Jump to content

What's with the ads?


Photo

Orthodontist prolonging braces for lack of payment?


  • Please log in to reply
28 replies to this topic

What's with the ads?

#1 Girl Power

Girl Power

    Hive Mind Royal Larvae

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 610 posts

Posted 18 November 2012 - 03:07 PM

Dd15 had braces put on a little over two years ago. The ortho set me up on a payment plan (insurance does not cover) which included a lump sum down and monthly payments spread over two years, the projected duration of treatment.
 
About six months ago my husband left suddenly after 20 years of marriage. It threw finances into a tailspin. I got behind on everything, including my mortgage. I've slowly climbed out of my hole (I'm on a repayment plan with the mortgage company), thankfully, but am now about six months behind on my ortho payments. I've paid them in dribs and drabs over the last six months, but not nearly enough to catch up.
 
During my hardship I kept in communication with them about what was happening, and promised to resume full payments as soon as I was able. I outlined in a letter exactly what I was able to do, which was to start full payments last month and continue until they are paid off.
 
The question I have is this. The braces are ready to come off very soon. Dd thought they would be off by Christmas. But because I'm behind on payments, they will not remove them until I am paid in full. Unless I can scrape together extra money, that won't be for about six months.  Dd is disappointed at the prospect of keeping them on that much longer (although she is a sweet soul and won't say anything because she knows I am under stress financially).
 
This is just not sitting well with me. Do you see anything unethical with keeping braces on indefinitely and unnecessarily because of lack of payment?  Just curious what everyone thinks on this one . . .
 
Beck

#2 mereminerals

mereminerals

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 518 posts

Posted 18 November 2012 - 03:16 PM

Both of my sons have required braces, using different a orthodontist each time. Both of the offices had it in their initial paperwork that braces would not be removed until there was a zero balance. I don't necessarily agree with the policy, but from the friends I have spoken with, this seems to be a routine practice.

#3 mereminerals

mereminerals

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 518 posts

Posted 18 November 2012 - 03:17 PM

Sorry. Double post.

#4 Swimtaxi234

Swimtaxi234

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 939 posts

Posted 18 November 2012 - 03:18 PM

Is your husband not taking any financial responsiblity for his children?

As far as the delay, I suggest that you contact the ortho office and ask them specificially. My daughter's ortho told us in September that my daughter should be out of her braces by early December, but now it looks like it will be in January at minimum.

#5 54879525

54879525

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 55102 posts

Posted 18 November 2012 - 03:40 PM

I don't know the answer to that, but that stinks. I wonder if you could pay another ortho to remove them. Maybe that isn't an option for you, but just a thought.

#6 Chris in VA

Chris in VA

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 20578 posts

Posted 18 November 2012 - 03:52 PM

Wow, I've never heard of that! I do recall my own ortho having a difficult time with my father's insistence that he remove my braces before I moved out of state, but I wasn't quite finished--different in your case.

Honestly, I'd get your child's father to pay. You shouldn't have to do this alone. You can sue him.

#7 In The Great White North

In The Great White North

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6177 posts

Posted 18 November 2012 - 03:58 PM

I don't think leaving them on a few months extra will hurt her teeth (unless she's not good at brushing).

They left "permanent" retainers in my dc's mouths that are supposed to last forwever but have already needed repairs.

#8 Girl Power

Girl Power

    Hive Mind Royal Larvae

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 610 posts

Posted 18 November 2012 - 04:03 PM

Wow, I've never heard of that! I do recall my own ortho having a difficult time with my father's insistence that he remove my braces before I moved out of state, but I wasn't quite finished--different in your case.

Honestly, I'd get your child's father to pay. You shouldn't have to do this alone. You can sue him.


He's on unemployment and barely able to pay rent on his apartment. He gives me a little every week, but until he gets a decent job, he doesn't have two dimes to rub together.

Beck

#9 Stayseeliz

Stayseeliz

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1440 posts

Posted 18 November 2012 - 04:07 PM

I know it seems strange for a medical professional to do that but it does make sense from a business standpoint. It would be like a car repair shop letting you pick up for your before you paid for it. I know it stinks though. :(

#10 Where's Toto?

Where's Toto?

    Eclectically Us-Schooling

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4471 posts

Posted 18 November 2012 - 04:09 PM

We had a similar problem with my oldest. Her father let his insurance lapse which meant they were no longer paying on her braces. The office would not do any further treatments until the arrangements were made and the balance paid off. We ended up paying it and having her dad reimburse us so that her treatment could continue. It seems like it's not unusual for them to refuse treatment or removal until payment is made

#11 Parrothead

Parrothead

    A Gypsie in the Palace

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 26093 posts

Posted 18 November 2012 - 04:54 PM

I'd just go somewhere else and have them taken off. Or are they like stitches? Can they be removed at home?

