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How mu¢h $$$ for kid'$ bra¢e$?...
Posted by: Buzz
Date: February 22, 2006 02:20PM
Talk about sticker shock! Baby Buzz, at age 11, has been through some preliminary orthodontia. "phase 1". and is now about to start "phase 2", which were told would be less expensive than "phase 1". We were told that we could have skipped "phase 1", but that would have made the single treatment longer, and more uncomfortable for the kid, but would (supposedly) have been less costly than the what the original two phase approach was stated to be. Bottom line is now $9,000 for braces!

The "high" end for "adolescent comprehensive orthodontics" in the area is $7,200, and Baby Buzz is starting with some pretty good looking chompers to begin with; his teeth are far from as mangled as many of the kids his age getting braces around town. Mrs. Buzz and I were were prepared for around $7,000 - $7,500, since we have $2,500 in ortho coverage through her corporate insurance, figuring five grand out of pocket would be plenty based on what we were originally quoted.

Now, I feel like we've been baited and switched; the doc is great, and seems to be the local "go to" guy, but the pricing is getting out of hand. What are the rest of you paying for your kid's braces, and how would you handle this situation? Thanks,

Buzz
==



Sometimes it is what it is...
and then there's times when it's really better.



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Re: How mu¢h $$$ for kid'$ bra¢e$?...
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: February 22, 2006 02:38PM
Flying to eastern europe to have the work done starts sounding attractive after it passes the $8000 mark, don't it?





Paul F.
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Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

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Eureka, CA
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Re: How mu¢h $$$ for kid'$ bra¢e$?...
Posted by: TLB
Date: February 22, 2006 02:39PM
My kids are about 4 years apart and we paid:

$2000 + $750 insurance (~1996)
$3000 + $750 insurance
$3800 + $750 insurance

The "go-to" guy in our town is about double what we paid, but he had PlayStation and Gameboys in the waiting room. We shopped quite a few Docs and are happy with our low end choice.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2006 02:39PM by TLB.
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Re: How mu¢h $$$ for kid'$ bra¢e$?...
Posted by: rgG
Date: February 22, 2006 02:44PM
Turn key for our daughter's braces was right at $5,000. This included going through the expander phase then the braces. The entire process took around 18 months.

The orthodontist we used is an orthodontist and a pediatric dentist. Our daughter's teeth were not horrible either. Her teeth were just a bit crowded and that was the reason for the expander. We are in metro Atlanta, if that helps.

This was up front, turn key pricing, too. No suprise charges or extras. HTH

Edit: she just got them off in December, so this is a pretty current price.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2006 02:45PM by rgG.
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Re: How mu¢h $$$ for kid'$ bra¢e$?...
Posted by: MacManMaz
Date: February 22, 2006 03:04PM
We came in around $3000 inclusive for my son's starting about 7 years ago. I hear that the current price runs closer to $5000 around here now. (Western New York). One important factor is getting an inclusive price that includes at least one free replacement for any appliances or retainers and no charge for walk-in adjustments. There were several friends that went with an al-a-carte plan because it seemed cheaper at the time. They ended up paying almost twice what we did by the time it was all done.

I have never heard about phase 1 or phase 2. We payed 50% up front and had a signed contract without a time limit, even after 7 years treatment we still go in once a year to keep tabs on the wisdom teeth with no charge except for an x-ray if needed. A good reputable orthodontist with a practice that is in demand should not have to charge you interest or increase the cost in phases if you make payments on the remainder.

This area has been economically deprressed and is getting worse every day, so rates for the same service may be higher in other markets, but $9000 sounds very unreasonable to me.
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Re: How mu¢h $$$ for kid'$ bra¢e$?...
Posted by: Mike Sellers
Date: February 22, 2006 03:17PM
Both my kids went through two rounds of braces. For what we've paid over the last five years, we could have bought a nice car. We still have a few more months to pay on the last kid and I'm celebrating when that's over.

