Author Topic: Braces!  (Read 3418 times)

texastumbleweed

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 112
Braces!
« on: January 03, 2017, 05:19:47 PM »
For sure at least one of my three kids will need braces.  I'd love to start a braces fund now.  Anyone know the total they paid and how old the kid was when they got them?  I have dental insurance, but i think it just covers cleanings, i really have no clue.

Thanks!

iwannaretire

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 41
Re: Braces!
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2017, 06:39:42 PM »
My 12-year-old start in braces this year.  The cost was close to $5,000 for her to supposedly be in them for two year.  The costs will vary depending on what needs to be done and how long.

Our insurance paid $1000 and we got a 5 percent discount for paying in full up front, so it's a good idea to have a fund handy if you know you will need it.  And, make sure to check the insurance as I was surprised to see some coverage.

MrsTuxedocat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 313
  • Location: Canada
Re: Braces!
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2017, 06:48:38 PM »
I was an old teenager, basically we had to wait until they were covered by my mom's work plan (which paid 30%). They were $6800 :O

cacaoheart

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 147
  • Location: Raleigh, NC
Re: Braces!
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2017, 06:51:23 PM »
Every dental plan I've had has partially covered orthodontics. My current one covers 50% of the cost up to $1500 lifetime benefit.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2017, 07:34:52 PM by cacaoheart »

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5759
  • Location: BC
Re: Braces!
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2017, 07:05:32 PM »
$6500 and $7000 per round.

DD needed the ones for jaw at around age 7. Then again after age 12.

LiveLean

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 696
  • Location: Central Florida
    • ToLiveLean
Re: Braces!
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2017, 01:50:19 PM »
We started our then-13-year-old in May.. Two-year plan plus retainers was $3,900 sticker. With our insurance it came to about $3,000 even. Gotta admit I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't know the orthodontist other than by reputation -- and the $2 million home he lives in nearby -- but so far, so good.

On a related note, having braces today seems a lot easier than it was when I had them in the mid-1980s for three years. Appointments are every 6-8 weeks (rather than every 3-4), the appliances seem more comfortable and malleable, and just about every kid seems to get them. Our guy was actually pumped to get his.

v8rx7guy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1043
  • Location: PNW
Re: Braces!
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2017, 04:08:54 PM »
If you have the option of enrolling in an HDHP, start saving for braces tax free for braces using the HSA.  That's what I'm doing.

texastumbleweed

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 112
Re: Braces!
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2017, 08:09:22 PM »
I don't even know what that is, so I probably don't qualify?  We have self-employed health insurance...

radram

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 807
Re: Braces!
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2017, 08:38:37 PM »
I don't even know what that is, so I probably don't qualify?  We have self-employed health insurance...

Your insurance company will know. Just call them. If it does qualify, find about HSA's and start one. They are a great way to save on taxes.

NoStacheOhio

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2149
  • Location: Cleveland
Re: Braces!
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2017, 08:01:18 AM »
Shop around for orthodontists too. I was super complicated (two surgeries and 10 years of orthodontia), and my orthodontist basically had a plan where they billed insurance, and we paid our side monthly. The total out-of-pocket cost was guaranteed not to exceed the price for full braces. I think it was $2-3000 in 1995, but I was also like 8, so I could be misremembering the total.

zhelud

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 220
Re: Braces!
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2017, 09:04:11 AM »
In our experience, having dental insurance was key in making braces affordable- although our insurance only offers a one-time $1000 reimbursement for each child's orthodontia, the fact that we had insurance at all meant that the orthodontist charged us the insurer's negotiated rate for braces rather than his "regular" rate- which was $2000 more. 

caracarn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1238
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Braces!
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2017, 11:56:22 AM »
I don't even know what that is, so I probably don't qualify?  We have self-employed health insurance...

Your insurance company will know. Just call them. If it does qualify, find about HSA's and start one. They are a great way to save on taxes.

You can only have an HSA is you have a high deductible health care plan.  DO NOT get caught in the penalties of claiming an HSA and not having the appropriate plan. 

You would need to have purchased separate dental insurance.  Health care plans are not going to cover orthodontics or any other general dental in most cases.  Our covered $1,500 and the rest was on us.  Total was $6,400.  They offered a payment plan over 24 months and I think this is common as they get people are not normally saving for this as a lot of the time you have no idea your kid needs them.  In our case, there are no finance charges, just spread the cost over 24 months.  I hear that's pretty common.  They are not looking to make extra money, they just want to get paid.

