Monday last was a very "eventful" day.....but for now my only musings are based on a "routine" annual check up at the orthodontist for Stable Chick and Songbird. Stable Chick was just getting her permanent wire checked behind her front teeth that has been doing a great job of maintaining the $1300 worth of work that was done to them just over a year ago. All is well and we'll be back for a check next year.
Songbird had a lengthier appointment as she is about to turn 13 and her twelve year old molars are in and all should be well situated. Last year at this time the annual review went something like this....."Everything looks great!", "Her jaw is growing as I would expect", "She's not experiencing any discomfort", "We would expect her twelve year old molars to finish erupting in the next few months"...etc. etc. We left feeling comfortable that it didn't appear there would be any more dental issues in the foreseeable future! Yah...well....that's where the hindsight starts to kick me in the proverbial B-U-double T!!!
You see Chief's benefit plan runs June to June so in the spring we review if we want to make any changes and do so before the new benefit year begins. We are blessed with amazing medical and dental coverage but could opt to improve orthodontic treatment from 50% coverage to 75% with a bigger price tag of course. So since everything was "OK" we chose to hold at the 50% since Cat Lover is still a couple of years away from the "major" fixer upper job we have been told to anticipate.
OK....fast forward to post x-ray and exam and here is the "new" info......"Her twelve year molars are fully in and the wisdom teeth can be seen", "She has moderate clicking in her jaw, has she had an injury to her lower jaw?"......well that could probably be explained by the wipe out over the handlebars of her scooter that not only chipped her bottom tooth but required stitches to her chin!!!
Here it comes......."Does your jaw hurt?", "Yes, quite often especially when I'm eating". This you must understand comes as news to me!
My much respected and extremely well compensated orthodontist went on to advise that she has a 95% overbite which we knew and that coupled with the clicking in her jaw meant that without question we would be looking at two years with top and bottom braces to realign her jaw and correct both the overbite and the cross bite! Did I have any questions......I sat in stunned silence knowing that this would be a hit in the creative financing I already do to buy the quantity of milk and other groceries it takes to feed my growing tribe!
I braced myself as his assistant retrieved the papers from the printer and slowly slid them across the table with practiced finesse as she rambled on about how payments were to be made and when the first available appointments for initial molds and applying the upper braces were........ $4800!!!!!!!!
Stable Chick let out a quiet but audible gasp and Songbird chimed in....."Oh mom can I get them on before Christmas"!! Let me see I thought sarcastically.......Sure this is a perfect time of year to get right on that!! I quietly leaned over to interrupt her insistent questioning of how soon that could happen and said.... "Sweetheart.....that will be financially prohibitive!" She looked at me like a deer in the headlights and then the light bulb went on and she said...."Oh sure Mom, whenever that works better for you is fine!" We quietly booked an appointment for the middle of January and that has been the last mention of it for now.
I guess come the late spring when benefit packages are up for renewal we might consider increasing our coverage to 75%!!