Archive for June, 2013

A Dental Odyssey

June 2, 2013

MaddieStartMaddieFinish2 My daughter lost her first tooth when she was eight years old. All of her friends were getting “big girl teeth” at age six and Maddie was a little worried that she would never get hers. When the first tooth finally was lost, it was really lost. Maddie, with a sad face, had to write to the tooth fairy to explain that she did truly lose a tooth and to please leave her something under her pillow.   This was an early sign that teeth might be an issue.
At age twelve, when most of her friends had all of their permanent teeth, Maddie still had most of her primary teeth. Nightly I would be greeted with an unhappy  face wondering when her teeth would develop. “Everyday at school someone makes fun of my teeth”. How that hurts that I am a dentist and cannot help my own daughter. To speed up the eruption of the permanent teeth, thirteen primary teeth were extracted. Even though these teeth were only “baby” teeth, they were not ready to come out and the roots were long. I did not want to be the one to remove them but Maddie insisted that I do it. Talk about heartache! Braces were placed on the few teeth that were left and the permanent teeth were surgically uncovered and dragged in by force. The braces were then removed to wait for the remaining permanent teeth to erupt.
At age fourteen, detesting the spaces between her teeth, my new nightly greeting became: “When am I going to get braces? Everyone is making fun of my teeth”. I could not comfortably continue her orthodontic treatment and begged my orthodontist buddy to take over her case. I figured she would understand her treatment better if it was coming from another dentist. This proved not to be the case and between the both of us we cajoled her into being  a little more patient.
At age seventeen, my new greeting was: “When am I getting these braces off? I am a senior and I need to have these brackets off my teeth.”
To shorten this odyssey, Maddie had her braces removed, laser gum surgery to lengthen the appearance of her teeth, teeth whitening and cosmetic bonding to eliminate some spaces and widen a few teeth.
Senior prom was last night. Maddie had a beautiful dress and the teeth that she always wanted.

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