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To get DS (15) to pay for his own dental treatment?

(90 Posts)
InteriorsMum Thu 04-Dec-14 14:08:33

DS has particularly bad teeth, overcrowding and overbite. We've just had our first appt at the Orthodontist who has gone through the treatment available on the NHS vs treatment available privately. On the way to the orthodontist DS said the worst case scenario for him would be if he had to have teeth removed.

The NHS treatment involves four tooth extractions and then braces to bring all back into line. This will result in a slight smaller jaw as everything will contract. The private treatment involves no extractions, just braces that widen his jaw to fit everything in. I favour the private treatment as will give him a wider smile and would provide the better outcome.

However, I don't have the 3.5k to pay for it. DS does though, he and his Sister lost their Dad about 5 years ago and as we were divorced they inherited everything. They don't know there is money coming to them as I didn't/don't want them growing up thinking they don't need to work for anything as they will get a nice wad of money when they hit 18. They do however know about a small pension fund which they have also inherited as it is payable to them shortly, they've never known the value of it but its not more than 6k each, they think this is all there is, I've always hinted it should be used to buy a car.

On the way home I told DS that I didn't have the money for the private treatment but if he had 3.5k would he choose to pay for it himself given the choice. He um'd and ah'd so I reminded him about his small pension fund and that it would be circa 6k, would he think of using this for the treatment? He said he would if he could still afford a car after paying for the dental treatment.

So I think he may well say yes I'll pay for it myself but I'm feeling incredibly guilty about making him pay for his own treatment. I do have a rainy day fund for seriously rainy days which I could break into but this isn't a rainy day scenario.

AIBU for making him pay for it?

NotSayingImBatman Thu 04-Dec-14 14:12:36

Yes, he's your child.

You could borrow from the trust fund he doesn't know about, and pay it back before he turns 18?

CaffeLatteIceCream Thu 04-Dec-14 14:12:52

I think that, given you know that he'll be coming into a lot more money in just 3 years, it's not unacceptable to allow him to pay for the private treatment if he wants it.

You gave him the choice and he's made it.

Nothing for you to feel guilty about, IMO.

WorkingBling Thu 04-Dec-14 14:13:08

Yes, yabu. That is his money and he is still a child. Having said that, I don't think it's unreasonable that it is used, just not this way.

I would be honest with them about what is coming. Tell him you can't afford it. Ask if he wants to use his inheritance. And if possible, offer to try to reimburse at least some of it over he next few years.

Goingintohibernation Thu 04-Dec-14 14:13:24

YANBU. It sounds like it is not essential for him to have the expensive private treatment, and if he has the money I don't see the harm in him paying for it, if that is what he chooses to spend it on.

littlemslazybones Thu 04-Dec-14 14:14:09

No, it's not awful. He has to live with his smile for the rest of his life and if the money is there it seems like a good way to spend it. At the same time, it is in your children's best interest that you don't erode your family's emergency money. I think, go for it.

VenusRising Thu 04-Dec-14 14:15:21

Bloody hell, he can earn money to buy a flipping car when he's old enough to drive.

Pay for his teeth privately with the money now. Good alignment and a wide smile are priceless. His jaw won't have finished growing now and will respond excellently to the treatment.
Leave it any later and he may have to have jawbone removed as well as teeth.

yummytummy Thu 04-Dec-14 14:15:34

I think you are slightly unreasonable. The treatment is available on nhs for free so he has that option. Often having extractions provides a better result. ( am a dentist) if he absolutely had to pay for braces privately thats a different issue but he is eligible for free treatment so I think you should go for this option and save the money for the future

CaffeLatteIceCream Thu 04-Dec-14 14:15:34

Or...since he can't buy a car for 2 years, maybe you could let him pay for the private treatment now, and spend the next two years paying it back? Another potential option.

Don't agree that "it's your child you must pay". What if you can't afford it? I could certainly not find £3.5k for dental treatment.

googoodolly Thu 04-Dec-14 14:17:33

Can't you borrow money from the fund and pay it back by the time he turns 18? I think it's very unfair to make a 15 year old pay for private dental treatment.

macdaddydoodah Thu 04-Dec-14 14:18:01

Reading title I thought you were definitely BU.

Is the money definitely coming to him and is it significantly more than the 3.5K. If so, then needs must. I also think it might make him look after braces etc well knowing how much they cost!

CaffeLatteIceCream Thu 04-Dec-14 14:18:02

Yummy the dentist's response makes me think maybe you need a second opinion. Maybe the free NHS treatment will produce as good a result.