I can't help but be suspicious of these mulitple rounds of braces. My kids were 8 when the first set went on and right after that I read an article that said many orthodontists recommend these multiple rounds solely to make money and putting braces on the kids when they're too young can actaully do more harm than good by weakening their teeth, thereby making more and more rounds necessary later. How's that for guaranteeing repeat business?

EDIT: I just checked with my wife and she thinks we spent $12,000 over the last five years for both kids. So, we could have bought a nice USED car. : )



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2006 03:37PM by Mike Sellers.
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Re: How mu¢h $$$ for kid'$ bra¢e$?...
Posted by: Michael
Date: February 22, 2006 03:21PM
Our daughter was a bit over $5000, including taking out wisdom teeth to allow room, expanding, and all those wonderfully colored braces.

I thought her teeth were ok before we started, but that was probably because I wanted to buy a new Mac with the money!

They turned out great (much better than when we started) and I'm happy we sprung for it. I do have to remind her to wear her retainer a couple of nights a week.

Now, if it was $9000, I'm not so sure...
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Re: How mu¢h $$$ for kid'$ bra¢e$?...
Posted by: blusubaru
Date: February 22, 2006 03:30PM
I was put through the 2phase plan in junior high (expander and then braces). I think it was a year and a half, and then retainers for a while after that. You might check into those invisible plastic mold braces if his aren't that bad to begin with. [www.invisalign.com] Braces are a major pain, but boy am I thankful my parents sacrificed for my benefit.
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Re: How mu¢h $$$ for kid'$ bra¢e$?...
Posted by: microchip13
Date: February 22, 2006 04:13PM
My parents said mine were around 3k.






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"...but I think that to make your dream a reality, having a dream itself is a mandatory prerequisite"
From A Book: Walking Through The Impossible

Just because it has two clutches, shifts faster, uses a torque converter or has near-infinite gear ratios, requires less driver intervention and is more efficient doesn't make it better in my opinion.
Save The Manual Transmission
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Re: How mu¢h $$$ for kid'$ bra¢e$?...
Posted by: Buzz
Date: February 22, 2006 04:42PM
Baby Buzz went through the expander thing with braces on his uppers and retainer type stuff on his lowers for about a year, then had a retainer for his uppers for about a year, until his new teeth finally made it not fit anymore, with a hard wired spacer (still in place) on his lowers. His bite is still very slightly off (you can't see it unless you're a dental professional), and his lower canines are straight, but slightly twisted. So, all he needs are the two teeth slightly rotated outward from front back to front, and a minor bite adjustment. Mrs. Buzz and I both had the four bicuspids pulled and the rest of the bite rearranged like they did back in the 60's, making for a whole lot more work than Baby Buzz is looking at.

Thanks for the comparisons, but I'm sensing the costs we've been quoted are standing alone at the top... we were prepared to "top dollar" according to the local stats, but nearly 30% OVER "top dollar" has us shaking our heads.



Sometimes it is what it is...
and then there's times when it's really better.



==
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Re: How mu¢h $$$ for kid'$ bra¢e$?...
Posted by: jdc
Date: February 22, 2006 05:09PM
it IS worth it for the kids

[www.cnn.com]
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Re: How mu¢h $$$ for kid'$ bra¢e$?...
Posted by: Numo
Date: February 22, 2006 05:55PM
The edges of my daughter's top 2 front teeth overlap slightly. The orthodontist told us that it wasn't absolutely necessary for her to get braces, BUT "if it were my daughter, I would." (of course when he said this, I thought well, thanks a lot, you schmoe, - it wouldn't cost you a penny).

The interesting thing was, once we decided not to get braces, the orthodontist started talking about a much cheaper, retainer type device that would also fix the problem!
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Re: How mu¢h $$$ for kid'$ bra¢e$?...
Posted by: lemmingboy
Date: February 22, 2006 06:05PM
As the father of a six month old I have to ask the following question:

Are braces standard for all kids these days?

