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Old 07-11-2011, 01:39 PM   #1
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Anyone get a second opinion for orthodontics?

My DDs both need braces but DD8 needs to start her "first phase" soon because she has some crazy adult teeth that need lots of space to come in. I guess it's pretty complicated and difficult to see exactly where they are even on the 3D x-ray.

DH and I are wondering if we should get another opinion since her situation is complicated.

Any thoughts or experience?
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:47 PM   #2
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Yes I got a second orthodontist recommendation.... I think it's always good to get a second opinion for both treatment considerations and price comparison..... Good luck!
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Old 07-11-2011, 02:03 PM   #3
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My tooth situation was incredibly complicated too. I'm 22 and still seeing my orthodontist every 6 months or so to make sure everything is settling properly. I started in a palate expander (I understand that sort of thing is commonly called "Tier 1" now or somesuch.) at 7.

15 years and counting. Orthodontist work can be a major undertaking if your kid's mouth is really messed up, so by all means you should give as much careful consideration to picking the best orthodontist you can find as you would to finding a general practitioner or any other long-term doctor.

Shop around. Talk about their policies, get estimates on cost and what phases they expect to go through (For me, oral surgery to remove fused baby teeth, palate expander, braces, chains on the braces at a later point to move ingrown teeth into proper position, retainers, etc.)

See what their policies are. My ortho for braces proper gave a 2.5 year estimate and that's what my parents paid for on his plan. Turns out it took 3 years, but after my parents had paid for that 2.5 years, he didn't charge them anything because it was his estimate that he personally made that was off, and I was doing everything perfectly on my end so why should they pay. A year later my teeth moved and I had to get another set on the top. No charge because he didn't get it right the first time. A few years later we still couldn't get a front tooth to stay straight so I have a permanent gold wire in the back now. No charge.

I'm sure my ortho's policies are the exception rather than the rule, but my cousin had an ortho who did the braces, and then despite religious retainer wearing the same way I did, the teeth moved back. His mom had to pay for a whole new set. So you need to know that since this is a process that can take years, what the policies are if/when something doesn't go according to plan.

Anyway sorry for rambling but that is the advice I have to give. Too many people think it's a quick 2 or 3 year thing and it's done when that's far from the truth. So my short answer: YES! Get a second, third, whatever opinion. I would ask your normal family dentist who put braces on his kids, if that's applicable. That's how we found my guy and he's easily the best one in the county, if not the state IMHO.
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Old 07-11-2011, 02:04 PM   #4
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I think it would be a good idea. We've gotten 3.
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Old 07-11-2011, 02:05 PM   #5
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Absolutely, yes - get a 2nd opinion.

We got 3 opinions for braces for my daughter.
I got recommendations from the other moms at my daughter's school and from our dentist.
I set up consulations with all 3. AND told all 3, while we were at each visit, that we were visiting other orthodontists and wanted to see what they had to say.
The 1st orthodontist spent all of 10 minutes with us and did not really talk to my daughter at all. We spent more time in the financial persons office having her tell us what the payment plans were than talking to the orthodontist.
The 2nd orthodontist spent 30 minutes with us - talked directly to my daughter and answered all her questions - showed us both the office, the chairs, where she would be when she came for her appointments, showed us the different types of braces, and finally told us what his recommendations were and why. He was very thorough and had a wonderful "bedside manner" so to speak. The other children who were there for appointments seemed to really like the office and the dental assistants. And because he knew we were visiting other orthodontists - he reduced his price.
The 3rd orthodontist was not very nice and made my daughter feel uncomfortable and his staff was not very nice.
So after discussing all the options with my daughter - we chose the 2nd orthodontist and have been very happy with him. Her teeth look beautiful and she may get her braces off early. Everyone we have meet over the last year really love this office and they have been great with my daughter. And their payment plans fit our finances and they were willing to work with us on payments.
So DEFINITELY shop around and get as many opinions as you feel you need to make you, your child, and your pocketbook more comfortable.

Good luck!
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Old 07-11-2011, 02:14 PM   #6
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Absolutely. My 9 year old will need braces, and I have gotten one consult so far. I plan on getting 2 (maybe even 3!) more before proceeding.
Me and DD (11)
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:03 PM   #7
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Maybe only need one phase

We received several recommendations/prices from various orthodontists when my twin daughters looked like they needed braces. Consultations were free.

The newer trained orthodontists usually recommend the two phase program. We don't have ortho coverage on our dental insurance so I was concerned about price. The vast majority of patients that do phase I need to have phase II - that's a lot of time with metal in the mouth!

One of my daughters was still developing her enunciation so I didn't want her progress thwarted by an expander, etc. The ortho we went with recommended speech therapy for her and made a retainer with a tiny spring to correct one top tooth that was coming in behind the lower teeth that she wore for a month then nightly for a few months. We also had some baby teeth removed by the dentist so the adult teeth came in close to their permanent location. (Most the orthos we saw recommended extrations.)

The ortho we went with teaches at a major university and said traditionally the expander can be started any time before pubertiy so it can be done in one phase - around about age 11, do the expander, then go into braces around age 12.

