I wasn’t one of the few lucky ones to be born with nice, straight teeth. In Finland the public dental care is free for everyone until you turn 18, and if you need braces they’ll give you braces. They don’t fix cosmetic problems, but if you have a bad bite, as I had they will take care of it. And when I was 10 they did give me braces.
However, I was a rather stubborn kid and was pissed because they never asked if I wanted braces or not, they just gave me a headgear and told me to wear it every night. I tried it on a couple of times, but didn’t like it and refused to wear it. So eventually they gave up and asked if they should take it away. I said:”Yes”.
I was sometimes bothered by my teeth, but didn’t really pay attention to them. My upper teeth were almost straight, so they didn’t look too bad. Just the bottom ones were a complete mess, but luckily, they’re less visible. However, I always knew, that one day I’d go and get them fixed, but I knew it would take time and was afraid that the brackets would look worse than my teeth. When I moved back to Finland from Asia I thought: “I’m 25, I’m old and ugly, so why not now.”
I did some online research, read reviews and ended up in Oral in Helsinki, since I couldn’t find anything negative written about them and their website seemed reliable (I hate companies with bad websites, and it really can affect their image). I booked an appointment by phone and a couple of weeks later went there. I didn’t know much about the techniques used in orthodontics and it happened to be a specialist who offered me two alternatives: Damon and Invisalign. I chose Damon braces, as they were a bit cheaper and easier, since they don’t have to be removed while eating, etc. My teeth were moving on a decent pace and I was told it would take about two years to finish the treatment.
But then… I moved to Sweden
I had told my dentist in Finland that I’d be moving abroad at some point, probably before the treatment would be finished. He said the Damon braces are pretty common now throughout the Northern Europe and I could continue somewhere else. However, that turned out not to be the case in Sweden and in Umeå there was no one specialized on Damon braces. The nearest options were Luleå and Stockholm. I emailed the place in Luleå first, but they weren’t sure, if they could continue orthodontics started by someone else. So I called to a place called “Smajla” in Stockholm. They said they could continue what I had started if I agreed to their terms of payment.
To me it didn’t really matter whether it was Luleå or Stockholm, as traveling takes equal amount of time and I wasn’t supposed to have too many visits left to do anyway. I could have continued in Finland, but traveling there would have cost more and take more time. So I chose Smajla in Stockholm, as they had promised they could help, they spoke English and their website seemed legit (But you shouldn’t trust companies too much based their websites).
Smajla in Stockholm
I visited Smajla twice during the fall 2015 and twice more in early 2016. In total 4 times during 6 months, which is about twice as often as I did in Finland. The last two times I went there really sucked, as the dentist wasn’t even there, only her assistant! I’m sure she was good at was she was doing but hated it for the fact, that I was paying a lot of money for having a specialist fixing my teeth, and she wasn’t even at work. The last time I went there, the assistant only gave me more rubber bands and told me to come again next month. I asked how much longer should I wear the braces, as the two years had almost passed already and my teeth still weren’t straight. She said I would have to ask the dentist when she would come back.
I hadn’t noticed any change in my teeth after moving to Sweden, and started to have a big distrust towards Smajla and what they were doing. So I called to Oral and asked if I could get it finished in Finland instead, they said: “of course”. So I traveled back and told my dentist how it had been in Sweden. He took out the wire I had in my braces in order to adjust them, and told me that it was traditional archwire, not a memory wire, used with Damon braces. I asked again how much longer I’d have to wear them and was told it would be less than a year. It’s probably a lot less than it would have taken at Smajla, but still, more than six months extra, because the Swedes weren’t doing their job right.
It was disappointing to hear that it wouldn’t be over in two years, as it was supposed to, but at least I know I’m in good hands now. If you’re considering orthodontics in southern Finland, I can recommend Oral, they really know what they’re doing. In contrast, I cannot recommend Smajla to anyone. I have tried to search, but haven’t found others’ experiences on them, this was only mine. In the end, wearing braces isn’t that bad. They did hurt at the beginning but after a month or so everything felt okay. The most annoying thing is having to clean them after every time I have eaten, but it’ll be for less than a year now.