A Complement to Braces
The braces came off my teeth when I was 16. I’d worn them for three years, an eternity for a teenaged boy. Then came two more years with the retainer, a vile contraption I had to remove each time I ate, wrapping it in a napkin so as not to gross out the other guys.
But I persevered, because every time I stopped wearing the retainer, my teeth wanted to revert to their old configuration, with fangs sticking out on top and crowded teeth doing the shuffle along the bottom.
By the time I turned 18, I’d had it with braces. Period. I stopped wearing my retainer and let my teeth meander where they may. They looked far better than they would have without braces, but they were definitely out of alignment. Girls dated me anyway.
Fast forward 20 years. Now my own kids are starting orthodontic treatment. My wife loves me the way I am. And yet, my teeth had become progressively more crooked over time.
In the office of Dr. Tom Hughes for a regular dental checkup, I couldn’t help but notice the stunning Before and After photos displayed—books and books of his actual patients. Here, I thought, was a dentist with some real experience in cosmetic dentistry. I wondered if it were feasible to do something with my teeth, which were sound, just crooked.
Dr. Hughes assured me that orthodontists often send patients to see him, once their course of work is done. Often there’s that one tooth that wants to tuck behind or some other last remaining challenge. Orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry both have their limits, but as it turns out, they can enhance each other, too, for the benefit of the patient.
In just two visits, Dr. Hughes created porcelain veneers for four teeth that were out of alignment. Just four teeth. It is remarkable what a difference it made in my smile and my attitude! I find that I smile a lot more now.
My parents invested in my smile early through orthodontics. Now, I feel as though this cosmetic procedure was the final installment in that investment. It was well worth it!
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