Off The Press
September 10, 2013
By David Hayes
If you’re going to go, go with a smile
I’ve finally got a topic here that I can sink my teeth into — my smile.
Essentially, it sucks.
You think teen girls have it hard, trying to live up to an impossible ideal, comparing their bodies to the svelte models in their pop culture mags? Try comparing your grill to the flawless grins in television commercials.
There’s this one, where every actor’s smile is so big, you can actually see the molars way in the back. And the teeth are so bright, they blind viewers to the fact it’s actually an eyeglasses commercial.
I don’t even know how to open my lips that much into a snarl, let alone a smile.
Luckily, I’ve never really wanted to. Now, well into my 40s, I’m just learning how bad off my teeth are. And I highly recommend never taking seven years off between dental visits for upkeep. Things can only end poorly.
While growing up, my teeth’s development was dealt a couple of setbacks — through diet (formula only) and trauma to my mouth (falling out of a parked, open car window onto my face when excited by all the pretty cows). With no enamel and slightly skewed alignment, my teeth are slowing wearing away.
The fine folks at First Impressions Dental, headed by Dr. Ron Sherman in Issaquah, have shown me the path to salvation. Who knew, with a simple adjustment of the toothbrush bristles to an upward angle would help fight off gum disease?
A simple solution doesn’t exist for fixing my alignment, however. The uppers are wearing away the front of the lowers and the lowers are eating away the back of the uppers. If I do nothing, I’m looking at a long string of root canals within five years. Yikes.
To the rescue is the latest technology in realignment with braces — Invisalign. The clear trays that slip over your teeth slowly adjust the bite over a six- to eight-month period. In situations actually worse than mine, Dr. Sherman’s office will work with other local orthodontists to develop the best solution, which may involve more traditional braces.
But technological advances come with a price. With insurance only covering so much of the costs, I’m looking at just under $3,000 out-of-pocket expenses. But read up on online testimonials and other word-of-mouth of previous patients, and it’s clear that Invisalign is a worthwhile investment. I just never dreamed I’d have to one day finance the repair of my smile.