The prospect of getting braces can be terrifying. Not because of the procedures, but because of the anticipated cost. Believe it or not, braces can be affordable. There are several different ways to prepare for the cost or even lower it.
One of the best ways to make braces affordable is to participate in a savings plan. There are a few options available and are fairly easy to establish. The first is to start your own savings plan well in advance of establishing treatment. In most instances, it is obvious that there will have to be orthodontic treatment long before the patient is ready for braces to be put on. Putting aside a set amount in order to save for the anticipated cost of the treatment would potentially allow for interest to be earned, increasing the amount of funds saved. It would also allow for cash to be available for negotiating in a reduced rate as a “cash customer.”
The next option is a Dental Savings Plan or Dental Discount Plan. With this option, you pay a small annual fee in exchange for a reduced rate for dental services that usually include orthodontics as well. Plans are easy to sign up for and some plans can be used within 72 hours of activation. In most cases, this option is available even if treatment has already begun.
Another option is a Flexible Savings Account. These are set up through employers and a decided amount is established each year. The amount is put aside to offset expenses and is tax-free. Employers and employees are able to contribute to the plan. The amount designated is able to be used even if it hasn’t been saved yet. The decided amount is spread out over the year regardless of when it is used. The account is a “use it or lose it” account, however, and if not used can be retained by the employer.
Financing orthodontic treatment is another way to make braces affordable. Most Orthodontists have several different financing plans they offer to try and help make treatment an option. Payments are spread out over the course of the treatment and are much more affordable than paying the entire amount up front. There are also medical and dental Credit Cards or specialized loans offered that carry no interest for a set period of time or reduced rates to try and make care affordable. Be aware that some of these options may tack on interest or a fee for allowing the payment to be paid over time. It’s always wise to ask about the added cost if any.
There are a few other alternatives to making braces affordable. One option is to find a dental school and receive treatment as part of a training program. The rates are greatly reduced as an incentive to give students the patients they need to get hands-on experience. Another alternative is to have insurance that covers the orthodontic treatment or at least a portion of it. Sometimes, this option is only available if there is medical need, such is the case with most state income-qualified insurances, and has to be arranged by establishing and meeting the medical requirements. In some cases, the orthodontic care only requires slight adjustments. In this case, options can include less expensive invisible teeth aligners. Having orthodontic treatment can be a lot less expensive than the wear and tear and other complications created by misaligned teeth. Options are available to help make it affordable.