Money can be a sensitive topic, and when you need a lot of dental work done, you might be worried about your budget. Dental work can get expensive, but if you are able to talk to your dentist or treatment coordinator about your dental budget, you can likely get the work you need done while maximizing your insurance benefits and making arrangements to pay the rest of the cost.
Talk About Your Treatment Plan
Your dentist will tell you everything that needs to be done when it comes to getting your teeth in great shape. Keep in mind that there is likely some work that is more urgent than other work. For example, if you need two fillings, a root canal, a crown, extraction of your wisdom teeth, and teeth whitening, your dentist can tell you which procedures are most urgent and which are less (for example, the teeth whitening). You can ask for a treatment plan in phases, which will help you to hone your dental budget and decide which priorities need to come first.
Talk About Your Insurance Coverage
If you have dental insurance, it probably has a yearly maximum (though not all plans do). Your treatment coordinator can tell you how much you have left to spend this year, as well as how much you will have to spend next year. In some cases, it’s possible to get the most urgent matters taken care of and then wait on the other procedures until after the first of the year. If it’s only spring when you find out that you need a lot of work, this might not be feasible, of course. If it’s getting toward the end of the year anyway, however, this can be a good way to maximize your insurance benefits and minimize your out-of-pocket costs.
Talk About Payment Plans
Some dental offices offer payment plans in various ways. One common way is to accept a dental credit card. One in particular is called CareCredit, and it can be used at the dentist, eye doctor, veterinarian, and some other specialists. Another is to allow for an automatic draft out of your checking account or credit card. This is a good way to make payments on dental work to help stretch your budget. Of course, you might also choose to use a low-interest credit card that you already have and make payments that way.
If you are having trouble affording your dental work, talk to your dentist to see what options the office might offer. Try not to let a lack of funds interfere with your dental health.
Creative Commons image by Dustin Moore