May 18, 2006

Say Cheese! or How I Landed in the Orthodontic Poorhouse

It has begun: my daugther's money-sucking journey into orthodontia. I took her to the orthodontist yesterday for a consultation at the recommendation of her normal dentist because my daughter has a little jaw and big teeth. Well, at least her permanent teeth are big, as has been evidenced by the fact that the dentist has had to pull our roughly four baby teeth in addition to the five that came out on their own to accomodate her overly large chompers. Her dentist thinks she'll need to have some pre-braces work to shorten the time she'll actually require braces once her permanent teeth are in. At any rate, we're going to be putting in a lower lingual holding arch this summer. This is supposed to keep her teeth in place to help maintain space as her permanent teeth come in. Here's an explanation of this device that I just copied and pasted from off some orthodontic site:
A lower lingual holding arch is a space maintainer for the lower teeth. It maintains the molars where they are, it does not move them. This is fabricated by placing bands on the molars and connecting them to a wire that fits up against the inside of the lower teeth. It keeps the molars from migrating forward and prevents them from blocking off the space of teeth that develop later. This is used when you have the early loss of primary teeth or when you have lower teeth that are slightly crowded in a growing child and you do not want to remove any permanent teeth to correct the crowding.

Here's a picture.

This little baby is going to cost me $240. That doesn't count the $300 I'm going to have to pay for them to take x-rays and make impressions and whatever other preliminary stuff they have to do to make this thing. My insurance will likely pay a good chunk of it, but I've got to pay upfront. That's just for one little wire thing. But I knew this day would come. I've been mentally preparing for it ever since my parents failed to get braces for me. My teeth are jacked-up to put it mildly. They're all crammed in there. I have what is sometimes affectionately refered to as snaggleteeth. I hate it. I'm embarassed of my smile and try to smile with my mouth closed most of the time. I don't want my daugther to experience my shame. Anyway, I've known that when I had kids I wouldn't condemn them to my sad, sorry fate. As soon as I pay for my daughter's braces, I'm getting some.

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