How to Pay for Your Family’s Dental Costs?
Easing the Financial Pain of Dentistry
Dentistry is amazing. It has truly progressed over the past decade as technology, materials and dental procedures have improved. Dental insurance companies have not kept pace with the improvements in your family’s dental care and many offer the same amounts for dental benefits that were offered 25 years ago! This has unfortunately shifted a great deal of the financial burden for comprehensive dental care onto the individual.
Managing Dental Costs
This increased financial commitment leads many people to ask. “I know that my dentist is wonderful and will take care of my dental needs with painless visits, but how can I afford it?” Rest easy as that is a very normal question. At Smile Design Dentistry we have a variety of ways that we can use to lower your cost of care, or make your care more affordable to fit within your budget. Take a look at the options below.
7 Ways to Make Your Family’s Dental Payments
1) Cash Discounts.
Smile Design Dentistry offers a discount for paying by cash. A 5% discount is an amount that is offered for these payment terms. So consider this as a way to save some on your dental care.
2) In-house Payment Plan.
If you find that you need to make a few payments to get your dental treatment completed Smile Design Dentistry offers short-term payment arrangements. At Smile Design we can offer three payments for your dental care. This is an interest-free option and is done through automatic payments on agreed dates with a credit card.
3) Longer-Term Interest Free Financing.
This is a very popular choice among patients who would like to spread their payments out for up to a year. This is done through a third party. The third party will issue something that is generally referred to as a healthcare credit card. Because it is credit there is a short application to fill out and generally, approval of credit is liberal and quickly done. After your payment for care is complete you will receive monthly statements from the healthcare credit card company and not the dental office. What is so nice about the option is that the purchase of care is interest-free as long as minimum payments are done and the credit given is paid off in the selected interest-free period. One caveat to this is that if this option is selected be sure to pay off your account within the agreed time period as interest rates are very high for those who take longer than the agreed period to pay.
One other benefit of having these health care credit cards is that they can be used at other health care facilities (eye, vet, chiropractor) who accept the card.
4) Extended Payment Plans.
Sometimes the need for dental care is so great that the individual can feel the need to have payments that extend over a period of years. This is also an option that can be considered with the same health care credit cards that offer interest-free dental care options. These, however, will carry an interest charge with them. The interest rate will vary depending on the individual and the length of payments can range from 2 to 6 years depending on the amount of credit that is needed. Billing works the same as the interest-free option where you pay for your care with the credit card and the credit card company sends you monthly statements.
5) Phased Treatment.
This is a more creative way that a dental office can assist a patient to afford their needed care. If your dentist is discussing treatment needs and the treatment is not urgent in nature you can ask if the treatment can be done in phases, over time. The dentist will determine to the best of his ability what needs to be done now and what can wait until later. That way you can make a road map with your dentist how your needed dentistry will be completed, and over what time frame. Since your care will be done over time the billing for the care will also be done over time. The time it takes to complete care could be months or years. It just depends on the urgency of the care.
Another financial advantage of doing your care over time may be in maximizing your dental insurance benefits. Many benefits run on a calendar year. If you have treatment that can be completed over the course of two calendar years you would have access to 2 years’ worth of dental benefits! At Smile Design Dentistry we work hard to help our patients use their hard earned dental insurance benefits.
6) Smile Design Benefit Plan.
Speaking of dental insurance, not all of us are lucky enough to have it. At Smile Design Dentistry we have made our own dental benefit plan designed to help those who are not fortunate enough to have dental insurance. We call it the Smile Design Benefit Plan. The way it works is that for an annual fee you will receive 2 cleanings, all needed x-rays, exams (including emergency exams), and a fluoride treatment at no charge, and 15% off other dental services. This plan has worked really well to keep our patients in for regular care while saving them a lot of money.
7) Senior Saving.
For our more mature patients at Smile Design Dentistry (those over 65) we offer a senior saving. This is a 10% savings for your care. So if you are 65 or over make sure you mention it after your visit so you can get proper credit for your senior saving!
How to Find Affordable Dental Care in Plymouth, MN?
The bottom line on this is that if you need care that is outside your financial comfort range we can usually help you to find a way to make it affordable, or even save you some money! Don’t be afraid to ask any of our administrative staff for help in figuring out the best financial option to help you get your needed care. In additional to more information on the cost of dentistry, check out our page that makes it easy to become a new dental patient at Smile Design Dentistry.
If you have dental needs but are unsure how a payment plan may work, call us for help estimating your monthly dental payment options: (763) 537-1238
Brian Denn is the Clinic Manager at Smile Design Dentistry in Plymouth, Minnesota. Brian has over 25 years of dental practice management involving making practices run smoother and patient experiences better. He also leads a dental practice managers group staying abreast of the latest dental practice management trends.