The benefits of braces are undeniable; however, many families may find the cost to be prohibitive. Dental insurance can help but will often only cover a small percentage of the total cost of treatment. Orthodontics treatments typically range in price between $3,000 and $7,000, depending upon the severity of the issue and the length of treatment required. Where you live can also affect the final cost of treatment. Although the thought of shelling out that kind of money can certainly strike fear into any family’s budget, fortunately, there are payment plans available that allow families to make monthly payments.
Payment Arrangements with Orthodontists
You might be surprised to discover that most orthodontists today are willing to make monthly payment arrangements. In fact, some orthodontists will offer monthly payment arrangements interest-free. There are also some outside companies, including Care Credit, that will allow you to finance the cost of orthodontics for a small interest fee each month. With this type of payment option, you may be able to extend the length of your payment plan for as long as seven years.
Monthly Braces Payment Plan
If you opt for a monthly payment plan through your orthodontist’s office, you should be prepared to pay an initial down payment of around 20 percent of the entire fee. The remaining cost will be divided over the course of the entire treatment. Some orthodontists will make payment plans with no initial fee required. Keep in mind that it is important to make certain you understand the terms of the payment plan prior to beginning treatment. Specifically, be sure you are clear about the amount of the monthly payments and the length of time that treatment can be financed. If you are able to pay the entire amount of the treatment upfront, you may very well be able to qualify for a discount. The amount of that discount typically ranges between 5-10 percent.
In some instances, even financing the cost of orthodontic care may be too expensive for some families with limited financial means. When that is the case, it may be possible to take advantage of alternative orthodontic care. One option is to receive care from a dental school. With this option, you or your child can receive quality care for a dental resident student. Your treatment will be supervised by an experienced orthodontist. In exchange, you can receive the treatment you need at a steeply discounted price.
Smiles Changes Lives
Your family may also qualify to receive care through other programs, such as Smiles Change Lives or the Smiles for Life Foundation. An increasing number of orthodontists are now becoming involved in programs that provided orthodontics care on a pro bono basis. The eligibility requirements for each program vary. Depending upon the charity’s guidelines and your financial situation, you may be able to receive treatment at no cost or at a discounted price.
While a straight smile is certainly ample enough reason to pursue orthodontic care, there are many other issues that can be corrected by braces. Severely crooked or crowded teeth can actually cause problems with brushing and flossing, which can make it more difficult to keep gums and teeth health. Over time, crooked teeth or an improper bite can also wear down teeth and strain jaw muscles.
While the cost of orthodontic treatment may be expensive, by taking advantage of available financing options, it is possible to enjoy a beautiful, healthy smile without breaking your budget.