Buying a New Mouth

So off I toddled to the orthodontist on Friday to get the verdict after he'd done his homework on my mouth situation.

He hauled out the X-rays, the plaster casts of both jaws, the photos etc and told me I'll have to lose another 2 teeth on the top row to make the others fit.

I managed to get quite a bit of info out of him (while again he rambled off on tangents before he got around to answering my questions!), and then asked about cost.

He said he'd fax a quote through today - and asked what I thought it might cost. I said "hopefully not more than R15,000" (guessing, based on a friend's son's quote at a nearby dentist of R7,500 and simply doubling it). He laughed and said, "actually - it's more like R20,000!".

EXCUSE ME? Am I buying a whole new mouth? Or have the monthly payments on your Merc just gone up? That's a hell of a large cost and I doubt my medical aid will agree to cover it! They only pay out 75% of it too, which leaves me with quite a few thousand to cover - and I'm required to pay before claiming, then wait 2 weeks for a refund, so it's not the easiest situation, especially when this particular dental bloke doesn't take credit card payments.

What I didn't get to ask was what happens if I leave the country (ie that Australian job comes through next year) - seeing as the cost is spread over a certain number of months, regardless of how long the treatment takes....

Oh, and it seems his story has again changed - instead of 15 months he's saying this is going to take 18 months, and I'll still need retainers after that too!

If it wasn't becoming sore in my mouth thanks to teeth going their own way I honestly would give up on this idea right now. I don't rightly care what I look like (which is probably a problem in itself), I just don't want things getting worse.

One other option I'll do is contact the "cheaper" dentist (who isn't a specialist, and who sent me to the guy in the first place for a 2nd opinion), and see whether he'd be willing to take over this treatment, or whether I HAVE to go with the specialist. I feel a bit guilty about going behind his back, so to speak, but this is completely ridiculous in terms of fees.

Just when I thought my finances were coming right....