I have ectodermal dysplasia, a rare genetic disorder that affects teeth, skin, hair, nails, and sweat glands. I'm not sure exactly what type of ectodermal dysplasia that I have, but I know my teeth are the most affected by my specific type.
I found out about the disorder when I was about 13 after my loving mother took me to an orthodontist to see how much it would cost to get braces. The orthodontist told me to do some research on ectodermal dysplasia when I got home. After I did my research, everything made sense.
Unfortunately, my mom worked at an elementary school cafeteria, so she couldn't afford my dental treatment -- and I didn't blame her one bit. I always knew it would be too expensive to fix.
I'm 26 now. It's been a weird journey with this set of teeth. I've decided to do whatever it takes to fix this smile that I've covered up for so long. It continues to take a toll on my confidence. Every time I'm in a room full of people I don't know, I revert back to that scared and lonely kid I was in middle school. The one that was the butt of the joke.
I've spent hours in front of the mirror in my bathroom just examining my teeth, wondering why I have pointy fangs, sizeable gaps, and malformed teeth. It's been a struggle.
I can't wait any longer. I have to fix the jagged, pointy fangs that bite my lip. I have to close the gaps and caverns that I can fit a Tic Tac in between. I have to extract the dormant tooth inside of my jaw that is just laying near my nose.
Thankfully, I know people like you. You can see past what's in my mouth by just listening to what comes out of it. You can see the vibrant, silly, puntastic me without judging me for what I look like. You have given me more life and more confidence than I ever could've imagined.
I just need a little bit of your help. The 'New York money' hasn't come my way just yet, and I know I need to do this for my mental health.
I can't even imagine what my life would be like if I had a better smile, but once I get it, I won't stop crying. And I won't stop smiling.The current status of my dental treatment and reconstruction:
I'm currently working with an orthodontist (Dr. Yelizar at SimpliBraces) and a dentist (Dr. Kouzoukian) in Queens, New York. They've really done their homework and come up with a general game plan for my new smile.
In general, this is what I know:
I needed a 3-D scan of my mouth to determine to exact location of my impacted tooth and wisdom teeth. ($200, bill incoming)
I will need braces or Invisalign for 18 to 24 months. (That’s the initial $2,750).
I will need two bridges, one bridge to close the gap between my bottom teeth and another for the gap in my top teeth.
I will need to move a few canines around.
I will need to go to a hospital to remove the tooth that is laying inside of my jaw.
I will need to remove my bottom wisdom teeth before they get too close to the lingual nerve, causing temporary or permanent damage to my lips, tongue, and jaw.
If you'd like to learn more about ectodermal dysplasia, visit https://www.nfed.org/learn/
. If you want to learn more about me, find me @pbogans.
Thank you again. Donate whatever you can. The fact that you even made it this far means more than you will ever know.