The cost for spending money on braces brings a huge dent in the household budget. But unfortunately, when a family member needs to get braces, it should be done as soon as possible. The longer this is the delayed, the more it gets to be expensive.
Bills from the orthodontist can average between $3,000 to $7,000 and treatment can last for many years. So how can one save on money with something this important?
DO A PRICE COMPARISON
While getting braces is a necessity, don’t immediately commit to one dentist just yet. Orthodontists have varying fees, so it’s best to check and compare rates first. Get recommendations from friends or family, or diligently do your own research online, such as in a parenting forum or group.
Have consultations with at least three of your best choices to get an idea of what type of treatment they will do and if their quoted price is worth it. This is also one way of getting to know the dentist who will be working on you or your family member’s teeth. Remember that treatments can last up to two years, so it is important for the patient to be able to trust the dentist.
ASK IF THERE IS A PAYMENT PLAN
Many orthodontists are open to payment plans to help ease the burden. These plans come without necessarily incurring interests, but dentists don’t usually come with the offer unless you ask. If your chosen dentist has a payment scheme, make sure to lay down the terms you both can agree on, before getting the work done.
Some dentists also offer discounts if you’re paying upfront cash saving you money in the long run, so take this into consideration when choosing who should be doing work on your teeth.
CONSIDER A DENTAL INSURANCE
If you and your family members qualify for dental insurance at work, this can also help offset the cost. But make sure to read the fine print, as there are dental plans that actually do not cover treatment for dental braces. However, if your policy does have one, you can get 25% to 50% for this.
If you don’t have dental insurance from work and you’re thinking of getting one, know that insurance fees can be expensive and some plans are usually limited or may not include braces treatment at all. Carefully go through the agreement before signing anything.
CHECK WITH DENTAL SCHOOLS
There might be a dental school in your area with students who are wiling to do the treatment for a huge discounted price. Some people have actually taken advantage of this for teeth cleaning and minor procedures, and there’s a chance they may also do treatment for dental braces.
There may be slight risks involved, however, as the dentists are not yet licensed, but only students still earning their credentials. So do your own research to ascertain that their teachers are qualified and competent enough to supervise treatment of braces.
LOOK FOR FREE DENTAL CARE
These days, many medical experts do pro bono work for a charitable organization. Ask your orthodontist if they are part of an organization that provides free dental care programs and see if you can qualify for this. There may also be a state or government program you can look into, so call your local health agency and ask.