Matt's Corner

My Mother's Diamonds

It all started when I was 10:

I was one of the first in my class to get braces and I was excited…

Braces ->$1,525.00

Then, at 11, since my mouth was “complicated,” they sent me to a new guy…

At 12 they took my braces off because I swallowed wrong and that would just undo any work they did…

So I went to get my “swallow” fixed -> $720.00

At 13 the popping in my jaw became unbearable…

My jaw would “lock” itself closed = TMJ specialist for a year (I remember they hooked me up to really weird machines)…

TMJ therapy ->$5,093.00

At 14 it was time for my second round of braces…

So the orthodontist commenced forcing my teeth into a straight line…

Braces round two ->$4,755.00

On 3/2002, at 16, I was almost done with my dental work…

My braces were finally off…

Just needed a tooth implant on my right incisor…

But on 05/2002 I fell off my horse and broke my jaw…

The x-ray said I fractured my left condyle, to be exact…

I had 2 options: put those wonderful braces back on so the doc could wire my mouth shut using the brackets OR leave the braces off and have the doc wire my mouth closed through my gums….

I seriously considered letting them go through my gums…

Till they showed me a picture…

I didn’t really care that I wouldn’t be able to open my mouth for two weeks (much less eat)…

But I was SO SAD (tear) that my broken jaw meant braces AGAIN…

Braces round three ->$680.00

14 days later I had surgery on my jaw, to complete the intermaxillary fixation process, (at least I learned things sitting in that chair)…

Surgery ->$3,827.00

At 16 I was in a car accident requiring additional ortho…

Can’t remember the specifics of this one, but the receipt says: ->$434.00

So now, at 17, my jaw is healed and my teeth are straight J

You’d think this journey would be coming to an end….

But I still needed that tooth implant on my right incisor…

Oh, and my wisdom teeth need to be taken out to prevent them from re-messing up my teeth…

Surgery -> $2,975.00

At 18 the x-rays show that the implant didn’t take…

Two words: “another surgery”….

2nd surgery = taking out the implant they had just put in and filling the space via bone graft (i.e. replaced missing bone with material from patients own body)….

Four months later = 3rd implant surgery: to redo/replaced the implant device…

Right implant ->$1,770.00.

Unfortunately I needed a crown on my LEFT incisor (unrelated to the 3 surgeries I had just had on my RIGHT incisor)…

Left incisor crown ->$893.00

Since I unexpectedly moved to Arizona at 17, we never had the opportunity to put the crown on the right incisor implant…

So I wore a retainer that had a fake tooth on it…

At 19 that retainer broke and I had no tooth…

I made the best of it….

My favorite thing to do was to drive down the road with my truck windows open and wait for someone (normally a creepy guy) to pull up next to me and give me a second glace….

Then I would flash them the hugest smile I could manage (still minus my front tooth) and laugh at their surprise… J

My roommates made me get another temporary tooth…

Temporary right crown ->$1,050.00

The combined total to this point = $23,722.00 (do my parents love me or what?)

I didn’t go to the dentist for another four years…

But at 22, while eating one of those ooey gooey candy dots at work, the crown on my LEFT incisor decided to fall off (I do not think the lesson here is that one should not eat candy)…

And of course it was the left one; I still hadn’t saved enough money to put the final crown on that darn right one…

I remember digging my half eaten dot out of the trash can and calling Matt in a panic (notice my digression) because I was missing a front tooth AGAIN…

So we went hand-in-hand to Wal-mart and bought some acrylic nail glue (Matt = Mr. Fix Anything)…

It actually worked till my new crown came in!

New crown ->$725.00

Then, at 23, I went to “Smilecare,” thinking I should get my teeth cleaned (NEVER GO THERE)…

Cleaning ->$622.00

At 24, while in OKC for the holidays, my dearest uncle filled SEVEN(!) cavities for me on Christmas Eve…

It turned out to be quite the adventure: snow storms, abandoned vehicles, alarms, etc…

Clean teeth ->$0.00

Favorite dentist EVER = Uncle Brian

At the beginning of this year, we finally fixed the tooth I cracked from my horse accident eight years prior (the reason it hadn’t decayed??? my tongue cleaned it every time I swallowed… weird I know)

Fill/Cap ->$395.00

Then, at long last we were able to put that last crown on my right incisor implant…

Crown ->$1,415.00

So finally, on March 25,th at 24 years old, after 14 years of dental work, I now have a FULL set of straight teeth for the first time in my entire life! J

Total cost = $26,879

3 comments:

Miller Family said...

And pretty they are! Such a brave girl you are!!

Dodson Family said...

i love your smile :))) how parents sacrifice!

Rothaus Family said...

Are we ever glad Matt came along...haha. Matt thanks for finishing up that beautiful smile. I love the leave and cleave thing.
lots of love!!!