I had them when I was a kid, but my teeth were really messed up. Looking back I feel like most kids I knew got out of high school without needing braces.

Is this just fuzzy memory on my part? Are kids teeth more screwed up today? Did the kids I went to school with need braces and jsut not get them? Is there a conspiracy I'm not aware of?

Shawn
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Re: How mu¢h $$$ for kid'$ bra¢e$?...
Posted by: Tofer
Date: February 22, 2006 07:44PM
I never had braces, and didn't really need them, but now my upper front teeth are chipped because of a grinding/mismatch situation. The dentist (just today) said that it would cost a lot of money to fix, and it would amount to resetting most of my mouth. Ugh. I don't think I'll do it, but maybe if I had gotten braces years ago...

Also, the comment (and link) about the worth of good looks can't (unfortunately) be dismissed. As much as I hate to admit it, if someone with really bad teeth applied for a job with me, I would be hesitant to hire that person, especially if I knew that person would have a job interacting with a lot of other people. I hope I'd be able to overlook it, but it would be tough.

-Tofer
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Re: How mu¢h $$$ for kid'$ bra¢e$?...
Posted by: Buzz
Date: February 22, 2006 08:04PM
jdc- Baby Buzz is the tallest in his class, 2nd tallest in his school, by far the fastest and best athlete in his school, is always the teachers' favorite. he's relatively smart, but not at the top of his class, though as your article suggests, he gets better grades than I think he actually earns. when he was younger, the homeless people wouldn't hit Mrs. Buzz and me up for cash because he was so cute and personable..., unfortunately now that he's grown way up, they hit us all up for cash,smiling smiley but thanks in part to "phase 1" the kid has thus far bypassed any "ugly stages" in life. on the flip side of being athletic, he's been prone to respiratory problems, so his colds and flus are about double what the rest of us get, plus he is prone to sports induced asthma depending on weather conditions. it's not a matter of whether our not-so-little-anymore charmer is worth it, he is, I'm just a little miffed about likely having to buy the orthodontist's kid a fully loaded 20" intel iMac in addition to paying "top dollar" for seemingly normal orthodontia. I feel like we should maybe check out the competition at this point, to see just how far out of line the price really is...



Sometimes it is what it is...
and then there's times when it's really better.



==
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Re: How mu¢h $$$ for kid'$ bra¢e$?...
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: February 22, 2006 08:15PM
Son's braces were $3500+$1200 insurance and we've almost got them paid off. :-)



Grateful11
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Re: How mu¢h $$$ for kid'$ bra¢e$?...
Posted by: elmo3
Date: February 22, 2006 08:16PM
Any pet owner can sympathize with you. All pet owners have had the same experience with a vet.

And, of course, many people have stories about car dealership service departments.

Buyer beware. It's all about suckering you to put the max dollar into his pocket.



---------------


In the words of DharmaDog: "it may or may not be utter horse@#$%&, but it shouldn't be dismissed simply because it doesn't agree with your opinion."

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Trying is the first step to failure. -- Homer Simpson
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Re: How mu¢h $$$ for kid'$ bra¢e$?...
Posted by: sscutchen
Date: February 22, 2006 08:59PM
If you have the option, be sure to set money aside in your pre-tax Health Care Account for the part not covered by insurance. That way, you will save your tax bracket percentage on that amount.





Don't ask who the bell's for, dude. It's you.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2006 09:00PM by sscutchen.
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Re: How mu¢h $$$ for kid'$ bra¢e$?...
Posted by: goosegunner
Date: February 23, 2006 08:17AM
Daughter's

$3400 but we only had to pay 1/2, insurance covered the rest.

gg
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Re: How mu¢h $$$ for kid'$ bra¢e$?...
Posted by: Buzz
Date: February 23, 2006 11:31AM
sscutchen- that's an extra annoying part of the whole deal; when we made our health care account elections last year, we only planned for what we had been quoted previously, not enough extra for the "new and improved" quote...



Sometimes it is what it is...
and then there's times when it's really better.



==
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