My Transformation from A Self-Conscious 11 Year Old
Written by: Dr. John Boling
As a very self-conscious eleven-year-old child, I was cursed with severe overjet or “buck teeth”. I welcomed the idea of braces and sought out an orthodontic evaluation in my hometown of Jonesboro, AR. At that evaluation, I met my orthodontist, Dr. Scott Allen, who informed me of my treatment options. Additionally, I learned that I would be a more complex case due to the fact that I was congenitally missing my maxillary lateral incisors. I had never realized that two of my permanent teeth, the upper ones 2nd from the middle, had never developed.
The process of orthodontics took two to three years of constant tinkering, but the final outcome was unbelievable. The orthodontist utilized braces and his skill to reshape two of my permanent teeth to look like the teeth I was missing while also closing up the excess space that was present. The change was so dramatic that my orthodontist asked to use the molds of my teeth as displays in his lobby. Not only did he change the shape of my teeth, but he also enhanced my self-confidence. I was so appreciative of him and his orthodontic ability.
Through my own experience in orthodontics as a patient, I became interested in it as a career. As a requirement for all 8th graders in Career Orientation class, I created a poster for a class project of a fang-filled Dracula telling an orthodontist, “I vant vou to vix my teevh!”
Even though I had just a slight idea of the hard work and dedication it would require, I wanted to become an orthodontist.
After four years of college, four years of dental school, and three years of orthodontic residency, I had finally achieved what I had imagined at age 14. I had become an orthodontist. A couple of years passed, and an opportunity became available for me. Westrock Orthodontics was opening a new location in Jonesboro, AR and they would be merging with Dr. Scott Allen. This provided me the possibility to return back home and practice with the same orthodontist who had inspired my goal of becoming an orthodontist!
Dr. Allen has since retired from active practice but I am happy for the time we were able to practice together as colleagues. My hope is that I will be able to help increase the self-confidence of my patients as much as Dr. Allen was able to do for me.