#12 GraciebytheBay

GraciebytheBay

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 575 posts

Posted 18 November 2012 - 04:59 PM

Just a thought - you may want to have her keep them on until you can pay for further treatment. She will need a retainer immediately after getting the braces off, or her teeth will shift significantly. It would be a shame to negate the benefit of her braces. I would think the braces would keep them in place until you can get caught up.

#13 GraciebytheBay

GraciebytheBay

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 575 posts

Posted 18 November 2012 - 05:05 PM

Just a thought - you may want to have her keep them on until you can pay for further treatment. She will need a retainer immediately after getting the braces off, or her teeth will shift significantly. It would be a shame to negate the benefit of her braces. I would think the braces would keep them in place until you can get caught up.

#14 Stef03

Stef03

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 252 posts

Posted 18 November 2012 - 05:07 PM

That's frustrating... However as ppl have mentioned you will need to pay for a retainer (her teeth will start shifting right away if she doesn't use one) so keep the braces on until you can afford it.

#15 GraciebytheBay

GraciebytheBay

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 575 posts

Posted 18 November 2012 - 05:09 PM

Just a thought - you may want to have her keep them on until you can pay for further treatment. She will need a retainer immediately after getting the braces off, or her teeth will shift significantly. It would be a shame to negate the benefit of her braces. I would think the braces would keep them in place until you can get caught up.

#16 GraciebytheBay

GraciebytheBay

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 575 posts

Posted 18 November 2012 - 05:10 PM

Just a thought - you may want to have her keep them on until you can pay for further treatment. She will need a retainer immediately after getting the braces off, or her teeth will shift significantly. It would be a shame to negate the benefit of her braces. I would think the braces would keep them in place until you can get caught up.


Oops, I see this was mentioned above. It took about 20 minutes to get it posted due to so much wonderful activity on the board today!

#17 stripe

stripe

    J'ai besoin de tout mon courage

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13835 posts

Posted 18 November 2012 - 05:43 PM

I'd just go somewhere else and have them taken off. Or are they like stitches? Can they be removed at home?

I went to high school with a girl who removed hers at home several times.

However, I wouldn't rush to take them off if you won't be able to have a retainer.

I can certainly see why you are upset, though. I hope your financial situation improves.

#18 redsquirrel

redsquirrel

    The Stuff of Legends

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 7259 posts

Posted 18 November 2012 - 06:30 PM

In the contract I signed for ds' braces it stated clearly that the braces would not come off until there was no balance. And, I would not ask another ortho to take them off either. It would be a professional discourtesy and the other ortho wouldn't do it.

But, just because the dentist gave a possible end date for the braces to come off doesn't mean they are ready to come off. We were told that ds's braces would be off in two years. The two year anniversary was back in October 2011 and there has been no mention of taking the braces off. We paid them off in October 2011 so all treatment etc since then has been 'free' (already paid for) so the braces aren't still on due to non-payment.

If you take them off and don't have a retainer then her teeth will just shift back and all that hard work paying the ortho will be for nothing.

I am sorry. I cannot imagine how difficult these past 6 months have been. I hope things get easier for you and your kids very soon.

#19 Beth S

Beth S

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1282 posts

Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:57 PM

I know our agreement with the ortho had this condition (full payment before removal) in it. You really, really do not want to switch orthos! Possibly consider asking the deacons at your church, or others for assistance, and just continue to pay what you can toward it. But truly wearing them for a bit longer will solidify the change. Don't worry about it.

Yes, the retainer is the next step . . . but I believe the cost of our son's retainer is included in the total price of the braces. If the original retainer is lost, then they would charge for its replacement. I know it's hard to wait, but it really, really, really is worth it.

#20 Halftime Hope

Halftime Hope

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3245 posts

Posted 18 November 2012 - 10:32 PM

If you take what the others have said, you'll see that this is really a blessing in disguise. I gives her teeth a chance to settle more solidly into their new location. When I got my braces off last year, my teeth immediately wanted to go back where they had been for "lo, these many years" and we fought with retainers for 8 months before the ortho finally threw in the towel and put on a permanent retainer, since they refused to stay put. It is a like living with a tyrant when you have a retainer: you have to wear it, and I was always in a panic, since I had to put it in right away, even a couple of hours and my stoopid teeth would move. If you forget to put it in, your teeth hurt when you do put it in. The permanent retainer is such a relief, since I don't have to remember it or panic if I forgot it. Her "extended" braces should give her teeth more time to acclimate to their new position, and hopefully she won't face the "mobile teeth" difficulties to as large a degree.

#21 katilac

katilac

    Chief Educational Executive & Cruise Director

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5364 posts

Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:45 AM

I'd just go somewhere else and have them taken off. Or are they like stitches? Can they be removed at home?


