General chatter - I'm so upset! LONG
01-11-2006, 05:42 PM
I am supposed to have oral surgery on the 21st of this month to remove my wisdom teeth and and 5 other teeth to make room for braces. (One of those teeth is a baby tooth and the adult tooth is impacted in the roof of my mouth OUCH!) My Dh elected $3600 from a flex account to pay for my braces this year, but the braces cost $3900, we figured we could handle that remaining amount by making payments, but that doesn't include my surgery. So I called the surgeons office to get a quote on what it is going to cost --$2200! My dental insurance will only cover $1000 of that and my medical may or may not cover the rest, but I still have a $500 deductible with them. So that means if they cover it, I have to pay $500 to my oral surgeon and if they don't cover it I have to pay roughly $1200...that's on top of the $3900 to the Orthodontist. I'm praying that the medical insurance will cover the remaining cost and I only have to pay the $500 copay. I can barely afford to do this and I had no idea it would be so much money for my surgery. I'm currently a SAHM and recently had an offer to work for my husbands company as a receptionist. It pays decent, but I'm not ready to go back yet and was going to turn it down. I decided to be selfish for once in my life. I'm always taking care of everyone else and this year it is my turn. I just got started going to the gym and staying focused on losing weight and my son is 7 months old and I'm not ready to send him to daycare yet. I wanted to wait until he was at least a year old. Now, it seems like I should take the offer and go back to work so that we can afford my dental work. I have to have this done this year because I have to use the money we elected or it is gone. Plus, it isn't like I am doing the braces for "cosmetic reasons" my impacted adult tooth will eventually knock out my front teeth if I don't have it removed as soon as possible and I can't leave a gaping hole there. What should I do? Should I just go back to work and put my child in daycare just so I can afford it? I'm so bummed because I know if I go back to work I won't have the time to go to the gym and what if I don't ever lose this weight? That is important to me as much as taking care of my teeth this year. In addition to this expense we also have a good bit of debt racking up since I've not been working. I was willing to put that debt out of my mind until I went back to work, because I'm only going to have this time with my son once. But the pressure of these expenses and debts are weighing on me and I don't know what to do. :(
01-11-2006, 05:55 PM
oh sweetheart, money sucks. Hate it.
I think you know deep down what you have to do. Ok you don't get teeth fixed and put it off, lose the money you have set aside, get your teeth all out of alignment and be in pain, and potentially have more expensive dental work in front of view in the future.
Or you bite the bullet (no pun intended) and get back to work. And have happy teeth. And then concetrate on your weight in earnest.
Just because you may only get to the gym three times a week say that doesn't mean there isn't things you can do at home. It doesn't have to jeapordise your weightloss. It might slow it down, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It took me 12 months to lose 63lb, and i am grateful for that, I have had time to think about it, to plan for it, and I have less loose skin issues .
I'm sorry this had to happen, especially as I know how much you love going to the gym everyday.
But sometimes somethings gotta give. We'll give you all the support we can to ensure you get through this.
your guardian angel
01-11-2006, 06:22 PM
Money does suck. It hurts so much to have to make choices we know aren't what we would truly want, but we have to make.
My question is, have you either 1) shopped around (maybe another orthodontist would do the braces for less?) or 2) tried to see if your orthodontist would do a payment plan with you? If you used your FSA for the surgery and then had could pay for most of your braces, perhaps your orthodontist would be able to make a payment plan for the rest, which would be $1500. The monthly payment would depend on what you could afford, but it never hurts to ask. How long would you need to work to make that money? Maybe you could do some temp work just to earn that amount.
Also, depending on your credit, etc. you might be able to get a loan from a credit union. My credit union offers personal loans, and while the interest rate isn't great, it would probably be worth it for you to not have to return to work before you were ready.
One other idea is to explain the sitution to the orthodontist and ask if you can get the braces towards the end of the year, get billed for what your FSA will cover in this year, and then elect the remaining amount next year. If they don't go for payments, maybe they would work with it that way. However, this may not be OK since you say the operation needs to be done soon.