AmberTheCat

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 37
Re: Braces!
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2017, 12:58:10 PM »
kid 1: 4800 top & bottom
kid 2: ordeal: palette expander, jaw surgery (50K but we had insurance); braces 6K; then braces again $1.2K (kid paid partial on this last stint)
kid 3: retainer 300$
kid 4: ???


Mr. Green

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1756
  • Age: 35
Re: Braces!
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2017, 04:39:48 PM »
When the time for braces comes. Check around with different orthodontists. The price can vary widely for the same procedure. When I was in my late teens I had to get braces and the first ortho we went to was $4,000. My mom couldn't afford that. The second guy was $1,500, but the office scared the hell out of me. The third guy was $2,400 and he was the winner.

golden1

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1522
  • Location: MA
Re: Braces!
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2017, 09:49:06 AM »
Kid 1: No braces - nice straight teeth with lots of space.  I got lucky. 
Kid 2:  Missing lateral incisors and giant teeth with a small jaw.  Kid 2 is currently 12 and has years of bracers and possibly implants ahead of them.  He had one of his upper incisors pulled due to overcrowding, and when they did an Xray they found that he has one completely missing lateral incisor (tooth next to the big top front tooth) and one "peg tooth".  He has one set of braces starting in 4th grade that he had for about a year that pulled his teeth straight so that the peg tooth would come down and act as a temporary filler, keeping his teeth aligned.  This was a partial upper set and was only $1500 total including all adjustments and visits.  We are now waiting for more adult teeth to come in to figure out what to do next.  There are three options:

1) Pull peg tooth and baby lateral incisor and move the canines forward and reshape to look more natural.  His overcrowding makes this the easiest to do, but is the least cosmetically optimal.  If you don't look hard enough, you don't notice. This is also probably the least expensive.
2) Pull peg tooth and incisor and add implants.  This is very expensive but would look the most natural.  However, it won't help his overcrowding.
3) Keep peg tooth and baby incisor and add a crown to the peg tooth to make it appear more natural. 

So we are wait and see mode. 

NeonPegasus

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 383
  • Location: Metro Atlanta, GA
    • Neon Pegasus
Re: Braces!
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2017, 12:08:29 PM »
$6500 and $7000 per round.

DD needed the ones for jaw at around age 7. Then again after age 12.

This is what we're dealing with and about the cost. No dental plan that was available on the exchange covered braces until after the high deductible we were sure to not hit. We just saved for it with our HSA.

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2559
Re: Braces!
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2017, 12:34:58 PM »
Cost of braces varies widely based on the specific problems you're trying to correct. It may be possible to bill some of the prep work under your regular dental insurance, so you don't eat through the orthodontics cap so quickly. For example, my kid needed several baby and adult teeth pulled to address overcrowding. The baby teeth were billed under regular dental work, but the adult teeth were billed as orthodontic work.

Plan on $5-10K. See an ortho sooner, rather than later to get a ballpark estimate. Our ortho only charges a single $40 consult fee at the first appointment. Recall check ups are free until we actually put braces on her. In the meantime, we get excellent advice on what prep work is needed and which procedures are just being suggested by our regular dentist so she can finance her vacation home. He's fantastic and keeps suggesting treatment paths that save us money and don't generate any revenue for himself.

Be aware that there's been a recent trend towards early treatment (starting at 7-8). It's also called phase 1, with regular braces being called phase 2. In many cases, like my kid, phase 1 would be a complete and total waste of time, money and effort. In her case starting sooner wouldn't make the overall process shorter, so we've opted to skip it.

See a proper orthodontist and not just a regular dentist. The later like to do early interventions to make themselves money. However, many dentists really don't have the training or experience needed for this kind of work. Our family dentist falls into this category. She pushed us hard for early treatment, but couldn't give a rational reason as to why earlier would be better than waiting. The ortho had a completely different plan, that was totally rational and so far hasn't made him any money at all. See a well respected ortho.

Clear as mud?

NeonPegasus

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 383
  • Location: Metro Atlanta, GA
    • Neon Pegasus
Re: Braces!
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2017, 03:46:38 PM »
As my ortho explained it, the purpose of phase 1 for my daughter was to widen her jaw before she hit puberty, while it was still fairly malleable. Our goal is to avoid having to pull teeth and to allow enough space for the rest of her permanent teeth to come in. Her teeth were extremely crowded and that caused her to lose some baby teeth early and not have enough room for the replacements to come in. When she hits puberty, things may change again which is why there may need to be a phase 2.

