For many, visiting an orthodontist is either necessary or deeply desirable. The unfortunate truth about this area of medicine, though, is that it can be incredibly expensive. Luckily, patients have a variety of options when it comes to lowering costs and still receiving excellent treatment. We detail many of them in the sections below.
The best case scenario is that your health insurance covers your treatment. You can find out if this is the case using one of two ways. The first is calling your insurance provider, who will tell you what your coverage looks like and likely give you a list of approved doctors. The second way is finding an orthodontic office first, then having them check for you. No matter what, you'll want to carefully select your doctor, as you'll likely be dealing with them for an extended period.
FSAs and HSAs
These two acronyms stand for flexible spending and health savings account. What they do is allow you to pay for medical treatment with money that has not been taxed yet. This advantage makes FSAs and HSAs one of your most effective tools for lowering costs. To explore a flexible spending account, you should talk to your employer. For a health savings account, the better bet is speaking to a financial advisor, who will give you more information and inform you of your eligibility.
As with most expensive products, orthodontists offer payment plans for braces and other services with hefty price tags. This policy allows you to do two things. First, you can often get a discount for paying the entire cost up front. Doing so will directly save you money, as your final bill will be smaller. Your second option is choosing a friendly financing plan. While this choice will not save you money in a technical sense, it can lessen your stress and immediate financial burden.
Ask For Upfront Pricing Information
When it comes to financing, some orthodontists will sneak unfavorable policies into the fine print of your agreement. The result is a higher bill than you anticipated. What you can do to avoid this trap is ask for pricing information upfront. After receiving it, you can read through their policies and decide if they make sense for your situation. If not, you can go with a provider that is more patient-friendly.
Use a Quality Provider
Sometimes, patients opt for using lower quality providers. The reason is that they want to save money on the treatment, and become enchanted with the prospect of a lessened price tag. Unfortunately, these subpar orthodontists often end up being more expensive in the long run because they lack the skills and equipment to give you the treatment you need. A typical result is you having to pay another orthodontist full price later on to fix the mistakes of the first. As important as price is, you never want to sacrifice quality.
Orthodontists don't just grow on trees. Instead, they must undergo a significant amount of education and training. While working on model mouths is useful, it is always better to treat a real person. You could be that person if you want to cut your costs dramatically. Taking this option does put you at risk of poor treatment, but you may decide it is right for you.
Many government programs and non-profits cover the costs of dental treatment for those that don't have the money to do so. Depending on the area you live in and your life situation, you could be eligible for getting help from one of these organizations.
Paying out of pocket for orthodontic treatment is simply not an option for many individuals and families. These people do not have to settle for nothing, though. Instead, they can explore the options on this list, get the help that they need, and enjoy all the benefits that come with a healthy smile.