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Old 06-08-2006, 03:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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More debt? Braces?

I recently graduated from college. I am planning on going to graduate school in a couple of years.

However, I am facing a problem. My teeth are horrible - extremely crooked. My parents could never afford orthodontic treatment, which is understandable. However, I am left with low self esteem among other issues (including weird digestive problems). It would be nice to correct this in the next two years, so I can focus on education (not worring about how horrific my teeth are).

Currently, I have a decent job (income is reasonable). My debt-to-income ratio is about 40%, which is slightly high. However, this is the first time I can afford braces. So I found a plan where I could pay them off in two years, and it would bring my debt-to-income ratio up substantially (it would be nearly 65%). I am used to living rather conservatively, so I think I could survive on the remainder money. It seems like it may help in the long run - for example, with job hunting. Also, it feels like now may be a better time to take care of the problem - I do not want braces when I am working post-doc. I am pretty scared of taking on more debt however.

Does anyone have any insight? I appreciate any advice/comments.
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Old 06-08-2006, 03:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you been to an orthodontist for suggestions? Veneers might be another option for you....

ALso if you live in/near a city with a university that has a dental school - check to see if they do any kind of work cheaper (you are kind of the guinea pig, but the students work under the supervision of a doctor) I'm not sure if they do cosmetic work but it's worth cheking into.

Do you have a health plan at work? What about an FSA thru your health plan (which would give you tax free money to spend on your braces)
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Old 06-08-2006, 04:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I went to an orthodondist - my teeth are really bad, and require braces (as well as the screw-anchor *alternative to headgear*). I may look into the University program - however, I am nervous because it is such a complex problem. My jaw is out of alignment, I need to have 8 teeth pulled, and my upper teeth need to be pushed back pretty far. Does anyone have any experiences with the orthodondist school training?

I do have a healthplan at work - but no ortho coverage. It will cover 50% of the teeth extractions - that's it. Also, I missed the deadline for the FSA, but was hesitant to enroll because you lose what you do not spend.

Thanks for the questions/suggestions!
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Old 06-08-2006, 04:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I too, need braces. My teeth are not horrible, they're just bad. I like to believe that it doesnt effect my self esteem, but I know deep down that it does, and if I ever got braces, I would have that much better self esteem afterwards.
I am currently a student, and am looking into getting invisalign for my teeth. I found out that it cost 6,000(cdn) total.

I cant afford that right now, but It is definately something that I am saving for. I also believe that in looking for a career appearance plays a key role, and braces are a good investment in the future.
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Old 06-09-2006, 01:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Rich Wannabe Hippie Town
Yes. I'd do it, and do it now.

I had orthodontistry when I was a kid; my overbite was so bad that when I smiled, all you could see was my upper gum. I would have eventually lost a bunch of teeth. Health problems were an issue. Take care of your health.

Your comments on timing are true. Balancing a series of serious oral and dental procedures with a grad student's hectic schedule would be difficult. I've been to grad school. Believe me, you don't want distractions. If you've got spare time now, do it now.

Finally, looks are important. I wish it wasn't so, but they are People type and classify other people by appearance all the time. A person with a correctable physical issue, like bad teeth, may be presumed to be from a lower-class background and thus less well-educated and so on. At the very least, it raises questions: why haven't you been able to have it fixed? And you don't want to go into a job interview raising questions by your very appearance.

I don't mean to be harsh -- I don't think I'm being harsh -- but it's a tough world out there, not much different than high school. If you don't look like one of the pack, the pack may not be interested in asking you to join.
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Old 06-09-2006, 03:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
it's jam
 
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Location: Lowerainland BC
Do it now, it's not going to get any cheaper and you'll be happy in the long run.
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Old 06-09-2006, 05:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
Upright
 
Thanks for the input. I am still a little anxious about adding to my debt at such a young age, but I know I will pay it off as soon as possible. It will probably be better for a career in the future - so hopefully the returns on this investment will far outweigh the cost.
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
Tilted
 
Funny you should ask about this, as I'm about to get braces myself at the age of 21. You should definatly do it now, the older you get the vastly harder it gets. You should get some more free consults from orthodontists before you choose one, technology has advanced a crazy amount in even 5 years, orthos are offering more options than yanking teeth now. Another note, you can get financing for braces with zero interest.. A great way to build credit.
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Old 06-09-2006, 09:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: Rich Wannabe Hippie Town
Quote:
Originally Posted by scarglitter
I went to an orthodondist - my teeth are really bad, and require braces (as well as the screw-anchor *alternative to headgear*). I may look into the University program - however, I am nervous because it is such a complex problem. My jaw is out of alignment, I need to have 8 teeth pulled, and my upper teeth need to be pushed back pretty far. Does anyone have any experiences with the orthodondist school training?

I do have a healthplan at work - but no ortho coverage. It will cover 50% of the teeth extractions - that's it. Also, I missed the deadline for the FSA, but was hesitant to enroll because you lose what you do not spend.

Thanks for the questions/suggestions!
Just one thing: a jaw out of alignment sounds like an orthopedic problem, not an orthodontic problem. Therefore, covered by medical insurance?

There's also an "ask the dentist" thread going continuously over in Tilted Health and Fitness. Ask a question over there, and a real dentist will answer. Not an orthodontist, but probably know way more about it than anyone here. Here's a link:

http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/showthr...?t=5314&page=8

Last edited by Rodney; 06-09-2006 at 09:45 PM..
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