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Author Topic: Story: Never Too Old for a Trip to the Orthodontist  (Read 1790 times)

Offline lemonlyman89

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Story: Never Too Old for a Trip to the Orthodontist
« on: 27. May 2019, 08:46:41 AM »
It was a rare Monday when me and my partner both had the day off. I slept in, but my partner had to rise early to head to a dentist appointment. My partner, Sara, was blessed with relatively straight teeth naturally, having watched all of her friends, including me, go through orthodontic hell during our high school years, but escaped the hardship herself. 

Over the last few years, she had started getting more and more cavities, something natural in one’s late 20’s, the dentist told her. The dentist had also mentioned that it could be due to the shape of some of her teeth. As I did most times when Sara had a dentist appointment, I expected her to call or text on her way home complaining that her dentist had found more cavities, with her not sure who to blame but just wanting to vent.

So, at 10 a.m., as I lay in bed half asleep, sure enough, I heard a text, and then another text, and then another one.
   
“The dentist says I need to go see an orthodontist wtf”

“She says my teeth are shifting and something about my teeth fitting together.”

“I can’t get braces. I’m almost 30. This is bullshit.”

“Wow, that sucks,” I thought, still half asleep. Sara had often talked about how lucky she was. She had mentioned before that when she was younger she thought braces and retainers were cool, but obviously had since learned that this was not the case.

I texted her back and told her not to overreact and asked what she was going to do. After some initial doubt, she decided she probably visit the orthodontist to find out how serious the problem was, or if there even really was one. We both were sure it was something fairly minor at most.

“OK – they can get me in later today, but it’s right after we were going to go to the garden store. Can you just come with me? I doubt it will take long.”

“Sure,” I responded, knowing that this wasn’t the way I wanted to spend my afternoon.

For most of the day, we continued about our plans, mostly working in the yard, prepping our vegetable garden for some plants we would pick up just prior to Sara’s appointment.

At 3 p.m., after striking out at garden store, we jumped in the car to go to the orthodontist for Sara’s appointment. I had hoped we would have time to swing by the house to drop me off, but there was no such luck on this Monday.

“Dr. Dana Sandusky – Your Favorite Orthodontist,” the sign read. It was a standalone one-story converted house that sat adjacent to a medium sized office park.

Once inside, Sara checked in and we sat and waited. Sara told me that this orthodontist was good friends with her dentist, which is how we got in so quickly.

“Sara!” an assistant yelled as she walked through the wide door to the back, “This way.”

Sara got up and she started to walk to the back. After realizing that I wasn’t following her, she quickly motioned for me to come too, giving me a “if I’m sitting through this, my husband is too,” sort of look. So, we both followed the assistant to a private room in the back half of the building. Sara got into the examination chair, while I sat off to the side in a regular chair. Sara was nervous and skeptical, and this was only ratcheted up when we walked in and the large TV in the room had Sara’s picture, as well as various x-rays and profile shots she had taken earlier in the day at the dentist. There was also a mold of Sara’s teeth sitting on the table in front of us that Sara mentioned her dentist had made earlier that at her routine appointment.

As Sara and I joked about Sara’s fate, in walked the orthodontist. We exchanged introductions with the orthodontist. She wasn’t much older than us, which was weird but also made this seem a little more informal.

Dr. Sandusky put on gloves, turned on the exam light and leaned Sara’s chair back. I sat there watching, admiring my wife’s small frame, beautiful features and a bright, straight smile lit up by the powerful LED light.

“Yes, OK. I see what Laura (her dentist) was seeing. There’s a slight problem that I think you should take care of, one way or another,” Sandusky said.

She explained that Sara’s teeth had slowly started to shift and because of that her teeth were not fitting together properly. Some work on the bite, and some minor tooth movement would get her into an acceptable spot.

“What are the options?” Sara asked, skeptically.

Having looked at some of this earlier today, there are three,” Sandusky said, shifting our attention to another screen that we hadn’t event noticed.

1. Traditional braces - 3000€ – 3-6 months
2. Appliance therapy - 1500€ – 8-10 months
3. Invisalign - 7000€ – 18-24 months

The orthodontist then explained all of the options. She said that the braces were the easiest and surest bet. Sara wasn’t too happy about that option, so narrowed in on the appliance option, as Invisalign took the longest and costed the most. I was surprised that Sara was accepting of the problem to begin with, but Dr. Sandusky had really laid it all out and relayed the potential seriousness of the problem if it went unchecked.

 “Did you ever have a retainer growing up?” Dr. Sandusky asked Sara.

“No, I never had anything,” she proudly remarked.

