Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Orthodontics, OMG

Caroline had her consult with our dentist who is also an orthodontist.  I really like this guy (my whole family has been going to his practice since we were kids) and I like the practice.  He's about my dad's age and just really personable.  I knew this would be when we found out how much they are going to cost.....all I can say is that we could take another trip to Disney World for the price tag of both phases.  Holy crap.  If your children currently have straight teeth, consider yourself lucky.  This is all new to me though since my siblings and I all were lucky enough to have straight, well spaced teeth.  I have a little crowding on the bottom now but nothing that bad and that's only been as I've become an adult.  Jason's side though, well, I can blame Caroline's genetics on his side.  He and his siblings all had braces.

We've known Caroline would need them for a while now.  I'm pretty sure Bryce got my genes as his teeth are very well spaced already.  Piper though, I think it's the one place you can tell who her father is.  She looks like me but has his mouth.  Sigh.  2 out of 3 is better than all 3, right?

And while the price tag made my stomach hurt, the way they do things now is very different.  Dr. M explained how he learned orthodontics in dental school and how painful it was.  (Pulling teeth and waiting until kids were older - usually 13.)  Now they start them young because they have a better shot at actually changing the bone.  Caroline will start with an expander and then move onto something else (can't remember) and will then only have actual braces for 3-6 months.  I can't remember where he said phase 1 ends and phase 2 begins and that's where we have to figure out some things with our dental insurance. Phase 1 lasts 12-24 months so gone are the days of wearing braces for a few years!

Dental insurance is a little bit of a joke if you didn't know.  Even with "good" insurance it doesn't cover that much.  I carry the insurance now and there is a fairly low lifetime maximum that barely covers half of phase 1 and nothing of phase 2.  We're going to see if we can change to Jason's insurance next year and then she'll be able to be eligible for the lifetime maximum on his insurance so phase 2 is partially covered again.  Here's hoping.


I knew it was going to be expensive, just not like that.  Plus, you pay up front and then all visits and procedures are covered from there, which I like, but it's a big payment up front that we weren't really anticipating.  Whew.  If your kids have straight teeth, thank your lucky stars!

4 comments:

Bracken said...

We are so overdue in taking Sydney to a ortho appointment. We will be in the same position as you soon I am sure. It is crazy how expensive it is. I had braces for 2 years growing up. Ugh! I think I have put it off subconsciously and I really need to get her in. Your post is not helping my motivation :>

Erin said...

Our dentist is also an ortho, so he keeps an eye on this. Thankfully, B is good, for now. Simon, on the other hand, has the giant red flag of baby teeth, while perfectly straight, are crammed as close together as possible, meaning the big teeth are going to be short on room. Ben's baby teeth had all sorts of gaps, which is apparently a good thing. Yep. Simon's going to be my pricey one... Jonathan's teeth are looking like Simon's too... (sigh) We should probably start saving ....

Erika said...

Yes, Erin, that's the state of my kids' teeth too. Bryce has very widely spaced baby teeth (that's how my family's teeth were - my sister's were so widely space my parents called her "Picket Teeth" at one point, LOL!). Caroline's were close together but not overly so, but Piper's are VERY close on the bottom and already crowded! Poor kiddo - already overcoming speech issues and now she'll have to deal with orthodontics!

Katie said...

I'm dreading this phase, but also jealous of the new methods they use now. Landon had straight teeth (as did my brothers), but my sisters & I all had braces. I was the worst offender-- 5 years with actual braces-- more years of pain & torture if you consider the early teeth pulling in 5th & 8th grades before the braces were put on-- AND my teeth are still crooked. Problem is a small mouth. I think Emily will need help. Don't know about the other girls yet, but if they are like their momma, we'll be spending a fortune on orthodontics as well.