Does anyone have a tip on how to reduce the cost of orthodontia? I have three kids and was just quoted a total of $15,000! Even with insurance, that is way more than we can afford.
By Nina from North Attleboro, MA
Shop till you find better prices, good luck.
By any chance is there a dental/orthodontic school near you? Those students need patients to practice on and they are closely watched by 'licensed' dentists/orthodontists! I am not sure but your insurance may also be applicable there since it would be saving the insurance company money ;-)
Hope this helps you!
I can speak from personal experience. As one of five kids, I had too many teeth for my small jaw. Our dentist pulled 2 permanent teeth from the top and the bottom--the ones next to my "eye" teeth--which allowed those "eye" teeth to have room to come down/up. Then he gave me a supply of tongue depressors and instructions.
Every night while watching TV, I was to use the tongue depressors to push on those teeth to guide them into place. How ingenious! I did not need braces and my teeth are straight still, after 45 years. Of course no other dentist is going to recommend that because they would be missing out on a trove of money from you!
Ouch! I feel for you. Bear in mind that you probably don't need to do all three kids at the same time. Most braces nowadays are put on as a very routine part of growing up, rather than to correct a true abnormality in a child's bite. As long as there are no abnormalities in your kids' bites, braces aren't something you have a limited window of opportunity for. They can be done at anytime throughout life as long as the gums are healthy. I got braces at age 39 and am extremely happy with the results.
I would begin with a second opinion. Make sure all three kids really need braces as opposed to its being a matter of appearance only. Appearance is important, as my own experience attests, but it's not the same thing as medical necessity. Then, decide, based on your family's finances and the urgency of each child's situation and age, which child should get braces first, which second, and which third.
I also agree with Deeli's suggestion to look for a dental/ortho school near you. When I got my braces, 95% of the work was done by technicians with only guidance from the orthodontist.
Another important consideration in determining who gets braces when is the child's maturity level. All other things being equal, the older/more mature the better, because braces require a lot of maintenance and following instructions to the letter. Even tooth-brushing becomes a major undertaking. If the child can't or won't follow the ortho's instructions, you're better off not spending your money.
You don't mention insurance, so I assume you don't have any. But if you do, be sure to check its coverage. Some dental insurance policies pay a little on ortho, too.
Good luck! Kelly
When my daughter was a little girl, I took her to an orthodontist to see if she needed braces because she had a tooth that was growing too high on her gums. He said 'Yes, she needs $thousands worth of braces.' Just to be sure, I took her to her regular dentist to get his opinion. He said 'I will pull one tooth which will correct the situation. Don't get the braces.' He pulled the tooth, her teeth corrected themselves, and she has a perfect smile. Second opinions matter. That one saved me money.
When I was younger I had a over bite. My grandmother told me to sit with my thumb pressing on my teeth. So when ever I was watching tv or reading and studying my home work I pressed it worked. Make sure to remind the person trying this to wash hands. Before attempting.
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