Monday, 16 July 2012

I'm getting braces tomorrow

I'm so excited.

I wanted to get braces for so long but my parents never thought it necessary. Now that I'm working, I'm able to afford my orthodontics treatment.

I've always been self conscious about my teeth, it's all over the place. And I hate to smile too widely because it would expose my crooked teeth. I'm so glad I'm finally getting it fixed.

It's not easy for me to embark on this journey, because I have severe underbite (where the jaw protrudes outwards too much) and crossbite. My top teeth and lower teeth does not bite down properly, leaving a large gap in between and my jaw are not asymmetric. I went to several dentist in town but they all told me it's impossible to correct it without surgery. I felt dejected. I understand my condition, but the main reason why I seek orthodontic treatment is to straighten my teeth so I can have more confidence. 

In the end, I approached Dr Pamela Yong at Smile Orthodontics. She also advised me that a Class 3 jaw surgery is needed to correct my dental problems. She did mention that orthodontics alone will not make much improvement for me and she will not promise any miracles. She asked if this is really what I wanted? I was told to go home and think it through as well as research about the jaw surgery. During the car ride back home, I burst out in tears. I felt so hopeless that I'll never have straight teeth.

It took me a year before I pick up the courage to call Smile Orthodontics once more to make an appointment on 8 May. I made up my mind, I wanted to do the orthodontics treatment but not the jaw surgery. They called me back for another review and this time we got down to it, had my mug shot and X-ray taken. I have also scheduled my next consultation on 13 June. The x-ray and review cost me RM460, and the death of some cells. 

 I was told there are only 2 specialist in Kota Kinabalu who could do the jaw surgery, but they do not have much experience in it. Naturally, I'm not convinced, my parents are also not too confident about it. I have done my research on the surgery, one of the from Jawsome Journal. I read though how the patient went through with the recovery process after her surgery and I was stunned. It might not represent all Class 3 jaw surgery cases but I'm still worried. You have to read it yourself to find out. Besides, the surgery is more than just fixing the teeth, it reconstruct the jaw which will affect the overall facial structure as well, something like cosmetic surgery. It's a big step and I'm not prepared for it. Not to mention the cost, having to take time off from work and studies for the surgery, the recovery period, possible risks and complications et cetera. Maybe in the future I would reconsider it, but not now, I'm not ready. 

On the second consultation, Dr Pamela has got my X-ray read, she have made calculation. She told me my jaw angle is way off the standard proportion, she would still recommend the surgery but it's up to me to decide. I confirmed that I will not be undergoing the surgery. We discuss further on my concerns, as well as briefing me about the expectations and risk of orthodontics. No treatment is without risk, but it should be safe enough. The entire procedure including the braces, the follow up and retainers will more or less cost RM10K++. She suggest having two wisdom tooth out on the lower jaw and recommended Dr Sonia Pang from Dr Alex Lo Clinic in Damai. 

I was scheduled in on 20 June for my first wisdom tooth extraction. Those who are following me on Instagram would have seen the X-ray before. The one on the right side is growing vertically which is difficult to extract normally. Dr Sonia said she will make an incision and then saw the tooth in 3 parts before extracting it one by one. When I lie down on the dentist chair awaiting the surgery, I have an irrational thought going through my head "What am I doing? That is a perfectly good tooth, why do I want it extracted?" The anesthetic injection is most frightening, of course it hurts during the extraction, but I felt minimal pain after the surgery, only some discomfort and inconvenience. I did have 4 stitches put in but the wound healed nicely. (I get to have 2 days medical leave not including the 1 day annual leave I took to go for the surgery, hihihi)

On 29 June, I went back for 2nd wisdom tooth extraction and removal of stitches from the first surgery. I thought this time the tooth will come out normally, but turns out I need surgery for that side as well. That sucks, however this time, right after the anesthetic injections, I felt my body weakened from nerves. It didn't happen the first time, guess I already knew what's coming. It hurts more this time, I still remember during the surgery, Bruno Mars "It Will Rain" was playing over and over in the background. I wonder why they put on this song? But what's most important: It's over! No more extractions for me. I used to be braver when I was young, the older I get, the more scaredy cat I get. The two extractions, including filling and scaling cost me around RM1500++.

I have spend so much even before the braces got put in. Look at what we are willing to sacrifice for vanity! Tomorrow, I will finally have my braces on, hopefully all went well, fingers crossed. I've already made a vow to stop drinking Coca Cola, I'm sure this will motivate me to stop my addiction. 

Oh well, I know this is a long post, sorry if you it bore you out of your wits. I promise I'll most more food post after this, since I probably won't be able to enjoy certain food for a while, I'll be blogging the back dated post instead. 

Here comes my journey towards straighter teeth.


  1. yay for your new braces and your future straighter teeth..

  2. I am so excited for you!! :-) I hope you'll feel more confident about your teeth after the treatment!
    I've worn my braces for 1 year and 5 month now and I am scheduled for the removal at the end of August. I can't wait!! :))) For me, the second and third day after each appointment was always painful. Two times I even woke up at night because of the pain. :( I am happy to have read you don't feel much pain.
    I am glad I didn't have to have any of my teeth extracted. :-) I am lucky to have only two wisdom teeth which are still set deep in the jaw so the doctor didn't have to take them out.

    1. Thanks, Molly. I'm really happy and excited myself. It's great that you're getting yours off next month, you must be psyched. It does feels a little sore the first few days and hurts when chewing on certain food, but I think it's slowly getting better now. The wisdom tooth extractions are more scarier, but I'm glad it's all over now, lol.

  3. Congrats on getting braces! As to what other people might think, having braces is not a walk in the park. Adjustment pain is always the first reason, and another is having a limit in the type of food you eat to keep those braces from falling off. Good luck, and I hope you get the results you want in no time.

    Elfrieda Sevigny @ Simmonds Dental Center