Okay, Who has $4,000 They Want to Give Me?

23 05 2008

I’ve decided that I will try “dating” my new dentist before breaking up with my old dentist.
Wait, isn’t thing what I always said I wouldn’t do… the cheating part?  That I’d be honest and be like, “This isn’t working.” and be mature about it?
Well, I guess it’s not really like cheating because I haven’t made the full on commitment to the new dentist.  It’s like we’ve met for coffee and we’re trying to decide if we like each other.
Things went really well though.  The office was much more high-tech then my previous office. Ends up that I’m still cavity free, which is great.  Everyone, even the dentist who owns the practice was surprised at how super my teeth are.  And it was like they couldn’t believe it’s been six months since my last cleaning.
They took pictures, actual pictures, of my teeth.  I’ve never seen the backside of my top row of teeth until Wednesday.
After the cleaning (in which they sprayed my teeth with water as opposed to the sit-up-swish-spit-lay-down) I got to rinse with Listerine (um, that was a first) and then I get handed another cup.
“What’s this?”  I ask.
“Uh, fluoride.”
“What now?”
“You swish it.”
And there was my first fluoride treatment since grade school, when it cost a quarter and you got the little packets (white, with brown print) and you swished and spit back into the packet.  Yum.

Flashback to 1985.  I’m five or six and my adult teeth are starting to make appearances.  One of my teeth on my bottom row has the adult tooth coming in behind the baby tooth and the baby tooth isn’t budging.  After waiting as long as we could, the only option was to remove my baby tooth so my adult tooth could come in mostly normal.  And that’s how I lost my first tooth.  With a pair of dentist pliers.

So now, Fully Adult and Well Over the Age of 19 Stephanie has a slightly crooked tooth on her bottom row.  It’s not like I have a complete snaggle tooth, but I know it’s there.  So the new dentist is looking at my teeth and says in a wow-you-have-great-teeth-BUT way, “Did you ever have braces?”  And I’m like, “No.”
“Well, you’d be a perfect candidate for Invisalign.”
“Really?  The dentist I was seeing never mentioned anything about it being a problem.”
(flashback noise.  My old dentist says, “Well, sure, we COULD do that, but we’d have to file your teeth down and you’d need braces and I don’t do that here.”)
“Oh, see, your bite doesn’t line up like it should due to the shifting from this tooth here.”  tap-tap on Crooktooth.
“Hmm, I was told I’d need to be filed down etc.”
“Maybe, but not necessarily.”
“Iiiiintersting.  But you know, honestly, it’s not bothering me.”
“However, you have started chipping your front teeth and the mis-alignment could be encouraging your TMJ.”

A- Why did old dentist NEVER realize my teeth are chipping?  I noticed and I see me every day.  B- Why did old dentist never suggest misalignment?

So we go though the hoops of how much it will cost and how long it would take.  I was given a sheet that said the cost was $3,700 and insurance would cover about $1,200 of it.  And for someone who’s never had any kind of dental work done, I nearly passed out.  Ends up that traditioanl braces cost just as much.  Didn’t know.  Also didn’t know that because I’m over the age of 19 and not dependant, I get zero help from my insurance.  What?  Don’t adults get crook teeth?
I called back to the dentist and asked WTF, you’re saying I’m covered and the insurances says I’m not… what gives.
Ends up the office messed up and in fact, it would cost me $3,700.

* Possible reduction of TMJ incidents
* Non-Crookteeth
* Perhaps my jaw would loosen up and I could eat a meatball without cutting it into quarters

* $3,700.
* Possiblility that my teeth will shift again (but this is the same for metal braces)
* $3,700.

So, anyone have an extra four grand lying around that they would LOOOOOVVVEEEE to donate to  Stephanie Can’t Open Her Jaw All The Way Due To Denistry Gone Awry Over Twenty Years Ago?  We’re located right next to The Derek Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can’t Read Good and Want to Learn to Do Other Things Good Too.