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to be horrified at the idea of my DS having 3 healthy teeth ripped out in the name of 'perfection'?

(180 Posts)
keithlemonsbackdoors Thu 25-Aug-11 15:24:31

My son (nearly 16) has been offered orthodontic treatment on the NHS. Ay the first appointment they talked up how great his teeth would look after treatment, how he could have whatever colour braces he wants etc etc. No mention of pulling out teeth.

At the second appointment, after taking inpressions, x-rays etc, the orthodontist says casually (paraphrasing slightly) 'So if you can just make an appointment to have these 3 teeth extracted, thank you, lovely, bub-bye.'

Maybe I'm a bit, I don't know, overprotective? Squeamish? Mental?? But every time I think of taking him to a dentist & allowing him to go at his mouth with a pair of pliers I just want to cry. The pain, the blood, the massive gaps until his teeth are fixed... I actually cannot bear it. If he was in pain, or had massive issues about how his teeth look then I could probably get my head around it.

Truth is, he's never been THAT bothered about hs teeth (they're a bit sticky-outy - technical term I believe - because he sucked his thumb for years & a bit wonky it the bottom. When you look you can see they're not straight but you wouldn't think 'bloody hell, look at the state of his teeth!' to look at him.) but having a brace has become a bit of a fashion statement among his friends. I think he wants the brace more than he wants perfect teeth (although he's been brainwashed into thinking he NEEDS straight teeth by the orthodontist).

He also has ADD & has trouble seeing the big picture or thinking ahead. I don't think he really gets that it's a 4 year commitment, or that he will have to give up drinking coke, go to appointments every 6 wks etc. I don't really think it's fair to say no, because it's his choice to make. Also, it's now or never; we couldn't afford to have this done privately.

So am I being unreasonable in thinking I'll probably try to talk him out of it until he (hopefully) forgets about the idea?

ShootinTheBreeze Thu 25-Aug-11 15:28:50

Get it done. It will be a huge financial drain on him to get it done in the future.

Shakirasma Thu 25-Aug-11 15:30:58

The NHS won't pay for purely cosmetic procedures, therefore he mus need it doing.

squeakytoy Thu 25-Aug-11 15:31:09

It is very common if the jaw is too small to accomodate all the teeth once wisdom teeth come through.

I had to have 4 teeth taken out, or I would have ended up with painful wisdom teeth as they pushed their way through, and very crooked teeth as well.

Crooked teeth are also harder to clean and look after as you get older too. So long term, it would definately be better to get the work done now.

JustExisting Thu 25-Aug-11 15:31:25

Get it done. I have always regretted being too vain for a brace when his age. If he isn't, then do it.

Salmotrutta Thu 25-Aug-11 15:31:49

Is it really about perfection or more about potential future problems with overcrowding of teeth?
Which can make it difficult for effective cleaning and such like.

ripstheirthroatoutliveupstairs Thu 25-Aug-11 15:31:59

I can see two sides to this. My DD has had four teeth removed in order to make way for her second ones. They still haven't arrived. She did start orthodontic work in Belgium and we are waiting for her to get her first appt with an NHS dentist now we are in England. She will definitely need braces, my DH has appaling teeth. They are all higgledy piggeldy and DD has inhetited those.
Your DS teeth may look OK, but I would be concerned about him not being able to see the commitment necessary. He could see it all as a chore and not take care of the braces.
Just out of interest, does the dentist get cash from the govt. for doing the work.

gaaagh Thu 25-Aug-11 15:32:01

get it done. You'll thank yourself in a few years and realise how expensive / troublesome it is to deal with this later.

scrambedeggs Thu 25-Aug-11 15:32:24

its pretty standard

i had six removed so that they could train the others to line up

no gaps now

minipie Thu 25-Aug-11 15:32:48

Hmmm. If his teeth are already overcrowded, bear in mind that it will only get worse when his wisdom teeth come in. They may only be a little bit wonky now but this could get worse. And he will not want braces at 18 or 21.

However, it is definitely worth asking whether there are options that don't involve extraction. For example, I had a brace which was a plastic plate that fitted into the roof of my mouth, which I expanded every few weeks - it made my jaw grow wider so there was more room for teeth. Your DS might be a bit old for this but it's worth asking about?

Grumpla Thu 25-Aug-11 15:33:41

I didn't have braces as a kid and regret it now. My teeth weren't that bad but the orthodontist said they would get worse and they did. And that was WITH six extractions to make room anyway.

One of my friends just had them (in her late twenties) and it cost a fortune.

I would say go for the braces now, while you can.

Extractions aren't that bad, honestly - if you have a skilled dentist who gets the anaesthetic in okay you barely feel the tooth coming out (just a lot of thrashing around as they pull on it) and although your mouth is a bit sore afterwards it's not as bad as normal toothache or anything like that.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 25-Aug-11 15:33:57

Squeaky, me too. I had four out, then the wisdoms came in and I had to have those out too. And, my teeth are still crowded. Get it done.