“The appliances are basically like the retainers you would wear at night after braces,” Dr. Sandusky explained. “There’s a little more too them, but that’s the general idea. If you wanted to start with that, we could always look at the other options if it’s not successful.”

Sara looked at me and I told her it was up to her.

“OK, I guess let’s just do it and get this over with,” she said.

“You’ll finally get to experience orthodontics,” I told Sara with a laugh. She was less than amused.

Dr. Sandusky took note, “Oh, did you have braces? Why don’t you hop up into the chair?”

No harm, no foul, I thought. As I got into the chair and she put in the cheek retractors, she told Sara and I about a promotion they were running for adults. Patients got 2-for-1 value. You spend 1000€, you get 1000€ off on the other patient's treatment.

“Actually, Mark, your teeth are shifting a bit too. It’s not too bad, but do you still wear your retainers?”

“No,” I said, without thinking “I lost them a few years ago.”

“Since it will be free, we should go ahead and make some new ones for you. We can make some minor corrections, too.”

“Oh, ok,” I said, acting happy, but internally thinking how silly of an exercise this would be. “Thanks for letting us know about that.”

With that, she handed us off to an assistant for additional records and told us that she would see us in a week or so to start the process.

“I can’t believe this, but it’s better than braces,” Sara muttered as we left the room, headed for another area of the office.

Our impressions and x-rays took about an hour. Once we were through, we made an appointment for the next Friday afternoon and were on our way.

To be continued...

Online Braceface2015

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Re: Story: Never Too Old for a Trip to the Orthodontist
« Reply #1 on: 27. May 2019, 18:22:20 PM »
I do have a request. When you post chapters to your story, could you please add a chapter number at the top. When I add stories to TheArchive, it makes it so much easier to keep track of the chapters if they are numbered.

I have the largest collection of shared braces stories archived on the net, and share them with anyone that wants to read them.

I always appreciate when a new author posts a story, and encourage them to continue writing. I have found that writers get better as they continue to add to their stories and continue to write other stories.

I am looking forward to seeing more of this story and am always willing to help an author by providing a place to store their story and share it with other people.

I am not a writer, but I do know how to write.

Braceface2015
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Online Braceface2015

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Re: Story: Never Too Old for a Trip to the Orthodontist
« Reply #2 on: 28. May 2019, 20:21:29 PM »
That is a nice start for a story. I have added it to TheArchive. I am looking forward to more of the story. It will be interesting to see where it goes.

Offline jonjon

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Re: Story: Never Too Old for a Trip to the Orthodontist
« Reply #3 on: 29. May 2019, 03:20:06 AM »
Great start to Sara's story looking forward to the next installment

Offline lemonlyman89

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Re: Story: Never Too Old for a Trip to the Orthodontist
« Reply #4 on: 16. June 2019, 03:28:29 AM »
Chapter 2

One week later

It was Friday afternoon and we were headed to the orthodontist’s office.

Since the previous week, my wife hadn’t talked much about any of this leading up to today. We both saw this appointment as a minor annoyance. On the way, she did ask me if I thought she would be in pain.

In my experience, retainers weren’t that bad, and since they could be taken out, it wasn’t that big of a deal. Coming out of last appointment, it seemed like her retainers would just need to be worn at night, so there wasn’t much to worry about, she said.

We arrived, checked in and waited a few minutes. We both had appointments for 4 p.m. though they were running a little behind. We went ahead and paid for our treatment, since we had a few extra minutes. We opted to pay in cash, which actually gave us an additional 15 percent discount.

At 4:15, we were both called back and this time led to a more public, working area of the office. Six chairs lined a pairs of huge windows that overlooked the busy road outside. We were told sit in two chairs on the end. The office was fairly quiet and not too busy given that it was a Friday afternoon.

The same assistant that we had seen before got started on Sara while I sat watching, waiting for someone to give me my replacement retainers. I looked over towards my wife and I noticed two appliances sitting in a model of her teeth on the small table attached to her examination chair. Interestingly, the assistant started to attach bands to her back two molars on top and bottom.

“You will hardly notice these, but they will anchor the appliances and hopefully make your teeth move a little bit faster,” the assistant said.

As that started, another assistant, an older, slightly overweight woman, threw on some gloves and leaned my chair back.

“Hi Mark…I see we made you some retainers.”

“Yes,” I remarked, adding on a lame joke about how my teeth had moved a little bit and it was free so here we were.

Before I put those in your mouth, I’m going to put some small, clear build-ups on a couple other your teeth in back to help these stay in place,” she said.

