Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Show Me Your Teeth!

I love that Lady Gaga song, but this post is actually about my teeth.  I've been thinking about Invisalign for a few years now (I even entered the SITS girls contest for free treatment!) but it just never panned out. 

Gaga looks like the tooth fairy here.

There's nothing very obvious happening with my teeth, but I notice it. My teeth are shifting - especially my incisors. This is a shock to my system because I've always had straight teeth. 

With the wrong lighting, I'll see a shadow in pictures and it really bothers me. Maybe I'm nitpicking, but I notice that I cover my mouth when I laugh now, and am very aware of my teeth. I know it's superficial, but I hate feeling this way. 

 Bad Lighting = Shadow of Shame.

I wanted to get started on treatment last year but I couldn't find an Orthodontist that could provide treatment at a reasonable price. And then when I did, I was worried about the attachments on the teeth that would be visible when I remove the trays for auditions.
Recently, a colleague suggested I see her orthodontist Dr Noor from The Smile Cafe in New York. The facilities are first class, the staff is friendly, and they did everything in their power to come up with a reasonable price. Dr. Noor is an innovator: He can put the attachments in the back. What?! Yea, it's possible. This will correct the shifting of my teeth (which I swear is due to my wisdom teeth) and correct my bite. I've seen the results with my colleague and her teeth are perfect.  Dr. Noor sat with me, showed me my x- rays and explained the process in great detail. I was really thrilled to start and just needed to sign on the dotted line.

When I announced that I would start Invisalign, most people were supportive. Three out of four people agreed that if it bothers me I should fix it. Interestingly all it took was that one person to dissuade me. Despite my photographic evidence and how I pointed at my tooth going "look!" the idea was crushed with the statement: "you don't need it; you can't afford it."

It's true, I can't afford it. I don't need it right now, I can live with it, but I will need it down the line if my teeth continue to shift. 

Good Lighting = I'm Ok With Them.

My dreams crushed, I chatted with the ever-rational Sorayu who said "your teeth are important and you should do what makes you feel better about yourself, but you don't need to take the plunge right now if it will be a financial burden." 

That's what it boils down to. It's another bill I can't afford. It's that extra drink you really shouldn't have at the end of the night, because you will feel it in the morning. 

Pursuing a career as an actress is expensive and I can't take on another bill and commitment considering some big changes that I am making (can't share those changes yet, but I will when the time gets closer).

And so I broke the news to myself and let myself be sad about it. Though this would be an investment in my career path, I still can't justify it. I just keep looking at actors on TV with regular ol' imperfect teeth to pacify me. I was so sad to tell Dr. Noor that I couldn't start because it wasn't feasible given the transitions I'm making as well as the financial uncertainty. He and his staff were really gracious about it.

Then I proceeded to whiten my teeth at home like an alcoholic who has fallen off the wagon, trying to ween myself from the temptation once again.