TalkinPeace2 Thu 25-Aug-11 15:36:24

I have no wisdom teeth (multi x rays to check) so my teeth were shunted backwards
the reason they do so many braces etc now - and take out teeth to make room
is that strait teeth do not rot nearly so much.
three teeth out now and cheap dentistry for life
full set of false teeth in 40 years time after years of pain and expense
no brainer IMHO

youjusthaventearnedityetbaby Thu 25-Aug-11 15:36:59

I'd feel the same as you I think... can you get a second opinion?

OddBoots Thu 25-Aug-11 15:37:19

Are you able to talk to the orthodontist direct and ask why the teeth need to be removed? As he or she has seen all your ds's teeth (including those lurking on x-ray) he or she should be able to explain the reason they think it needs doing.

keithlemonsbackdoors Thu 25-Aug-11 15:39:44

Yes, the dentist & orthodontist get paid by the NHS for doing this work.

No, the NHS won't fund 'cosmetic' work. But it's the orthodontist that decides what is cosmetic & what isn't & they are clearly out to make money... hmm

If he doesn't look after his brace properly & avoid fizzy drinks etc (NO CHANCE!) he could end up with worse teeth than he has now. They could refuse to continue treatment & he would have 3 visible gaps as well as wonky teeth.

He's need to wear a retainer for 2 years after treatment, so he wouldn't be 'finished' until he's nearly 20. Incidently, lost/broken retainers cost £61 to replace...

Aside from all this - they want to PULL OUT MY CHILD'S TEETH!! sob

Fimbo Thu 25-Aug-11 15:39:49

I know how you feel!! My dd is 13 and is having her impressions done in a couple of weeks with the brace fitted the week after. The treatment is being done in 2 stages and will take 2 years to complete. He casually mentioned in the passing that 2 teeth will need to come out and then whisked us out. Dd and I both were a bit shocked tbh and she came out and was crying buckets walking along the street. I think the orthodontist could have handled it a bit better tbh as we have 2 years of thinking about getting the teeth out ahead. I know it is his job and he probably does this day in and day out and so is no big deal to him, but it is to dd.

Corvax Thu 25-Aug-11 15:40:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Huffythetantrumslayer Thu 25-Aug-11 15:40:21

I was given the choice by the orthodontist whether to get a brace or not and being a vain young teenager I said no. I have horrible teeth and really regret it. Theyre all wonky and crooked and I hate them. If he's happy to go ahead then let him especially if it's on the nhs.

SDTGisAnEvilGenius Thu 25-Aug-11 15:41:54

Ds2 and ds3 were both offered orthodontic treatment at their last check-up. Both went and saw the orthodontist who was very honest with them. Ds2 was told he needed the treatment as his teeth were overcrowded and were overlapping eachother, and this wasn't going to get better on its own (especially when his wisdom teeth arrive). But ds3 was told he could have the treatment if he wanted, and it would make his teeth look nicer but that they weren't that bad, and wouldn't look bad in the future if he decided not to have the treatment - and he decided against having it.

Could you take your son back to the orthodontist and have a frank discussion about the outcomes if he has the treatment and if he doesn't. My dh has absolutely dreadful looking teeth - overlapping, leaning, crowded - they look like tombstones in a country churchyard - and if losing 3 healthy teeth would save your ds from a mouth like that, then I would advise that it would definitely be worth it.

If, however, his teeth will look OK without, but better with the treatment, then you and he can have a discussion and decide what's best to do.

A 'perfect' set of beautiful teeth is a luxury, not a neccessity, and it is up to you and your ds to decide whether it is worth it.

Fimbo Thu 25-Aug-11 15:42:46

Oh and I got 2 teeth out at her age to make room for other teeth and guess what the gaps are still there to this day! Dh says because of that, we need to question the need for the teeth to come out.

DD has already read up about fizzy drinks and apparently it is fine if you drink through a straw! smile

fannybaws Thu 25-Aug-11 15:43:24

Get it done, my DS had exactly this and his teeth are beautiful, well worth the effort.
Overcrowded teeth are much more difficult to clean and gum disease has links to heart disease in later life.
The extractions are really ok, they do numb them up well now smile

Corvax Thu 25-Aug-11 15:44:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WorzselMummage Thu 25-Aug-11 15:45:19

he's 16, its up to him isn't it?

keithlemonsbackdoors Thu 25-Aug-11 15:45:53

Thanks for all your comments.

He does have wisdom teeth (under the gums), when i asked if having the teeth out now would result in less aggro when they come through I was told 'not necessarily'. I had mine out (under general anaesthetic!).

I'm going to be getting a second opinion.

Does he really have to be perfect??

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