Oct 28, 2008

My treatment plan

Posted by DeVille |

Well, I finally got my treatment plan... To cut a long story short, there's nothing major that needs to be corrected other than the crowding!

At this stage the ortho is sticking with 2 years (but I live in hope!) and is trying to talk me into a full metal mouth. I'm weighing up the possibilities still, but I think I'd rather have them on a little longer and have them be slightly less visible. $200NZD difference in price isn't enough to sway me one way or the other, and I think I'll be giving in to my vanity on this one.

No date set yet, as I do need to have all four 2nd premolars removed, but I have a 'fitness' check at the dentist next week anyway so I'll be arranging for the extractions then. Once I've got that appointment set, I can give the ortho a call and set my b-day for 2 weeks later. Woohoo!!! So now I just have to hope I can get in for the extractions in the next 3-4 weeks, and I'll have braces before Christmas :)

Now for the most important part - the cost! If I choose to have all metal, then the cost will be $6400 NZD. The cost of ceramic braces will be $6600 NZD, so as you can see there's very little difference in price. I have two payment options: 1) Pay up front and get a 10% discount or 2) 12 months interest free Time Payment, which works out to $550 a month.

I'm in a tug of war at the moment over the cost! It's coming up Christmas, and I'm also taking my parents to the Gold Coast for 3 weeks in May next year which is going to cost around $6k. I've been saving $500 a month towards this, so if I choose time payment, I have to stop my holiday savings. Essentially I'll have to look into some form of finance, as no way in heck am I breaking into my special savings pot (must... buy...house... must... not... touch... savings...)!

Anyway. I had a chat to my bank today, and I'm just waiting to hear back. Fingers crossed for me! I'm on a roll now, and I really don't want to be held back by cost :(

Oct 26, 2008

Getting your dental records done...

Posted by DeVille |

The first step towards your new smile is getting your dental records done as these records are what the Orthodontist will use to figure out your treatment plan.

Below is a step by step of my visit to the ortho get my records done:

Step 1: X-rays
As soon I walked in I was taken to get x-rays and first up was the panoramic x-ray. If you've already had one done at your dentist, you can just have that record sent over but in my case, I'd had my wisdom teeth removed and my teeth had already moved a bit so I needed a new one.

If you've never had a panoramic x-ray, it can be a bit weird feeling. Basically, you stand under a giant x-ray machine, stick your neck out a bit and bite onto the bite pad, grinning like an idiot! The machine will rotate around your head and once it's complete - that's it.

Next was a full head x-ray. Same principle, but this time you stand under a different machine which lines up with your ears (it can feel a little weird having the things sticking in your ears). A quick flash and it's done.

Step 2: Photos
Next I had photos taken of my face smiling, normal and then side on. The best was yet to come however! Once this was done (thank heavens I wore makeup BTW), they took close ups of my arches. To do this, they put in a couple of plastic expanders which you have to hold apart so they can get a good look at your teeth. I'm sure you've already seen these - those things that pull your lips apart and give you a hideous toothy and gummy grin? Mildly uncomfortable, but the worst part was the disinfectant taste afterwards.

Next, they took a large, hour shaped mirror and placed this in my mouth. Again, I held this while they took photos of my upper and lower arch. Other than being a little annoying, there was no discomfort at all.

Step 3: Moulds
This is the part I was dreading as I'd been told all sorts of horror stories about not being able to breath, gagging and what not. This was absolutely not the case! Basically all they do is fill a dental tray with flavoured gum, stick it over your teeth until they set, then repeat it on the other arch. It takes about 30 seconds for the gum to set, and that's all there is to it! Just remember to breathe out your nose :)

And there you have it, dental records complete! The whole process took about 20 minutes and then I was out the door.

The records take about a week to come back, and I'm getting my results tomorrow. I'll be back with another update once I've got that.