Paying for Orthodontic Treatment
With a few simple steps, such as planning, checking with your insurance, and financing options, you may be able to get that orthodontic treatment you want.
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 need to pay for it.
Just like planning for other significant expenses, such as a new car or kitchen renovation, planning for orthodontic and dental treatments can help alleviate financial worries.
Confirm Diagnosis & Prioritize Treatments
After the orthodontist can 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 personalized treatment plan with your orthodontist, as well as any financial concerns. Your orthodontist may be able to give you some advice and suggest alternative treatment options, as well as explain which issues are critical or high-priority to treat and why.
Check Your Insurance Plan
Typically, dental insurance policies specify whether or not orthodontic treatment is covered specifically, or at all. In some cases, the insurer may cover a substantial portion of the cost. You may want to ask your provider the following questions:
- 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 offices collaborate with businesses that provide interest-free financing or payment plans. Check with your orthodontist to see if this is the case. Make sure to obtain a written contract to carefully review.
What About Cash Discounts & Payment Options?
Does your orthodontist accept several payment options? One or a combination of these may work for you:
- Credit Card
If you don’t require a payment plan and can 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 be concerned about the cost of braces or other orthodontic treatment, the sooner the problem is addressed, the better the patient's health (and your bank account). The longer serious orthodontic issues go untreated, the greater their impact on your quality of life – and your budget.