This was different than before, but they had said we would try to move a couple of teeth. That whole process took about 10 minutes and I went to rinse. Other than feeling them slightly, I hardly noticed them. They were just back on my molars.

At this point, Sara was still having the bands placed.

I went back to the chair and laid down and my assistant started to try in my retainers. They were Hawley- style, but the metal bar had a clear acrylic around it and there were a couple of springs on the inside.

At this point, Dr. Sandusky had appeared and slipped the bottom retainer in first and then quickly the upper.

“Bite down,” she said.

I immediately sensed the increase of saliva and the clunkiness of the acrylic on the inside of my mouth. This was a feeling that I had not missed.

For the next several minutes, she made several minor adjustments to the appliances, which were the standard pinkish red acrylic. When she was finally satisfied, I felt a subtle but constant pressure on both arches of my teeth. This was from the small springs that differentiated this from my retainers of the past.

“How do those feel?” she asked.

“Fine,” I responded, as I could sense the lisp.

As she was putting my chair upright, I noticed that Sara had left to go rinse. They were evidently done with the installation of her bands. I was happy that I at least not have to deal with that, or the horrible glue taste that came along with the process.

“Mark, I want you to start wearing these 12-16 hours per day,” the doctor said, as I looked at her confused. “For meals, you should take them out, but feel free to leave them in for snacking.”

“Not just to bed?” I remarked, lisping once again.

“No, let’s start with more time to try to get the movement done. Plus, this will help your wife since she’ll be wearing her’s whenever she’s not at work.”

I nodded, while at the same time realizing how upset and surprised Sara would be by this piece of news.
 
The doctor motioned for me to move to a chair to the right of Sara’s examination chair, and I sat there, silent, lips pursed over my new appliance,  managing an influx of saliva, waiting for Sara to return. I would not be the first to tell Sara the development in her wear time.

Sara returned to her chair, “That was fast. Are you done?” She asked.

“Yes,” I responded, trying to act natural but at the same time hide the metal and plastic bar that ran in front of my teeth.

Sara didn’t seem to notice I was still wearing my retainers. After all, we had both thought that we were coming into pick up retainers that were to be worn at night. This would be an interesting weekend, I thought to myself.

Sara was back in her examination chair and leaning back, her headrest practically in Dr. Sandusky’s lap.

“OK, Sara, let’s see how these fit.”

The assistant handed Dr. Sandusky the top appliance first and it was snapped into place. I heard a small groan from Sara, the noise and feeling likely just startled her.

With Sara’s mouth still open, the doctor snapped in the lower appliance.

“Do you see how these sort of clip in, Sara,” the doctor said. “To remove them, reach back to these bands and snap the small clip out of place and they should pop right out. This is going to help with compliance but also anchorage while we try to shift things around.

“Sara, this is going to feel a little awkward, but you’ll get used to it,” Dr. Sandusky said. “This is what we call a modified twin block appliance that also contains a spring retainer. This will get your bite, as well as your teeth, into the correct alignment.”

Sara bit down. I saw the look of terror on her face. Saliva dripped from the right side of her mouth. She hadn’t quite figured out how to get the appliance to fit together so that she could close her mouth.

Dr. Sandusky made some more minor adjustments, and had Sara practice taking it out and putting it in, which was especially important given that they snapped into place over the bands on her back teeth.

With the appliances snuggly in her mouth and Sara sitting up in the chair, selecting her case, Dr. Sandusky broke the news, but did so without realizing it was news at all.

“So, wear these whenever you’re not at work, and try to wear them while you’re eating, Sara.”

“Whathh?” Sara responded.

“You need to wear these day and night. You can take them out for important functions, but the only way we can get this done quickly is if you’re wearing the appliances.”

I could tell she wanted to protest, but also could tell that she knew this was right for her, and that she didn’t feel like figuring out how to say words with so much new plastic and metal in her mouth.

“You husband is wearing his during the day too. You guys keep each other wearing these.”

I sheepishly smiled, revealing the bar, which Sara also had, that went across both rows of my teeth.

Sara semi smiled, revealing not only metal bars across the front of her teeth, but also large clear blocks near the back of her mouth.

We went to the front desk, made our appointments for eight weeks and headed to the car. No one saying a word.

Offline Hops

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Re: Story: Never Too Old for a Trip to the Orthodontist
« Reply #5 on: 16. June 2019, 12:45:25 PM »
Good story! I wish that was my wife and me.

Offline ortho218

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Re: Story: Never Too Old for a Trip to the Orthodontist
« Reply #6 on: 16. June 2019, 20:26:04 PM »
good story, I'm enjoying it so far! :)