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moving2018

Braces

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Hi All.  Please can you give me a heads up.  My child (10) is in need of braces.  Sadly not standard, he needs some reconstruction of his jaw.  I had to start the process as he is complaining.  We are going back next week to find out what the options are.  I have made the dentist aware of the possibility of us going to the US.  According to him the American orthodontists are very invasive and will go the surgery way pretty quickly whereas the SA ones will use the child's growth to get everything in place over time.  Have any of you needed to go this route.  Do you think I will find someone on that side to continue what he has started here?  Looking forward to your responses. 

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Both my kids had braces which were started in Canada and continued in the US. They don't jump to surgery as you were advised. The idea is also to be conservative, starting early and see how the growth affects everything (The Canadian and US approach is comparable- I would say the exact same).

I do not know your child's exact situation, but I can ensure you that, whatever you face, it will be met with expert professionalism in the US. It is, however, VERY expensive. 17 Years ago, it was 5000 $ per child (for a 2 year treatment). That does not include some surgical procedures which is not done by the orthodontist. Orthodontist fees are generally not covered by health insurance, but the surgery, which will be done by a Maxillofacial surgeon, may be covered, depending on the plan you have. 

Since I've lived in the US and Canada and then went back to SA for a few years, I, unfortunately, feel that the US and Canada are ahead of SA as far as dental treatment and approaches.

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I'd also add that as a fairly recent emigre, I feel the US medical and dental personnel and facilities are way ahead of SA (and yes we used top private in SA). I'd also agree that it's a misconception that Americans always jump to the invasive procedures, in fact I have found a lot of care with our dentist to avoid that.

but get good medical insurance - it is way, way more expensive than SA.

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Oh, I just saw the comment about orthodontics not covered - this depends on your plan.

 

one thing to be aware of is unlike SA where your medical aid is one for everything, here you have medical insurance, then you choose your add on for optical, and an add on for dental. So in a sense you can tailor these to suit you - orthodontics is an optional coverage on our dental plan. 

Incidentally not everything ends up being more expensive than SA. Our optometry requirements are way less than SA (we get all our eye tests, glasses and contact lenses fully covered on an annual basis, and because our medical plan has zero copay and because of what it covers, pediatrician appointments also end up being way less as we have found everything we do is fully covered whereas we always had pay-ins in SA, Disovery never fully covered anything to do with specialists! All of this for an annual premium that works out less than what we paid to Discovery. Run of the mill dentistry if your coverage runs out and, especially, hospital stays are way more expensive than SA though. 

Edited by SJ272

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My experience with dental insurance has been that preventative measures like annual/semi- annual exams and cleanings, with a bi-annual panorama x-ray are covered 100 %. Then, it gets more expensive as the treatment gets more invasive. There are different levels of fillings. A simple one, may be covered 75  %, a more complex one, perhaps 50 %,  then it goes down to a crown, which is not covered at all.

I believe a maxillofacial surgeon would be considered under your medical insurance and it depends on the plan you have how much is covered and if you have a copay. We had very good medical insurance when I lived in the US and the surgery would have been covered 100 %, even out of state (in a different state than where you reside).

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2 hours ago, Nettie said:

My experience with dental insurance has been that preventative measures like annual/semi- annual exams and cleanings, with a bi-annual panorama x-ray are covered 100 %. Then, it gets more expensive as the treatment gets more invasive. There are different levels of fillings. A simple one, may be covered 75  %, a more complex one, perhaps 50 %,  then it goes down to a crown, which is not covered at all.

I believe a maxillofacial surgeon would be considered under your medical insurance and it depends on the plan you have how much is covered and if you have a copay. We had very good medical insurance when I lived in the US and the surgery would have been covered 100 %, even out of state (in a different state than where you reside).

You clearly had a different type of dental insurance...I just had a crown done that was mostly covered. (Irritatingly, the reason for the crown was a South African dentist who screwed up what should have been a simple filling years ago and led to unnecessary complications :(  ) If you have a crown for purely cosmetic purposes then yes of course it won't be covered, but that's fair.

And ah yes,  it makes sense that the surgeon would be medical rather than dental insurance.

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Hm. Lucky you! The crown that I got was not cosmetic. So I guess the insurance was different for the two of us.

I spent 8k ZAR on two teeth to have them fixed before I came back to Canada and I had to pay here,  to have them fixed too.

Edited by Nettie

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So the moral of the story is to definitely check your insurance properly and choose the plans that work for you. Ours does have orthodontics as an optional add on, yes it's not full coverage but I think 50% which makes a huge difference (and this benefit obviously way more than the extra premium) and definitely more procedures covered. 

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Thank you all for the info.  I will chat to the orthodontist on the 15th and see what he suggests.  Also would not like to take my child up to Johannesburg for the interview with new braces.  For now we are sitting ducks with medicals and final interview.  After that is out of the way, I will proceed.  Currently on Discovery and they pay absolutely nothing towards braces anyway.  From what I have heard standard braces come in at around R45k, but our situation with the jaw issue I am thinking ours will be more in the line of R55k+.  It is what it is.  Life happens, children come first and we always find a way to manage. As it stands in SA at the moment we are basically working for 1. Medical, 2. Insurances and 3 or course the grocery stores.  Healthy, fresh food prices have escalated so much in the past two years and I honestly do not know how less fortunate people manage to feed their families. SA is really in a sad sad state.

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They normally don't question the children at all during the interview so if that's your worry, don't let that delay any treatment.

 

 

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Ok, so good news.  Retainer being fitted on Monday, so for now, braces off the table.  Medicals passed so off to Johannesburg on the 8th.  I really am not sure what/how to feel at the moment.  It is as if it is so close, but yet, still worried that the they will deny the visa.  Anyway, still super excited and finding it very difficult to focus on what I should actually be doing.  Thank you for listening and have a super day.

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I think we can all sympathize with that feeling where we can't see why we would be denied but are terrified it will happen anyway! Good luck for the interview. 

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We JUST went through the braces situation.

My 14 year old's braces was fitted on Saturday. Off cause we were roasted for taking so long (seems that its not out of the ordinary to get braces around 9-10 [to help with the formation of the bones as they grow] and then a second round later as teenagers)

Different ortho's do it different ways. We got 2 different opinions with basically 2 different ''quotes. the Ortho that we opted for at the end turned out to be the more expensive one, BUT he is doing re-lining and expansion of the jaw (and overbite)as well as straightening the teeth. ALL without surgery and only with braces (as we know them)

[at]moving2018 you can PM me if you- need more info on prices etc. (if you google average brace costs you will get estimates for straight forward brace work- when if gets more complex it goes up a bit north of that - not double though)

 

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Yes, it definitely seems to be the trend to put in what we used to call a removable brace, they seem to call them expanders,   at around 8-10 to help with alignment etc of permanent teeth coming out and help prevent crowding, in order to reduce the need for or duration of orthodontic treatment later. Seeing this in my kid's class (rising 4th graders). Our dentist has also suggested I take my child for an assessment to see if she needs one.

I am not sure how new this really is though, I remember having a brace like this in primary school for a few months and so did other kids. 

 

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Going for our last check on Monday.  What an improvement already.  So glad that we have started, so once there, I will just need to find someone to complete the process.  The Orthodontist said that once I have found someone to take over, they will mail/chat/send photo's etc and then we can carry on from there. Luckily not more paperwork etc to carry around.  Thank you for the feedback.

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