Life with Braces: Preparations

This will be the first of numerous entries that will have no relation to the content of the blog. They make good filler to keep this place alive.

I thought of recording a chain of events that started a few weeks ago and may last several years. I didn’t want to write them on a Notepad file on my computer for fear of losing it should my computer fail. Seeing as this is my blog, I’ve decided to use this place for conveniently archiving these events.

What started off as an annoying mis-grown tooth in my mouth turned out to lead me into the experience of orthodontics.

Sometime ago when I was a kid, the school dentist mentioned that my mouth was small and my teeth were crowded and suggested braces to correct the mess. Being part of the health programme subsidised by the government, I opted for it and was told the price would be in the range of SGD$3,000. Sadly, the waiting time was obscenely long and well into secondary school, I was yet to be able to secure a spot for treatment.

I think it was a few years back when I was taking an oral X-ray (Orthopantomogram (OPG)) for some other purpose. (I have had several funny treatments for my teeth requiring such things) The dentist noticed one canine tooth underneath my other front teeth in my upper jaw which had not grown yet. In the past 1-2 years, this canine tooth (which I just learned was a labially erupted maxillary canine) was probably the source of pain I experienced now and then. It finally grew out, but at an oblique angle, sitting above and between my front incisor and pre-molar.

Three weeks ago I finally got around to booking an appointment with the dentist to see if it could be removed. Having no knowledge of teeth, I was a little surprised when the dentist advised braces as an alternative to extracting the offending tooth. He said that extracting it would eliminate the option for braces should I ever wish to have them installed.

So on 10 July 2009 I went to get an OPG and a Lateral Cephalometry in another part of town which cost SGD$80.25, with my next appointment scheduled for today.

Today marked the day in which I committed myself to the braces shenanigans. I opted for the supposedly fastest option of 3M’s Smartclip braces which will set me back by SGD$3,800.

The dentist dug up a camera and took numerous photos of my teeth and head in various poses. Like a toy photoshoot. He probably as a review page for this as well. I then got a few injections of local anaesthetic around the region where the pesky canine was and sat around waiting for it to take effect before getting my pre-molar extracted.

I guess I forgot to mention I developed a fear for needles while spending a week in hospital for an incident which is another story altogether. I suppose I am also one of few people who dislike all things dental.

The dentist used some string to insert some spacer-like things between my molars and mentioned that there will be some discomfort during the next week when eating. Wielding his trusty hand tools and with his assistant pressing the sides of my head, he happily wrenched a healthy pre-molar out of my mouth in what felt like a few seconds of creaking from the sound conducted inside my skull.I vehemently declined to keep it.

My next appointment was supposed to be next Wednesday, but this was not the best time to get braces installed. I just started a 2-week long office job and into my third day today I was already absent. I also have an orientation camp coming up next Tuesday to Friday (four more days of absence), so the assistant had to schedule my next appointment to the following week, which means yet another day of absence. I also have one more absent day for some school registration matters. Perhaps I should squeeze some half-days then. It looks like I’ll be bumbling around next week’s camp with a gap in my teeth and little blue things between my molars.

Right now as I’m writing this, I’ve taken the prescribed medication for swelling and pain relief. I’m also hungrily biting on to a second ball of cotton gauze because I had a light breakfast and no lunch.

Today’s ordeal cost me SGD$270, of which $100 goes into the intial $1,500 deposit for the treatment. That means I’ll have to fork out $1,400 during my next visit to the dentist. Subsequent visits will also cost me at least $100 as installment payment. Ouch.

I’ll see if I can come up with a work-in-progress post for my Cherudim Gundam. I realise I have been procrastinating a lot.

3 thoughts on “Life with Braces: Preparations”

  1. Hey Man, no worries about the procrastination, you’ve had a lot on your plate, so to speak. I also have a mega fear of needles and dental things, it’s not fun!

    I’ve been following your blog for quite a while but I think this is my first comment, sooo, great blog! I enjoy your updates, and I can’t wait to see Cherudim when it’s finished!

    I hope everything goes okay with your braces,

    Speak soon.

      1. Thank you, but I’m just a lowly lurker =) I do enjoy your blog though!

        Then good luck in two weeks’ time!

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