SecretSquirrels Thu 04-Dec-14 14:28:58

I think you should consider the possibility that he may choose the private treatment in order to avoid the extractions (I would do the same).
As others have said the NHS treatment may well give the best long term outcome.
At the very least I would try a different private orthodontist for a second opinion on which is the best treatment.

Having said all that, if his DF was alive I imagine he would think this was something worth paying for.

Sn00p4d Thu 04-Dec-14 14:29:39

I had nhs braces with 4 extractions when I was 13 and now have perfect teeth,had the braces on for 18 months.
My friend who is 30 has just paid 4k for braces privately, her teeth are a mess, she was given wrong advice, has been told she will require surgery which she will also have to pay for. Private treatment is not always better. I'd think very carefully about paying 3.5k for something which is available to him for free, what exactly are his concerns about extractions? Maybe worth getting to the bottom of that first.

CarmelasFridge Thu 04-Dec-14 14:30:53

If I was you I'd get the private treatment, but pay him back, however long it took.

IrianofWay Thu 04-Dec-14 14:32:51

I don't understand why the private route is so different from the NHS one. Surely if one is as good clinically as the other?

m0therofdragons Thu 04-Dec-14 14:39:40

My uncle spent my cousin's inheritance and I still can't forgive him. As his parent you are responsible for hus dental needs. I would look at the best option then consider it as if the money does not exist because for you it doesn't. I would be looking at a loan if I felt private would be better. My concern is where do you draw the line re spending dc inheritance.... You can afford a coat but not an expensive coat but if you use the inheritance you can get the expensive one... afford better holiday etc. I would feel very uncomfortable spending a child's money.

Tanaqui Thu 04-Dec-14 14:40:10

If, after research, the private route is def better, go for it. To be blunt, if his dad was alive you would likely be better off as a family, and in effect, it is as if his dad were paying for it.

Limeylemons Thu 04-Dec-14 14:40:46

Both my teens having private orthodontic treatment at the minute each costing £3.5000 so similar to your quote. DD,17,has just finished her treatment and has the most perfect teeth and smile now.She had horrendous overcrowding and needed 4 extractions and wore braces for 18 months afterwards but the results are incredible.
Ds,14 began his treatment 6 months ago for horrendous overcrowding also(he even had a tooth coming from the roof of his mouth as no room for it where it should have been ) and also had 4 extractions first and now has braces on.Orthodontist and dentist both said for severe overcrowding it is often better to remove teeth..the end result will be far better.So don't knock your NHS suggestion at all.Personally I would work more on getting your son to come round to this idea...he will get a much better result in the end.smile

Wishtoremainunknown Thu 04-Dec-14 14:44:05

I paid for my dental work privately when I was 19 out of inheritance because my mother wouldn't. Not couldn't. Wouldn't. I couldn't cope with having extractions either.

The difference is though that that was all they money I had and then some. It was also supposed to be for a car. Unlike you my mother was furious I had "wasted" it.

It is still the best money I ever spent.

However I do think it slightly unfair of you not to tell them there will be more money coming. I knew this was all I had but wanted so desperately to have nice teeth (they were awful) that I paid.

If your DS is not sure because it's a lot of money that's a good thing. He's already cautious about what he spends. But I think it's a bit nfair that you are asking him to make such a decision without knowing the full facts.

skylark2 Thu 04-Dec-14 14:46:29

I think you should tell him what money he'll be inheriting so he can make an informed decision.

He's 15 - it won't be long until he's choosing A levels or alternatives. You'll feel awful if he picks something based on an assumption that, say, you can't afford for him to go to uni in a particular city, or do a particular course, when actually he'll be able to pay for it himself.

Wishtoremainunknown Thu 04-Dec-14 14:47:45

X post with skylark

brokenhearted55a Thu 04-Dec-14 14:49:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HansieLove Thu 04-Dec-14 14:53:13

My younger son is 42. In his teenage years, orthodontists pulled permanent teeth to make room. They no longer do that! A hygienist told me that was the thinking of the time.

MissPenelopeLumawoo2 Thu 04-Dec-14 14:54:29

My DD was referred to a private orthodontics as her dentist thought he would be better. He took one look at her teeth and referred her back to the NHS dental hospital, as he said he did not have the necessary expertise (her teeth are a nightmare!) So I would not write off the NHS treatment, often they have more experience than the private orthodontics who seem to pick & chose the work they want to do. I am amazed that any orthodontics can promise to straighten teeth without extractions, it seems to come with the treatment ( I had to have six out-bitter experience)

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