Whatever you choose, I hope it works out for you. :hug:
01-11-2006, 09:14 PM
oh, what a sucky situation to be in.
it is very important, however, to maintain your oral health. i don't think people realize quite how much of your overall health is impacted by your teeth/gums.
if the insurance isn't going to cover you, you should talk to your oral surgeons treatment coordinator, as well as the orthodontic treatment coordinator. i also have braces, and my insurance actually covered 1K for the braces. i worked with the treatment coordinator to make monthly payments on the rest. around here, its pretty common to be able to do that. since you are going generally every month, its not like they'll never see or hear from you again. so they are usually pretty accommodating with that. you might want to look into it. then you can put the flex money towards the surgery if needed. then you could put whatever is leftover from that towards the braces. then, continue to make the minimum monthly payments while perhaps starting up a new flex account. then you could pay the rest of it at the end of the year (braces are usually on for at least a year, if not longer. heck, i've had mine for over two years already!) also, my health insurance paid for my surgery - i had a modified leforte I osteotomy to widen my upper jaw. so, you may have luck with your health insurance... definitely look into it!
check into whether you will be making enough money to cover the cost of daycare AND the cost of your treatments to decide whether this option works for you. if it does, then personally, i would do it at least until my treatment was paid off. its hard to do, but your health is important to your baby as well. just my .02 fwiw (not much, but there it is anyway! :D )
good luck to you!
01-11-2006, 09:49 PM
Dental work always sucks--my daughter had a really bad underbite which is the worst to fix--the first dentist that put braces on her made her teeth nice and straight, but never fixed the bite that was so bad only her back most teeth hit together. He said that there was nothing more we could do but wait until she was 18 and stopped growing and break her jaw. Went for a second opinion and dentist said the reason for the underbite was that she was breathing through her mouth and before he would even start he wanted her to go to a ear-nose-throat specialist who found that her adnoids were so infected she couldn't breath through her nose and removed them--the dentist then started her on tongue therapy and other mouth exercises and has made all sorts of contraptions for her mouth, now at 18 her teeth almost all touch, she has an upper lip and cheekbones and her jaw doesn't need to be broke. Unfortunately most of the lifetime insurance allowance went to the first dentist and I had to pay $3,500 for the work at $100 a month--I finally consolidated some debts included the remainder of the dental bill and almost have everything paid off and yes she still goes to him and still has braces and a contraption in her mouth.
Good luck to you no matter what your decision is...
01-12-2006, 12:25 PM
Thank you all for your support! I talked to my husband about what we should do and we think we can work something out with the flex money to pay the down payment for both the surgeon & orthodontist. Then we will pay whatever is left over to the orthodontist and make payments on the rest. We were hoping to not have to make payments because it is just.one.more.bill and a pain in the butt, but if it is what we have to do then, that is what we will do. Money is going to be tight, but I'm sure we will manage especially if I get this job or even a part time job to help cover the extra expenses. I'm feeling alot more confident about it today and trying to think positive. I'll keep you all updated & let you know how it goes.
01-12-2006, 03:18 PM
i'm so glad you are feeling more positive about it! best of luck to you - while you may be doing it for medical reasons, the cosmetic outcome is a huge, welcome bonus. you will find yourself smiling more and feeling much more confident. really. i find that i am more confident even with my face still full of metal and rubberbands (i told my ortho i was convinced he sits up in bed at night thinking of evil ways to torment me with bizarre looking bits of metal and complicated rubberband designs! LOL!). its strange and uncomfortable at times, but it truly is for the greater good of your health, both physical and emotional.
well, anyways. best of luck to you!!! and, as far as money being tight... i follow the belief that which doesn't kill us only serves to make us stronger! i'm not dead yet, and i am thinking of entering next years "strong man" competition. i think i can win it. LOL!!! smile... you'll get through it! and through it with pretty teeth, to boot!