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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I literally waited 30 years for today!

Some will not understand the emotion behind this blog post, especially if you had good dental health growing up and are in way shape or form attractive in the facial department.  I was never blessed in either department.  We had an old horse dentist that came to our school when we were kids and I was so terrified of that man, that when his old nurse came to the classroom door I would pray that I would somehow be overlooked on the list.  When we would walk down the hallway beside the nurse I would often ask to go to the bathroom so I could retch.  When he finally stopped coming to the school I was overjoyed when I heard the news.  But he left me with a great fear of dentists that followed me well into my adult life.

It was literally not until I met Dr. Michael Nemec and his staff, in Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia when I was 26 years old that I could finally go and sit in his chair and not almost rip the arm off during a visit. It was because of him that I first had the nerve to go see an orthodontist in Halifax with the hopes that I could some day smile.  But the opposite happened, the "specialist" terrified me to death all over again as he said that the only way I was ever going to live pain free would be to have my jaw broken and extended(and then wired shut)....and at almost $10,000, he still would not make any promises, as he said the bone was rubbing on a nerve at the joint, and the surgery could make it worse.  My best friend, Tammy Kersten was with me that day, and she said I was white as a ghost when I came out of his office.  That was in 2003, ten years ago.

When I first moved to Fort McMurray, I scheduled my dentist appointments with Dr. Nemec when I went home, yes, he is that good.  But I knew I was going to have to find a dentist for the family out here, so the search was on.  I thought I had found a trustworthy one about two years ago, but after an emergency with Shayleen sent us to Dr. Brake's office, I knew I would be switching everyone to her immediately.  Dr. Brake was my new Dr. Nemec, and the kids loved her too, so it was good all around. I know people will laugh at me, but I sincerely had such a fear that finding someone you are that comfortable with is something that is to be treasured.

After she saw me to fix a filling that the last dentist had left in a mess, she casually asked if I had ever thought of braces.  I told her my story about the orthodontist from 10 years ago, and she said she knew another really good guy that came up from Calgary that I could go see for a consultation.  And she thought for sure he could help me.

By that time, my teeth were so crowded that they thought I might lose at least two in the front on the bottom.  They were pushed out so far that they were almost out and not even in my bite anyway.
It was May 28, 2012 when I met Dr. Kelly Brooke for the first time, and he did the following pictures that day.

Pretty bad, eh?  I was always the girl in the pictures that never smiled...if I agreed to a picture at all.  I was the girl who would keep her hand over her mouth if she started laughing while in a group.  And I was the girl who really did not smile all that much.  I am sure over the years people thought I was a stick in the mud, or bored, and I know others who said I was snobby.  Little did they know that I was just worried about my ugly teeth.

By the end of my first visit with Dr. Brooke, I knew that if there was ever a man that was going to make a real attempt at fixing my teeth, and who I would be comfortable with, it would be him.  But the cost was another worry, was I worth all that money, just for me?  It was finally Tim(hubby) that made the decision for me, and insisted that I do this for myself.  At first Dr. Brooke said it would take us any where from 18 months to two years to be ready to take the braces off.  But today, just 13 months later, it happened!

On the first round to the mirror, before they cleaned them up, I was kind of like, okay, they look better.  But when they cleaned the glue and gunk off and I went back for a rinse, I immediately started crying when I lifted my head and caught myself, my teeth, in the mirror.  And you know what?  I smiled...and then I cried some more.  And you know what else I did, without even thinking?  Sent Tim(hubby) a picture!  And I came home and set up skype....all things that others may not even think about.  But I have never once sent Tim a picture of myself in our 20 years thank you Dr. Nemec, Dr. Brake, and a special thanks to Dr. Kelly Brooke, you all have made me smile, and that was no easy task.  And it only took me 30 years!  And thanks to Tim, who goaded me, paid the tab, and  listened to me moan in pain and grumble about how embarrassing it was to have braces at 40.  And here I am today!  It will take some practice, but I am smiling!
And here is what the professional dentist pics look like.

And people will laugh for sure when they think of how I wouldn't smile all those years, but I will be these horrid pictures up.  But really, that is how excited I am with this change, and how grateful I am to all the people that helped to make it happen, I really never thought it was possible.


  1. You are the bravest and most interesting blogger in Alberta Verna.

  2. Congratulations,I also had braces on my teeth at the age of 40.It is a big step for older people but we are worth it. I still wear my retainer every night to keep my teeth in place, a little prevention to keep my smile. Keep smiling and "way to go girl!"