I shouldn't say that this was everything I thought I would hear, because it wasn't. I feel like the only good news out of the whole deal is that if I go the non-surgical route, he can do invisalign for me. I've been told in the past I am not a candidate for it since my teeth are so messed up, but this doc is the guy who invented invisalign-- yep, he made it right in his lab that was 2 feet from where we were talking. So, invisalign would be fantastic since it will be MUCH easier to keep my teeth clean with that! If that happens, I guess I'll have to change the blog to "confessions of a plastic mouth." Otherwise, he pretty much said to me what the other orthodontist said to me. Actually, there was one other difference. This orthodontist suggested taking care of the hole where #19 back molar was with the bone graft and implant first. He doesn't want to risk any more bone loss over the next few years, which would worst case scenario prevent me from being able to hold an implant and I would be forced into getting a bridge. I do NOT want a bridge. The two teeth around 19 are healthy and it would be stupid to grind those down for a bridge.
I liked this orthodontist. When I walked in there was a sign up in the office that said "Welcome Ashley! Congrats!" I thought that was sweet! I also liked that he was a weather geek, and even applied for the National Weather Service many years ago. They turned him away with his biology degree though! Ha! He took a lot of time to talk to me, and basically did all of my pictures and measurements right away. I've had two appointments at the other ortho, and he hasn't even taken any measurements. His assistant did take my pictures and xrays during the last appointment, so I'm sure I'll see a bill for that if I don't continue treatment there. There were so many names and numbers he was calling out that I can't even remember it all, but I made sure to get the overjet measurement since I tried to estimate that myself, and I was kind of close-- 8mm. No bueno! So, here is a rundown of what he suggested:
-Double jaw surgery. Giving me referral for specialist who does nothing but this surgery up in Oakland.
-Bone graft and implant first on 19, instead of after braces.
-Braces if I elect surgical route.
-Invisalign if I elect non-surgical
I'm back to being torn on the surgery. I've read so many stories about people having permanent numbness in their chin/lip-- but even with those people, they always mention, "but I would do it again and I don't regret it!" This ortho said that out of his 500 surgical cases over the years (he's been doing this a long time. no spring chicken here!) he hasn't really seen significant issues. I have another friend who works in an ortho office and she kind of said the same thing. So, maybe these stories I've read are the minority and, much like restaurant reviews, people are more inclined to go out of their way to write something when something is wrong, and be less inclined to do it if it went perfectly. Out of all the consults I've had, I just get such a sense of "you really should have this surgery," even though they say they are trying not to sway me either way.
I really don't know what to do. My windshield appointment got canceled, and I came into the house, burst out into tears, and poured some wine. Why? Partially because I'm overwhelmed, and then partially because I had to sit and look at pictures that were close up of my face/teeth for an hour while he talked to me and it just kind of bummed me out. I regret not putting on make up or doing my hair this morn, but I just hate looking at my mouth and smile. Here's the file they started today (So hard to post this, but I guess I'm committed to sharing my story):
I forget what he called it, but in my side profile you can see my top lip is flat. That would be fixed with surgery when the teeth were brought up/forward enough. My lips will also come out more with braces. I also forget what he called that... maybe confident lip or something? Gosh, I forget. It's beside the point, I guess.
Another issue-- this office said insurance denied coverage for the braces, which I will have to call them on because we got on this plan because they covered adult orthodontics. If insurance won't cover, then I'm looking at an $8200 price tag :( :( :( BUT.... if I get Kaiser this fall during my open season and elect for the surgery, then that would end up being about $500 all said and done, for a surgery that would cost 50K without insurance.
I really don't know what to do. Anybody stumbling on this blog off the internet and have some input, go ahead and reply please!