Thursday, April 19, 2012

The smile police: hypochondriac dentists

At my last dental check-up, my dentist and I discussed orthodontics. She told me that I have a slight open bite and recommended I consider getting braces. Since I am starting dental school and all, it will be free anyway, right?

Yikes. Braces in grad school?

I thought no, because it’s minimal and does not interfere with my everyday chewing. But she noted that it may get worse over time. Plus, she told me to consciously observe how I use my teeth: I realized I rarely use my front teeth to bite off food.

Maybe it is not a bad idea to fix my teeth before I become a dentist. Because sure, a dentist can’t fix his own teeth but a dentist with bad teeth must lose some street cred. Besides, I can foresee me diagnosing myself with all sorts of malocclusions as we are learning them in class, becoming a dental hypochondriac of sorts.

Perhaps I should enjoy these last few months of metal-less smiles (and my cozy little apartment):

Snapshot_20120308_25
Does the philosophy “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” apply to dentistry? Time to be dramatic: Is it worth years of pain and suffering during the height of my vibrant youth to make my smile picture-perfect? In 6th grade all I wanted was braces. A decade later, my wishes might just come true. I’m seeking a second (and third) opinion over the summer.

Has anyone else debated getting braces?
For those that have… do they really hurt a lot? (I’m a wimp.)

16 comments:

  1. I don't know, I feel like some dentists are overeager to fix problems that are only cosmetic. (Ex: I have an overbite and my teeth aren't completely straight. My dentist suggested braces and teeth whitening.)

    But I've never had a cavity!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the way my molars are coming in, they are shifting other teeth. To be honest I'm paranoid now that she's suggested it...

      Delete
  2. Hmm. Objectively, Would you trust a dentist, or orthodontist, who has "bad" teeth? Or, for some reason, wouldn't you think that their teeth are indicative of their quality of work?
    Just putting that out there.

    Now you've made me self conscious of my biting habits too.
    (We need to talk about this braces business, because I need some)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But it's similar to the barber idea: a barber does not shave his face himself. A dentist obviously does not operate on himself, but do his teeth reflect his own sense of aesthetics and standards?

      Delete
    2. I meant to clarify that a dentist is unable to operate on himself. Ah! But these are the kind of things that will go through people's minds though.
      Personally, it doesn't bother me. I always ask around about the qualitative work of a barber or dentist before partaking their services.

      Delete
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