Saturday, January 28, 2012

Brackets & Wires & monthly payments, oh my!

Back in the Spring of 2010, our dentist mentioned that we ought to take Samuel to visit an orthodontist. We had already figured as much and had begun researching local doctors when he told us that. Samuel and Savannah, unfortunately, got my teeth. Their baby teeth were TINY & really crammed into their mouths, so when they started pulling them & the adult teeth grew back in their place, it quickly became obvious that there wasn't enough room for all their teeth and orthodontics would be necessary. (Sarah, however, seems to have escaped the clutches of that part of my genetic make up!)

At that time, Savannah was in her final year of braces so we asked her orthodontist about taking Samuel as a patient. Sadly, he was planning his retirement & did not want to take any new ortho patients. He gave us a list of 2-3 local doctors he recommended. I got on Facebook & asked local friends for recommendations. I called a girlfriend whose husband is a dentist & asked for his recommendation as well. A few of the same names kept popping up, so I called those doctors for prices. We made our choice of doctors and called for an appointment. Fortunately, they offered free consultations & our with our dental insurance, we get a small discount off their bill.

Upon the first visit (late Spring 2010), the doctor said that it was too soon to consider starting Samuel in any appliances, braces, etc. He said to come back in 6 months & we'd reevaluate things. In the late Fall of 2010, it was pretty much the same story. We returned for a 3rd consultation in the Spring of 2011 to hear the same story again, only this time he felt confident that by the next visit it would indeed be time to get started. Each time, there was still a baby tooth growing in, or a wiggly one coming out or a tooth that wasn't even wiggly yet that we needed to wait on. We filled out a reminder post card last Spring and went home.

Fall 2011 came & went without a reminder post card coming in the mail. Without that post card, I completely forgot about it. Over the Christmas holidays, it struck me that we were probably due to go back in to see him, so I stopped by his office & made the appointment. Apparently the reminder post card got lost in the mail because the office said they sent it in September! Oops!

We went in on Friday afternoon. The orthodontist's office is very interesting in that it's set up in one big exam room with 4 patient chairs. There are no divisions or boundaries between the patient chairs, so you can see all 4 patients at one time from the parent bench on the facing wall. (So much for privacy, huh?) It doesn't really bother me since orthodontic work isn't exactly like getting an OB/Gyn exam...but it still takes some getting used to. Anyway, we went in Friday afternoon & the orthodontist did his exam and declared that "It is time!"

Sidenote: I can't EVER hear someone use the words "It is time" without hearing this voice in my head. (just watch the first 1:10 of the video to hear what I'm talking about) Clearly I watched a little too much of this movie when Savannah was 2 1/2 & demanded to watch it over & over, 2-3x a day for months.

Anyway, the orthodontist feels like Samuel's mouth has matured to the point that he is ready to get things started. At our next appointment, they will take impressions of his teeth & put on the top braces. A couple of months later, they will put on the bottom braces. He is hoping to be able to get him all fixed up without having to pull any teeth, but still says there is a slight possibility that we may have to. His mouth is extremely crowded, so we may not have an option. Crossing my fingers that we don't have to do that, though! My boy is a tad allergic to pain, like his Daddy. Sam is not exactly THRILLED about having to get braces because he knows they will hurt.... but he does want straight teeth & he's resigned to the fact that this is the only way to do it.

Fortunately, we can wait until we get our tax return & use that as a big down payment, so that will help the monthly payment be a little less. It will still be tough to pay for, but it's necessary.

The doctor hopes to have him in & out of braces within about 18-24 months. I like the idea of that, but I'll believe it when I see it. Savannah was in them for 4 years and I had ortho work of some kind for NINE years. Kind of makes 24 months sound like a weekend at the beach, doesn't it?

I'm anxious to get started on this! I think Samuel will be so cute with a little metal mouth.

1 comment:

JennahRose said...

I am SO with you on the "it is time" thing! Thought about it as you were thinking about it in your side-note stream-of-consciousness. ;).