Anyway, as the previous poster said everybody's situation will be somewhat different so get recommendations for a good ortho.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Michael in ABQ

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 468
    • Military Saints
Re: Braces!
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2018, 03:34:34 PM »
Reviving an old thread as I just took our oldest (10) to the orthodontist for a consultation. He's got a lot of crowding and having a small jaw runs in the family so it's obvious from his x-rays that he may not have room for all his adult teeth and some have already come in pretty crooked and out of position. Orthodontist recommended a two-phase approach with phase 1 at about $2,600 (including tax) and phase 2 estimated around $5,000. However, he will offer a discount for phase 2 of about $1,000. Our dental insurance has a lifetime cap of $2,500 so basically looking at $4,000 out of pocket - albeit much of that won't be until phase 2 which would be a few years away when most of his adult teeth are in.

With six kids and a history of dental problems on both sides of the family I suspect we'll be paying a whole lot over the next few years. Maybe we can get a volume discount :)

Miss Piggy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1216
Re: Braces!
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2018, 07:16:13 PM »
Reviving an old thread as I just took our oldest (10) to the orthodontist for a consultation. He's got a lot of crowding and having a small jaw runs in the family so it's obvious from his x-rays that he may not have room for all his adult teeth and some have already come in pretty crooked and out of position. Orthodontist recommended a two-phase approach with phase 1 at about $2,600 (including tax) and phase 2 estimated around $5,000. However, he will offer a discount for phase 2 of about $1,000. Our dental insurance has a lifetime cap of $2,500 so basically looking at $4,000 out of pocket - albeit much of that won't be until phase 2 which would be a few years away when most of his adult teeth are in.

With six kids and a history of dental problems on both sides of the family I suspect we'll be paying a whole lot over the next few years. Maybe we can get a volume discount :)

Michael, as an adult who benefited greatly from my parents' willingness to fund braces, etc. for pretty much the same problems you are describing, I can't thank my parents enough. I don't think you'll regret spending that money on your kids' self-confidence and appearances. I was pretty much a beaver once my adult teeth had come in. Had four of them pulled to make room, followed by braces as a teenager. I have religiously worn my retainers to this day (nightly, and I'm in my late 40s now) to make sure my teeth stay straight.

caracarn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1238
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Braces!
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2018, 01:38:46 PM »
We are on our third of four so far that have needed braces.  We've got two more to go and it looks like at least one will need something due to a small jaw as well.  He was very small for his age and is only now starting to come into "normal" stature at 15 and just had to have his three remaining baby teeth pulled last month as they had still not come out on their own.  We're waiting to see how everything comes in at that point to determine if the braces situation applies.  At this point for him it may turn out to just be cosmetic as he's not had a lot of problems and in that case it may not be something we proceed with.  If they have a problem as you have described that's when braces seem to make sense as it is far from optional, but striving for perfection can get very costly.  The three who got them had severe biting and alignment issues that were causing tooth wear etc.  The once who skipped them was "recommended" but the ortho but she opted not to because it really was just to get things perfect and she was fine as things were.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5888
Re: Braces!
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2018, 01:58:37 PM »
Our 12 yo is scheduled to get them next month.

$6800 with a $500 discount if you pay up front.  So, $6300.

I have never had any of my dental insurance policies include orthodontics.

We used the HSA.

CindyBS

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 342
Re: Braces!
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2018, 02:49:18 PM »
We just paid for our 13 y/o's braces.  Dental insurance picked up 1/3 of the cost.

Here was our strategy, I'm not sure if I maxed out every opportunity, but we tried.

There was a several hundred dollar discount for paying in full upfront.

We opened a the Chase  Sapphire card and used the braces for the minimum spend - so 1% (maybe 1.5%) cash back.  Then $500 sign up bonus after meeting minimum spend.  All receipts were saved and will be reimbursed from our HSA at a later date.

I don't have exact numbers, but I think those combined we saved almost $1,000

We pay a lot of medical expenses for our other son, he has a a critical illness, so the front desk ladies know we have a lot of medical expenses we pay every year.  I told them the above system because silly me thought they may appreciate my experience, but they looked at my like I had a 3rd eye.