Another tiny, tiny victory

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Another tiny, tiny victory
10
Thu, 02-06-2014 - 1:46pm

Paid off another medical bill to the hospital.  ($250 emergency room deductible)  Took 9 months, but paid if off when it got down to $60.00 this month.   I only consider this a victory because it is for an emergency room visit, not continuing medical expense. 

Now we are looking at braces for DD14.  I will confirm myself, but apparently I don't have any ortho coverage.  I thought I had a little bit, like maybe $500, so I will double check that.  Talked to xH and made it pretty clear we need to think this through and be smart about it.   $5,200 over 22 months with no interest with in-office financing.  Great deal, but stil a lot of money and big committment.  

xH tends to jump into things without thinking things through and looking into ways to either save money, put things on hold for a while, or what have you.  

Her issues are "moderate," and nothing that is urgent.  If we do nothing, her teeth will be a little crowded and over time her bite issues could cause some problem.   So, I feel it should be done, but I don't feel like I need to rush into today.  She has two baby teeth left.  

Any thoughts or ideas on the ortho????   Ways to save any money or some other kind of secret assistance out there?

Serenity


Serenity
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Mon, 02-10-2014 - 5:03pm

Thanks everyone!  

I can't remember who said what, but:

I do have dental insurance.  Apparently no ortho, but going to double check.  

She goes in faithfully every 6 months and we are on top of the normal dental issues.  Issues with permanent teeth not pushing the baby teeth out, etc. etc.  

Dr. office offers in house interest free financing over the course of the treatment.  So roughly $236 a month for 22 months.  

I am leaning towards getting a down payment together before commiting to the financing.  However much is from me or xH, or what have you.  

This is sort of a side note from everything:  Yes, things have changed over the years and they now suggest to start treatment sooner, so like in my DD case, the two baby/permanent teeth that are not doing what they are supposed to be doing, will have more room to come in versus waiting then trying to move them.  BUT, the Dr. also said that it is never too late.  He has a patient in her 80's.  :)  Even with all my DH's issues (he gets his top denture next week!)  they still do try to keep every tooth possible as long as possible.  Apparently same with orthodontics.  

Thank again everyone for your ideas and suggestions.

Serenity

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Mon, 02-10-2014 - 9:28am

Hi,

Wanted to chime in here. Happy for you that you paid off another medical bill. That is funds that can be diverted else where. 

I am still really hoping for you that this is your year to chip away(however minimally) at your 14K. also why not start a jar for the braces. Everyone can throw in change and it can be a visual thing for the family. Why not pay off the debt and save for something you need? I have had real forward progress with doing both. It is just a mental thing that can make your whole body feel great. For example right now we are saving for the house(and spending I know, but part of our cheques do go in that account) and I have a bit (20 bucks a month) going onto our land mortgage. And honestly, our retirment funds are on auto pilot right now. I don't think about it anymore. But it was just a few short years ago that we even started those. I have it on my calendar in  a few  years to revisit them because I know it just isn't enough. But this will be a big year and I am choose not to focus on it right now.But I figure paying off a mortgage a bit earlier is part of my retirement plan and starting to save. Sorry to hijack a bit, just thinking out loud. 

You guys have had a big couple years here with getting settled and married. It will come. But I will say again. It is time to think about what I mentioned, braces or not for lots of reasons, you know what they are.

Karen

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sun, 02-09-2014 - 12:36pm

Serenity, both of my kids needed braces and I recommend doing it sooner rather than later if you can. Has the dentist told you how long the entire process will take? It will be easier to get the desired results before the bones stop growing; and if they need to expand or contract an area they will probably need to do that before correcting the position of the teeth...meaning that it could be a long process. Ideally she will want the braces off and her smile to look as good as possible by the summer before 12th grade when senior portraits are taken. 

Ask the orthodontist if the price quoted includes everything--ours sent the kids to a special dental xray place a couple of times for views that he couldn't shoot (I think it was called panoramic views) and it was an additional cost; and for how long they will honor that price and if it includes everything (such as retainer, replacement retainer, etc). If you wait until you can better afford it, will the price be a lot higher? 

I don't know any way to save money on it, except to see if its an HSA eligible expense, and then you could pay with pre-tax dollars. And it typically is paid for over time because the process takes so long.

Stormy, about the wisdom teeth: they remove them when they are growing in crooked and/or pushing the other teeth out of alignment. When they grow straight up and down, and there is enough room in the mouth they can stay---my dh and ds both have theirs, mine and my dd's had to be extracted.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sat, 02-08-2014 - 4:39pm

To Stormydancer:

I was not yelling at you, because the post was not a reply to you.  This one is.  I posted my repudiation in caps to differentiate it from your statements.

You are, of course, entitled to your opinion.  My repudiation is not an "opinion", it is scientific fact.  I was concerned that the original poster know that what you stated was opinion, instead of fact.  Don't kill the messenger. 

However, what people do after they do know the facts, is entirely up to them.  Should they then choose to consult the entrails of a chicken, and make their decisions based upon the insight they receive there, does not affect me in any way. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Sat, 02-08-2014 - 1:09pm

1) You can STOP yelling at me now. In case you didn't know, capitals are YELLING online. Did you know that and intend to completely offend me? I think you did.

2) If there are no unnecessary teeth, why are dentists constantly telling people that they should remove their wisdom teeth? If they are necessary and there is NOTHING wrong, why spend $1500 removing then? HMMM? If all teeth were completely necessary there is a whole of teeth that shouldn't be getting pulled...

3) Maybe my DH has good genes. But his dentist/ortho or whoever wanted to mess around with his mouth and give him braces. He didnt' get them and he is fine. Whatever the reason. that FACT does NOT change with your yelling.

