Lianne – A Patient Story
24-year-old Lianne had been unhappy with the way her teeth looked since she was a teenager. Her canine teeth. She had a tooth-coloured fixed brace fitted to her upper teeth for nine months to reposition and straighten her teeth and now wears a removable retainer at night to maintain the results of her treatment.
“I always shied away from having my photo taken with friends and family and knew I didn’t want to feel that way for the rest of my life, especially on special occasions in the future, like my wedding day and when I have children,” says Lianne.
Lianne wanted to be fitted with a clear Invisalign brace that she felt would be less noticeable than a fixed brace, but during her consultation with orthodontist Dr Beatrice Luciola, it became clear that a fixed brace would be a more effective and quicker solution to her particular problem that would give her the smile she wanted.
She was however suitable for a tooth-coloured, ceramic brace which, combined with tooth coloured wires and clear elastics, was designed to blend more subtly with her own teeth and make her feel less self-conscious when wearing it.
“I was extremely nervous before I got my brace fitted; I felt sure I would feel embarrassed at work and find going out with my friends less enjoyable, but I needn’t have worried so much.
“For the first couple of weeks, my brace did feel big, but I soon got used to that and even liked the way it made my top lip look fuller – a result that has remained as my teeth now support my top lip much better.
“I was self-conscious at first, but I soon realised that people either didn’t notice or were genuinely inquisitive and wanted to know more, sometimes because straighter teeth was something they wanted too. I soon started going out with my friends again and, through my own part-time job working behind a bar, started noticing at least one or two people each night who were also wearing braces.
“I was surprised by how quickly my brace started moving my teeth and saw a huge difference in the first three months. Although I had to each soft foods like soups for a couple of days after each visit to Dr Luciola to have my brace adjusted, this soon subsided. I found that as long as I was careful and cut my food up I could eat almost everything I had done before and hardly ever got food caught in my brace.
“As a new product development coordinator for a soft drinks company, I was used to regularly brushing my teeth throughout the day, so this didn’t bother me at all, although I had to be particularly careful to brush around my brace thoroughly.”
For the first six months, Lianne’s brace was working to move her canine teeth level with the rest of her teeth and make room for them in their ideal new positions. Then in the final three months of treatment, the brace was used to close any gaps and fine-tune the positioning of her teeth to leave her with an ideal outcome.
“The last three months of treatment were more intensive and painful at times as my teeth were moved into their final positions, but by then the end was in sight and I could see how good my new smile was going to look, and that really helped to outweigh the discomfort.”
Once the fixed brace was removed, a permanent wire was bonded to the back of Lianne’s top teeth to hold them in their new positions without being seen. New moulds of her teeth were taken so that a removable clear plastic retainer could be made for her to wear at night to ensure the results of her treatment are maintained.
“I had my brace removed the day before my friend’s wedding. I just couldn’t stop smiling and had no qualms at all about being photographed: in fact, I really enjoyed it.
“For the first two weeks after my brace was taken off I wore my plastic retainer all the time, except for eating and drinking, and now I wear almost every nights but it’s very easy and comfortable to wear.
“I’m delighted with the results. I feel much more confident about the way I look and am always happy to pose for photos! My only regret is that I didn’t opt to have my bottom teeth straightened at the same time. They’re only slightly crooked and not nearly as noticeable as my top teeth were, but I now realise it would have been worth getting everything done at once.”