måndag 24 oktober 2011

Researching braces treatment

Something that has been bothering me a lot all these years is the fact that almost nobody seems to fully understand their orthodontic treatment. You ask them why they had it done and they say, “It was something with my bite,” or, “There wasn’t enough room for my teeth”. However, peoples’ expectations of how the whole thing should be solved, why the problem occurred in the first place and the final outcome seem very vague. They put their entire fate and the responsibility in the hands of the orthodontist. I am no exception myself. I trusted the experts, I didn’t have to understand, or so I thought. They had been treating patients with these methods since the beginning of time, of course they knew exactly what they were doing! I have regretted having that kind of trust in them about a thousand times since then. I don’t think I will ever stop asking myself: “Why didn’t I ask more questions? How could I accept that there weren’t any alternatives?”

In this clip, Dr. Hangtalks about all of this. When he explains how the Biobloc treatment is going to turn out, he does it carefully so that the patient and the parents will understand. When the whole method makes sense to you, only then can you decide to have it done. Otherwise you shouldn’t accept treatment. I quote: “The last reason in the world to make the teeth straight is ‘because the doctor said so, we didn’t really get why but he’s the doctor. He should know!’” Dr. Hang had teeth pulled and braces himself as a kid but he never got the concept behind the treatment, he doesn’t remember and neither does his mom. Everybody wore braces! He now realizes that you have to ask yourself the big Question: “Why am I having this done?” If you are smart, you try to understand, he says and I couldn’t agree more. It doesn’t matter if you are an adult who are looking for braces treatment or if you’re researching this on the behalf of your child. Understanding is the key!

måndag 17 oktober 2011

From extractions/braces to jaw expansion - the transition

I just listened to an 8 minute long radio recording with Dr. William Hang who has lately become my guru. He is one of the few orthodontists out there who try to solve the cause behind crooked teeth by fixing the jaws first. I have to say I am completely taken by this interview! This is the first time I hear Dr. Hang talk and it is almost as if he has read all the different thoughts I’ve had for 17 years (that is, ever since I had my braces removed).

Dr. Hang explains how he “converted” from extraction/retraction orthodontics to what he does today (mainly expansion of jaws and bringing them forward). Even Dr. Hang was once “on of those who recommended that you had teeth pulled”. But today he doesn’t even want to look at these people, it makes him shudder. He didn’t realize back then how bad it really was and how much damage that kind of treatment can do.

In the middle of the transition he still had a couple of patients who were undergoing traditional treatment and of course he had to finish what he started. He tells us how his pulse started to accelerate as he saw their names on the schedule. He almost had anxiety attacks and it was all very difficult for him. I am so impressed that he had the courage to break lose, that he was so far ahead of the others and that he later on had the strength to admit to himself and the public that this was wrong.

He also talks about women he met who had teeth pulled and braces and who look back at the result and say, “I don’t like this, not even a little bit!” One of them even said, “My life was over at 13. When I had my braces removed and saw myself, my life was over.”

This almost brought tears to my eyes. For 17 years I thought I was crazy! I have never liked how my mouth turned out or felt and I have hated what the orthodontic treatment did to my face. But I have never heard of anybody who feels the same way. My experience was very vague and I didn’t understand what was wrong, I couldn’t explain it. This is what it must feel like to suffer from a disease that doesn’t have a name yet and is suddenly recognized one day. An awakening, an aha moment. It is an incredible relief!