4) My single mother on disability got roped into spending $6K on my impacted eye tooth (it was sideways in the  gum, probably from a severe trauma I had a child). I now have crooked teeth and all sorts of problems. Blame my orthodontist? No, he won some flippin' award for my amazingly difficult case. Should have just pulled the tooth and be done with it.

Dentistry can be great but it also has it's drawbacks. Poisoning us with fluoride in our water so we can have "healthy" teeth and yet we spend more and more every year on it.

I am entitled to my opinion. Too bad whether you like it or not.

Dee

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Fri, 02-07-2014 - 11:26pm

Have you looked into buying dental insurance?  I do not get any insurance from work and although my health ins. is expensive, my dental ins. is only about $20/month.  When DS got braces a few yrs ago, we had a different kind of dental ins. and the ins. only covered $1500 of the braces and then we had to pay $3000 out of pocket.  I would also shop around for different prices.  Most orthos will let you do a payment plan since it takes at least 18 mos. to finish the treatment.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Fri, 02-07-2014 - 9:35pm

I have been a Registered Dental Hygienist for 20 years.  Your dd is 14.  Those baby teeth should have been lost 1 to 2 YEARS ago.  They are not going to fall out now--they have become trapped by impinging adult teeth.  Continuing to keep them will cause the adult teeth under them, to fuse to the bone--if she DOES have adult teeth under them--and then they will NEVER ERUPT.  The adult beneath may be congenitally missing, but hopefully, your dentist has taken xrays over the years, and informed you of this.

Add to this, the fact that your daughter's lower jaw is abnormal, and that her erupted adult teeth are too far in toward the tongue, and you have a recipe for jaw and tooth problems, as well as FACIAL DEFORMITY, as she gets older.  Run NOW to the orthodontist.  Problems like these are ALWAYS easier to fix BEFORE the bones finish growing, which with girls is around age 16.

As for the post that said:   "Maybe they can just pull a unnecessary tooth to make room"  THERE ARE NO UNNECESSARY TEETH.  YES, THEY SOMETIMES PULL TEETH DURING ORTHODONTIA, BUT IT IS NOT BECAUSE THE TEETH ARE UNNECESSARY.   THEY DO IT TO REPLACE A LARGE PROBLEM WITH A SMALLER ONE.  PLUS THIS PROCEDURE WAS DONE MORE FREQUENTLY IN YEARS PAST, BEFORE MODERN TRAINING AND TECHNIQUES WERE INVENTED.

And: Or you could be lucky, DH's teeth are so crowded that he can't get tooth floss in between. That also means he doesn't get any food or bacteria in there either! THIS IS JUST RIDICULOUS.  FOOD IS BROKEN INTO MINISCULE PARTICLES, AND FLOATS IN THE SALIVA.  IT GOES EVERYWHERE THE SALIVA FLOWS.  SALIVA FLOWS BETWEEN THE TOOTH AND THE GUM.  BACTERIA IS MICROSCOPIC.  IT GETS BETWEEN THE TEETH AND THE GUM.  IN FACT THAT IS WHERE IT IS "BORN", AND LIVES IT'S LIFE.  FLOSSING BREAKS UP THE MATS OF BACTERIA BEFORE THEY REACH THE "CRITICAL MASS" WHERE GUM DISEASE BEGINS, AND ALSO HELPS "TOUGHEN" THE INNER LINING OF THE GUM SO BACTERIA CANNOT PIERCE THE CELL WALLS AS EASILY.  THE ONLY REASON A PERSON  WHO DOES NOT FLOSS, DOES NOT DEVELOP GUM DISEASE, IS THE SAME REASON CERTAIN  PEOPLE CAN SMOKE A PACK A DAY, AND DRINK A FIFTH A DAY, AND NOT KILL THEMSELVES.  LUCKY GENES.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Thu, 02-06-2014 - 6:27pm

I believe dental health is always, ALWAYS worth it. My mother had "moderate" issues too, and I remember the pain she had from her periodontist appointments.  Four of the five of us kids had braces - one sister didn't, which made her happy then (no pain, ha-ha!), but angry years later when she began to have issues with her teeth and gums.  The rest of us who did get braces have beautiful, healthy smiles.

My oldest got braces around 8 or 9 years ago, when I was already $100K in debt.  The orthodontist allowed us to pay for it over two years - I think it was $200 a month.  I never even questioned whether it was worth it - yes, yes, yes!  He has a GORGEOUS smile now.  My middle child, now 19, had to wear them for 4 years because her teeth were such a mess, but now she loves her smile.

If you have any choice at all, DO IT.  (Have I expressed myself strongly enough? LOL!)

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 02-06-2014 - 5:57pm

I should add that she has a scissor bite with two bottom molars.  Two on the bottom are too far in and the top molar is not hitting and instead going on the outside.  

Also has a funny jaw bone (as do I), so more reason to get the bite fixed.   I had to stop chewing gum and things like Starburst.  Can actually make my inner ear hurt.

Serenity

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Thu, 02-06-2014 - 4:46pm

OTOH, I can see if 2 baby teeth turn to adult that it may cause some crowding. But they don't know it will cause bite problems. I would wait to see hat happens. Maybe they can just pull a unnecessary tooth to make room - I've heard of that. Or you could be lucky, DH's teeth are so crowded that he can't get tooth floss in between. That also means he doesn't get any food or bacteria in there either! The dentist always remarks on how fantastic his gums are...hmm...and his parents were told he should get braces for the crowding...

Congrats on the one more bill gone tho! That must feel GOOOOODDDD :)

Dee