Egads, no! She will need a retainer and follow-up at any rate. And I can't imagine any ortho agreeing to take off braces that his office didn't put on.


I went to high school with a girl who removed hers at home several times.
<snip>


I honestly did not think this would be possible, but I googled and you can indeed find instructions for doing this (from random people). It seems dangerous and painful to me. May I ask why on earth someone would remove their braces several times?? Did she just not want them?

#22 QueenCath

QueenCath

    Queen of La La Land

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6771 posts

Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:08 AM

The contract we signed when ds got his braces explicity said the braces would not be removed if payment had not been made in full. This was in every contract we saw for the various orthodontists we checked out when choosing an orthodontist for ds. Too high of a risk for them to not receive the money owed
if they take off the braces without the payment.

#23 stripe

stripe

    J'ai besoin de tout mon courage

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13835 posts

Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:14 AM

I honestly did not think this would be possible, but I googled and you can indeed find instructions for doing this (from random people). It seems dangerous and painful to me. May I ask why on earth someone would remove their braces several times?? Did she just not want them?

This was before the internet. ;) I think she just used a wrench. She wasn't a good friend of mine, so I never really got the details, but my impression was that she got mad in general or at the braces in particular. The orthodontist put them back on. I think she did it at least twice.

I've read things online about people taking out their IUDs at home, too.

#24 LMA

LMA

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1542 posts

Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:28 AM

I know someone who tried this. If you go to another orthodontist, the new orthodontist will ask who is her orthodontist and will talk with the original orthodontist. Once they find you haven't paid your bill in full, they will not take out the braces. They will not interfere with another orthodontist. The person had to pay the bill.

In the best interest of your daughter, I would just wait patiently until you pay the bill. Her teeth will be fine and she will get the retainer care she needs after the removal.

#25 Margaret in CO

Margaret in CO

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12151 posts

Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:44 PM

I think you'll find the provision saying they don't come off until paid for is in your contract. It has been in all my children's contracts.

#26 Girl Power

Girl Power

    Hive Mind Royal Larvae

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 610 posts

Posted 19 November 2012 - 04:09 PM

thank you ladies for your responses. I can understand this policy from a business standpoint, certainly. It just seems a bit muddled to me since we are talking about medical/dental treatment, there seems there should be some ethical implications on leaving braces on indefinitely. What if I wasn't able to pay at all? What if circumstances have caused such hardship that I couldn't pay this off for years? Do they have an ethical obligation to discontinue treatment (i.e. remove the braces) if requested? Don't get me wrong, I have every intention of meeting this obligation and if that means dd keeping braces on for an extra six months, so be it. I just think there is more to consider than don't pay, don't remove. As a medical professional, there seems there should be more to the equation than that.

Beck

#27 LMA

LMA

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1542 posts

Posted 19 November 2012 - 06:45 PM

The best thing is to talk with the orthodontist and ask them directly. It's best not to speculate on what could happen. Hugs.

#28 54879525

54879525

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 55102 posts

Posted 19 November 2012 - 06:47 PM

I know it seems strange for a medical professional to do that but it does make sense from a business standpoint. It would be like a car repair shop letting you pick up for your before you paid for it. I know it stinks though. :(

Yeah, but I don't see a car as the same as someone's body. Geesh. Maybe it really doesn't make a huge difference. Otherwise, I can't imagine them getting away with that (then again who knows). But yeah, try telling your daughter that. She must be itching to get them off!

#29 dirty ethel rackham

dirty ethel rackham

    Iris Loamsdown of Deephallow

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 7457 posts

Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:17 PM

thank you ladies for your responses. I can understand this policy from a business standpoint, certainly. It just seems a bit muddled to me since we are talking about medical/dental treatment, there seems there should be some ethical implications on leaving braces on indefinitely. What if I wasn't able to pay at all? What if circumstances have caused such hardship that I couldn't pay this off for years? Do they have an ethical obligation to discontinue treatment (i.e. remove the braces) if requested? Don't get me wrong, I have every intention of meeting this obligation and if that means dd keeping braces on for an extra six months, so be it. I just think there is more to consider than don't pay, don't remove. As a medical professional, there seems there should be more to the equation than that.

Beck


Well, seeing that, for the most part, braces are usually seen as a life-threatening emergency, I don't see any ethical problems with leaving them on until the treatment is paid for. Most orthos try to make sure that the payment plan finishes before the treatment plan ends. The only situation where I think it would be necessary to remove them on a more timely basis would be if there was a health problem associated with the braces. I knew a family where their daughter reacted badly to the metal in her mouth and had to have them removed, pronto! I also knew another family where the child had terrible decay issues and needed to remove the braces to deal with that.


What's with the ads?