Part One: An Adult’s Point of View – From Crooked Teeth to Consultation

I had braces as a teenager, but I stopped wearing my retainer about 10 years ago at age 24 (don’t do this, kids!).

I’d been really proud of my smile until the last couple of years, when I noticed them moving back into their original alignment; crowding on both my upper and lower rows.

I had started to shy away from smiling in photos and felt self-conscious if I saw a picture of myself. These days our faces end up on social media – there’s really no escaping that. But we shouldn’t be hiding our smile every time someone snaps a photo. Now that outfit on the other hand…

So I started researching orthodontists in Eugene, Oregon, where I am attending graduate school. I came across Dr. Grieve and was impressed by his credentials and the fact that he was an Invisalign® specialist because that was the option I was most comfortable with.

If you’re unfamiliar with Invisalign®, it’s an orthodontic method that uses a series of clear plastic aligners specifically designed to correct alignment and bite. Some benefits to Invisalign® are the option to remove the aligners and reduced appearance (versus metal brackets).

Even then I wasn’t sure if I it was something I should consider. Was I prepared if he told me I needed braces again? Were my teeth even as crooked as I thought? Could I afford it?

But I made the call. The person I spoke with was incredibly helpful. She told me that they did free consultations, so I made an appointment. I just wanted to see what my options were.

On the first visit I was greeted and taken on a tour of the facility. I was impressed with how laid-back the atmosphere was. There was a fireplace in the waiting room – which really felt more like a lounge – and an arcade room with video games. I kept thinking how much cooler this was than my former orthodontist’s office.

We discussed my individual needs and vision of a better smile. They took digital images of my teeth so they could develop a treatment plan.

Then I met with Dr. Grieve for his evaluation, and to go over what my treatment plan would look like. He recommended Invisalign® rather than braces (yay!). We discussed how much time it would take, what the process was like, and what my teeth would look like when I was finished.

Then I met with Amber, the treatment coordinator, who helped me figure out the most ideal repayment option. (I really appreciated their flexible payments)! Even at this point they weren’t pushy, and didn’t pressure me to make any decisions immediately. I’d take my time during winter break to think over my options and then I’d decide my course of action.

Stay tuned…