He said the national ortho association is now recommending the two phase program (although he was not at liberty to say he disagrees, you could tell he doesn't think it is necessary). Only patients who have a crossbite on their back top/bottom molars really benefit from an early expander, he had told me the research indicated.

Some orthos say the expander is for 6-8 weeks but that is the time it is being expanded. Then it stays in the mouth for many months (may vary) but my daughter has had one for almost a year now.

One ortho scared me by saying that if she didn't have Phase I, that she would end up having adult teeth extracted. He said that simply wasn't true if you do the expander just before puberty.

Some said Phase II or only doing braces once can only be done after all adult teeth have come in. That hasn't been the case for my daughters. They had 4-6 baby teeth still in and they just skip putting braces on the baby teeth and/or take the tooth off the wire when the tooth is loose enough to come out. They have coils on the wires to keep spaces open for the adult teeth that will be coming in.

My other daughter didn't need an expander and may not need lower braces because she has more room in her mouth. They didn't fill her mouth up with stuff she didn't need. We are paying a set fee per month for two years and get everything they need for that price, except replacement of lost retainers, no matter how long it takes.

Prices varied by $600 for a treatment plan from ortho to ortho so it is worth checking prices and seeing what is included. Also look at their office hours and locations - some offices that have multiple locations CLOSE the location near you some days a week. They really did need to get in for an appointment to fix broken wires poking into their cheeks, etc.

Good luck deciding. I'm glad we wanted and did it all in one phase.

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Old 07-11-2011, 03:13 PM   #8
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We did for my eldest daughter. We went to both orthodontists on the same day. It was the best move we made, as both told us opposite treatment plans. One orthodontist was a preferrd provider. We went with the other guy.
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:48 PM   #9
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Absolutely. I always get a second opinion any time I am looking at the possibility of a procedure or treatment above and beyond routine cleaning/fillings.
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Old 07-11-2011, 04:00 PM   #10
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I would definitely get a second opinion. DD 8 has some friends with braces. From what their moms have told me, I don't understand why they have braces at age 8. I thought maybe they wouldn't need them later, when they're older, but they will. So they're paying twice. My dentist does not recommend braces on young children, but I know it's popular now.

I would never consider spending that much money on a procedure without a second and maybe third opinion.

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Old 07-11-2011, 04:08 PM   #11
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We also got three opinions. One was completely focused on price and payment plans, the other was very flashy, but we really liked the third. The three treatment plans differed but the prices were all in the same ballpark. The third had a great bedside manner and asked questions about her growth, etc. He told us to wait 9 months before putting her on any type of treatment plan (the other two wanted to right away) because she had not yet finished growing. Even though we have to drive farther to him, we do. By all means, seek other opinions.
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Old 07-11-2011, 04:47 PM   #12
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We also got three opinions. One was completely focused on price and payment plans, the other was very flashy, but we really liked the third. The three treatment plans differed but the prices were all in the same ballpark. The third had a great bedside manner and asked questions about her growth, etc. He told us to wait 9 months before putting her on any type of treatment plan (the other two wanted to right away) because she had not yet finished growing. Even though we have to drive farther to him, we do. By all means, seek other opinions.
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Old 07-11-2011, 04:57 PM   #13
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We got three opinions for my daughter. The first one wanted to pull 12 teeth! That was a huge red flag for me and something I wasn't comfortable with so we moved on. He had a big flashy office with video games while the kids were waiting, etc.

The second one we liked a lot. He spent plenty of time with us and went over treatment options (although some were quite pricey) The only drawback to that office was that they would only schedule an after school appointment once every 6 months. Otherwise you had to come during the day. My daughter was in middle school and I am a teacher so that really wasn't going to work for us either.

The third one we went to we also really liked. He wanted to wait 9 months and then check her again before we started. After the 9 months, the braces went on. There were no additional appliances or teeth pulling needed. Exactly 2 years later, the braces came off and she has beautiful teeth! Also, she never missed any school for appointments as they work till 6:00 so kids can come in late.

So I recommend going to at least a couple as the treatment plans (and costs!) were drastically different each place we went. I'm glad we didn't go with the first ortho we visited!
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Old 07-11-2011, 05:15 PM   #14
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Excellent points made here, but I think one of the best is checking office hours. It gets really hard to pull them out of school as they get older! Some even offer Sat. appts.

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Old 07-11-2011, 06:16 PM   #15
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We ended up getting 4 different opinion since there didn't seem enough overlap with their strategies and plans.

My daughter is 8 also and around 5 months ago started getting work done. We have a lot of work ahead of us also : (

One doc wanted to extract 2 teeth and then do braces on the top and bottom, most likely remove for a 1 or 2 and then put on.

Another wanted to put braces only on the top, remove the same 2 teeth and then also likely extract more later. Later on, she would have top and bottom braces on.

Another wanted to extract the 2 teeth and then wait and see. She wanted to put a spacer in. She said extract is likely and that my daughter would most likely need more teeth extracted since she is not in the palate expanding philosophy.

Another wanted to remove the 2 teeth, do palate expanding on the top and bottom.

It was very confusing, but I would go with your gut and get a feel for why they are doing what they suggest.

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