Thursday, July 24, 2008

This mouth...

... is going to cost us a fortune!

The orthodontia has begun.

Jonathan's dentist recently recommended that we take him to an orthodontist for a consultation. I don't know if you can tell in the photo, but Jonathan has an under bite. It's not as noticeable since his bottom front teeth fell out. I always knew orthodontia would be in his future. But, I thought that the orthodontist would tell me that it would be far in the future. He's too young to do anything now, he needs his permanent teeth first, etc.

I was wrong.

He needs two appliances, expanders on the top and the bottom, plus an extra contraption to push his top teeth forward. Not only does he have an underbite, but his teeth are very crowded and there is no room for the big teeth to come in. We have to act now because if we didn't they would have to pull permanent teeth in the future. Yikes!

What really surprised me though was the price tag. It's costing us more than my four years of braces cost my parents. And, he'll probably still need braces when he gets older.

This is just one more reason to be thankful that Elizabeth stopped sucking her thumb. Maybe she can avoid some of this. But, with the history of orthodontia in my family, probably not.

I need to find room for another line item in our budget: orthodontia.


Lillian said...

Honestly, have you gone for a second opinion!?? I have such a hard time believing that if you don't act now, all is lost!! Most people don't even think to go to an orthodonist this young!! I hate scare tactics!

Do you personally know this orthodontist? I would go for a
2nd and 3rd opinion before changing the budget!!

And what's so bad about just pulling out permanent teeth later?? I had 2 pulled out before getting my braces.

Just my $.02.

And, no, I can't count as your 2nd or 3rd opinion!! LOL!

Colleen said...


You've got a point. After you suggested a second opinion, Eric and I sat and talked about it for a while to make sure we were making the right decision. But, after getting over the initial shock, I'm glad that we're able to address his issues at a young age. The expanders he is getting are not painful, but teeth pulling or major orthodontia with braces are very painful. In the long run I think it will be cheaper, too. Hopefully we can avoid some of the oral surgeries and things that I had to go through as a teenager.

If his problem was just some crowding, I think I would hesitate on all this. But the bite problem is a major issue. Because of it his teeth are wearing away at a rapid rate and it could lead to problems with his jaw, headaches, etc. in the future.

So, thanks for the reminder to slow down and think this all through. I feel like I'm learning a lot. The things that are available these days are very different than when I was a kid. It's a big paradigm shift!

Lillian said...

It does sound less invasive which is always nice!! I hated getting my teeth pulled and it scarred my relationships with dentists/ orthodontists FOREVER!!