If you have ever thought you cannot afford to go to the dentist, maybe you didn’t have all the information available about how you can pay for it. Most Americans realize the importance of oral health and the potential consequences of avoiding dental care. Yet, for many, money is the barrier between them and getting the treatment they need and deserve.
I’d like to share a few ways our office, Center for Progressive Dentistry, helps break down the financial barriers for dental treatment.
The first tip is to invest in yourself. Your smile makes an impression on everyone you meet. If you are not comfortable with your smile, it is easily perceived by others. It can decrease confidence and self-esteem. Therefore, while there are many other things you can spend money on, i.e. a new TV or cell phone, there are few things worth more than investing in your own self-confidence and overall health.
Second, prevention is key! Don’t skimp on the x-rays. Don’t avoid routine cleanings because you lost your insurance. Buy dental floss and use it! Small problems turn into big problems. If we can catch something while it’s a small problem, it’s going to save you a lot of time and money.
Dental insurance. This could easily be an entire blog by itself. Let me keep it short and to the point. Dental insurance is simply a discount plan. Most plans will pay for a couple cleanings, x-rays, and exams per year and then offer a discount (50-80%) on other treatment, such as fillings or crowns. There are usually restrictions and the maximum yearly benefit is typically $1,000-2000.
3rd party financing. Many dental offices are contracted with 3rd party financing companies to help their patients afford treatment. This comes in especially handy for large treatment plans, costing multiple thousands of dollars. Our office offers financing through Care Credit and Lending Club. Let’s see how you might be able to use one of these options to finance your treatment.
Both Care Credit and Lending Club offer no-interest plans, as well as extended plans in which interest is charged. In our office, treatment plans over $1,000 qualify for 12-month, no-interest financing. Therefore, if your recommended treatment costs $1,0000, you could make 12 payments of $83.33.
Let say your treatment costs $4,250, which is the average cost for a dental implant in the U.S. (note- our fee is not quite that high). At Center for Progressive Dentistry, you have many options to finance this treatment. Of course, you can pay in cash or check or with any major credit card. If you choose a 3rd party financing company, here are your options. You could sign up for the 12 month, no-interest plan and the payments would be about $354.17 per month for 1 year. You could also extend your payments out over 2, 3, 4, or even 5 years, paying as little as $87/month.
With Lending Club, the interest rates on the extended plan depend on your credit score. Care Credit just has one flat interest rate. You can apply to both companies to see who will be able to give you the lowest monthly payment.
If you’ve avoided dental treatment before due to the cost, ask our financial coordinator, Kathy, how you to finance the dental treatment you need.
Dr. David Scardella, Center for Progressive Dentistry, Duxbury, MA