How to Save Money at the Orthodontist

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The post How to Save Money at the Orthodontist by Jenn Stoll, Chief Commercial Officer at appeared first on Benzinga. Visit Benzinga to get more great content like this.

If your child needs braces, summer vacation – which is right around the corner – is often a popular time to start treatment.  Family schedules tend to be more relaxed during summer break, making it easier to fit in extra dental appointments while also giving your child time to adjust to life with braces before the new school year starts. Whether you have a treatment plan in hand or are just starting your search for an orthodontist, it’s likely you’re also thinking about the cost of braces and wondering what options you may have to help you afford them without breaking the bank.

Table of contents

The Cost of Braces

On average, braces cost at least $5,000 -$6,000 with orthodontic treatments usually spanning one to three years. Though sometimes, the total cost of having braces is more than just the braces. It can be a good idea to keep in mind that there may be additional expenses that arise throughout the treatment, such as the need for additional cleanings, whitening treatments or retainers, which may not be included in the initial cost.  You can ask your child’s orthodontist if they anticipate any additional procedures to help you plan better financially.

Paying for Orthodontic Treatment

If you have dental insurance, that can be a good place to start the financial planning portion of braces. Look at your coverage details to find out what is covered by your plan and how much they pay toward braces, as well as any accompanying procedures your orthodontist may anticipate. Some dental insurance plans focus solely on preventive care, while others may cover orthodontics only if it is deemed medically necessary. If braces are included in your insurance, you may be able to save money on braces until you reach your annual maximum coverage cap, which is typically $1,000-$1,500 per year.

If you don’t have dental insurance, or if your insurance doesn’t cover orthodontics to the extent you had hoped for, there are additional options you may want to consider.

Pay Full Price

Teeth alignment problems can be hereditary, so if you’ve been saving money in anticipation of your child needing braces, paying full price out of pocket may be a workable option for you. If those savings have gone into a Health Savings or Flexible Spending Account, you may also benefit from tax savings.

Purchase Dental Insurance

If you do not have dental insurance, or if your current plan does not include braces, you may consider researching dental insurance plans that do offer such benefits.  If purchasing a new dental insurance plan is your preference, it is a great idea to ask how soon after purchase you can use your plan on braces. Often, dental insurance cannot be used immediately for treatments such as braces. This may not be an issue if you’re in the early phase of researching braces and have a while before treatment begins.

Join a Dental Savings Plan

A Dental Savings Plan may be a good option if your child’s treatment starts soon, as activation takes place in just 1-3 business days. These plans are an affordable alternative to dental insurance that offers plan members half off their dental bill, according to extensive customer surveys, on most dental procedures at any participating dentist, orthodontist, or other specialists, nationwide. Plan members can save up to 46% on braces*, though it is always a great idea to confirm participation with your orthodontist.

While orthodontic treatment may cause some discomfort for your child, it doesn’t have to hurt financially. As you and your family prepare for braces, remember that you have a variety of options. With some careful consideration, you can find what fits your family’s needs and budget best.

*Cost average obtained from procedure search tool.

The post How to Save Money at the Orthodontist by Jenn Stoll, Chief Commercial Officer at appeared first on Benzinga. Visit Benzinga to get more great content like this.