At Ortho 101, we don’t want cost to be a barrier to receiving orthodontic treatment. Here are some ideas to help you plan for and manage the cost of braces or other orthodontic treatment options.
Paying for Orthodontic Treatment
If at all possible, it’s ideal to start planning for the cost of orthodontic braces or other treatments a couple of years ahead of when you actually need to pay for it.
Just like planning for other significant expenses, such as a new car or kitchen renovation, planning ahead for orthodontic and dental treatments can help alleviate financial worries.
Confirm Diagnosis & Prioritize Treatments
After the orthodontist is able to examine you or your child’s mouth and diagnose the specific issue, you’ll be able to ask questions and address concerns such as:
- The specific orthodontic issue that needs to be treated
- The severity and extent of the orthodontic issue
- Which specific treatment options are recommended
- The duration of your or your child’s treatment
- When the issue(s) should be treated
- Which issue(s) is/are critical or priority
Discuss a customized treatment plan with your orthodontist and talk about any financial concerns openly. Your orthodontist may have some advice for you and be able to indicate alternative treatment options or explain which issues are critical or high-priority to treat, and why.
Check Your Insurance Plan
Dental insurance policies usually stipulate whether orthodontic treatment is covered specifically or at all. In some cases, the insurer may pay a significant portion of the cost. Questions you may want to ask your provider include:
- Who is covered in my plan?
- Which services will be completely covered, and which are partially covered?
- Which treatments have I received so far this year?
- How can I receive discounts on dental care?
Look for Dental Savings Plans
Have a bare-bones insurance plan (or none at all)? A dental savings plan may work for you. You pay an annual fee and you then receive a price break from orthodontists who accept the plan.
Read the fine print on these types of policies as they can differ from plan to plan – and to confirm that your orthodontist is part of the network.
Ask about payment plans or financing options
Though your orthodontist may not be able to budge on the cost of the treatment, they may be able to come up with a payment plan that will work for you – such as a monthly payment plan.
Some orthodontist’s offices partner with companies that offer interest-free financing or payment plans. See if this is true for your orthodontist. Make sure to get a written contract to review carefully.
What About Cash Discounts & Payment Options?
Does your orthodontist accept a number of payment options? One or a combination of these may work for you:
- Credit Card
If you don’t require a payment plan and are able to pay cash upfront, does that affect the final price? Ask your orthodontist’s office.
Look Into Loans
Can your bank or credit union offer a loan for your orthodontic treatment? Compare the costs of borrowing vs. other options.
Don't Forget the Importance of Early Treatment
While you may have some concerns about the cost of braces or other orthodontic treatment, the earlier the issue can be treated, the better for the patient’s health (and your bank account). The longer serious orthodontic issues go untreated, the more they can impact your quality of life – and your budget.