22 answers

Am I Paying Too Much up Front for Orthodontics?

This is my 1st experience with orthodontics and I'm wondering if what I'm being asked to pay for a "deposit" is normal. My daughter has to get "Phase 1" treatment (ie. spacers, retainer, braces, etc.) The cost of the entire treatment plan is $3600. The orthodontic office is asking us to pay $2000 up front before they will even start the process. My daughter is only 7. She will start with the spacers but won't be needing the braces until more teeth come in at around age 12. I am wondering why I have to pay so much now for something that won't even be completed until 5+ years down the line. What if we move or their office closes or something? I'm just wondering if this is normal because it set off some flags for me. Any insight into this process and if this is normal would be appreciated. I want to take care of my daughter's teeth but manage our money responsibly at the same time.

2 moms found this helpful

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I would wait until all of her teeth came in. I had mine when i was in 7th grade but I taught kids in 4th grade who started getting theirs as young as 7 years old. The problem is that they were told they stood a chance of having them put back on later when all of their teeth came in. That made NO sense to me, but I wasn't their parent. I'd wait on it till she gets older.

1 mom found this helpful

I think I would definitely call other orthodontists to get a quote from them and see if their office has similar rates.

Best of luck with everything.

More Answers

Get a second ( or third + opinion). My son had a slight overbite and some crowding and the 1st ortho we took him to wanted to do a three yr treatment with head gear at night, etc. We thought that was excessive considering his problems didn't seem THAT bad; so we took him to another ortho -- 9 mos in braces and he was done!
Age 7 seems a little young, but sometimes early treatment is necessary to prevent major problems later. Deposits are normal, but $2000 seems excessive. Do you have dental insurance? If so, the deposit is usually your deductible amount. I would call orthos in your area to see what the 'normal' practice is.

1 mom found this helpful

I went through all this when my daughter was in 1st grade and she is now in 4th. I went to see multiple orthodontists and found that this Phase 1/Phase 2(which is braces) to be overwhelming, invasive and expensive. I highly recommend checking out Dr. Joseph Sciarra in Woodland Hills at ###-###-####. He came highly recommended and I have been so pleased. My daughter got a "retainer" to fix a cross bite the summer before 2nd grade and that is it so far. She will get braces later but he feels the mouth has lots of time to grow. I haven't paid him a cent for the retainer as that will be applied when she gets braces. Good Luck - I'd go see him even if just for another opinion.
L.

1 mom found this helpful

I would wait until all of her teeth came in. I had mine when i was in 7th grade but I taught kids in 4th grade who started getting theirs as young as 7 years old. The problem is that they were told they stood a chance of having them put back on later when all of their teeth came in. That made NO sense to me, but I wasn't their parent. I'd wait on it till she gets older.

1 mom found this helpful

M., That's a good question, so glad you asked that.

Off on a tangent here: I don't have kids that need braces, much less at their current ages.
BUT.... if anyone knows, WHY ON EARTH do kids this YOUNG need braces AND for so many years???? It was never started that young when I was a kid. I had gotten braces when I was in 7th grade...but since then, my jaws have changed and as well as my my teeth. SO, the alignment/braces I had back then is sort of moot/useless... because now as an adult... I have to STILL wear retainers! Because as my Dentist said, the teeth STILL move around and even back to their original positions- that the jaw is NOT static.

AND, at these young ages... they don't have 'permanent' teeth yet, and their 'baby-teeth' are still falling out AND their jaw/bone structure is STILL changing AND growing... so I don't quite understand 'why' they need all this stuff "now?" I have had many friends and other Moms at my daughter's school talk about it and wonder the same thing? But they figure it is something you 'have to do', and that it just the way it is?

Does anyone know??? I am really wanting to know why "braces" are started on children at younger and younger ages???

As far as the up-front payment... I would really shop around, and see if other Orthodontists give the "same" diagnosis and regime about your daughters teeth.

All the best,
Susan

1 mom found this helpful

Seven seems way too young...no one mentioned that orthodontists and dentists do care about people's mouths and smiles, but they're also in it for the money as well, believe me...we have four kids...two oldest went through the different phases of orthodontia...but at like age 10 - 12...and we never had to put that kind of money up front. Then our twins came along, and sure enough...appeared to have teeth issues...my twin daughter needed a jaw expander which we paid for and the ortho doc said she'd need braces once all her adult teeth were in...12 - 14 or so, also my twin son needed a couple teeth removed which was done around 9 or 10. (Each child had some teeth removed to ready their mouth for orthodontia work and since the doctor said they'd definitely need braces as teenagers). We ended-up moving out of state when the twins were 14 years old so we didn't get around to getting them the braces that the ortho doc said they would definitely need...guess what? Their teeth look great...both of them, with NO braces...they're 17 in a week! I'd advise waiting and seeing and NOT putting that kind of money up front ever! Get another opinion as others have already mentioned!

My 3 (2 nieces and nephew) all had orthodontic work done at a young age...7 - 8...and the different phases were done. NOW that all three are adults...(youngest being 19), ALL 3 of them had to have braces TWO different times because they were done too early. And yes, they had to pay for the braces the SECOND time around, as they did the first...along with all the head-gear, etc. What a pain and expense!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M., You are looking at a contract for $3600, minus the down payment of $2000 that leaves $1600. Are you paying $100/month? for 16 months. That's probably the time your daughter will be in the phase one of treatment. Then what is the second phase? How long and about when does that start? you can and should get another consultation for peace of mind and a consensus on the extraction of teeth and possible outcome. Those are not the only costs, $ and time, her hygiene and committment to elastics or head gear, and extractions and keeping appointments are part of it. If you aren't sure wait longer and see what happens. I saw alot of cases as a dental hygienist and the ones with thumbsuckers and high palates are the toughest.
really think about your daughter and her capabilities and get your dentist and RDH's opinion too on whether she's really ready. Waiting isn't the worst thing either it gives you time to save...(now a financial consultant) good luck, Deb There are so many individual cases that have a different plan, but I read some of the responses and I wonder what planet they are on? Orthodontists generally don't "drop out of business" so find someone that has a reputation in your area, Dr. Adams and Dr. Whitaker in South Bay are wellknown and not going anywhere. Get some opinions and the spacers most likely are not the ones to prepare for brackets,but to hold the space from an early loss of tooth to reduce tipping. Learn some more and you will be fine.

Our daughters also need spacers and braces. The treatments will cover 26 months...our payment plan is broken down into 25 months, with no huge deposit at the beginning. Jungle of Smiles in Laguna Hills. The dentist & orthodontist share office space & it is such a wonderful environment. Peace to you, B.

I wouldn't do it I would find a different dentist. Bc you don't know if the dentist will move or close down in a year and then your out your money.

Why at 7 is your daughter having this work done. I was in 5th grade and 11 years old before ever going thru anything to fix my teeth I would consider waiting until all her baby teeth are gone and her adult teeth are in.

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