurance. She is very caring and no nonsense, she doesn't fluff you, she tells you what it is. Only negative is my appoints can go on for a while because she has lots of patients and she makes sure she also sees you, you're not just passed off on the assistants without her checking their work. Although, her assistants are great too :)

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
2 out of 5 stars Wait times
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