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!