I want braces but I can’t afford them
Our office gets lots of calls on this question throughout the day, so today I will talk about how to pay for your braces, Invisalign or clear braces, if you need them. The cost for braces has been pretty much steady and affordable.
At the time of this writing, there have been many new ways to make braces even more affordable. Below I am going to describe different ways that one can pay for their braces. In this example we will use an arbitrary amount for your treatment at $4500.00 and show you in each option how it works.
- Pay for your braces with cash: Most of us know from early on that we will need braces because either our parents have had braces or we have seen our brother or sister getting braces. You can also look in the mirror and see if your teeth are crooked or the bite is off, then you will probably need braces. So when I say pay with cash what I mean is to pay everything upfront, and that means to save your money from early on and try to save as much as you can in a little jar labeled “My beautiful smile fund” and before you know it you will be able to save most of the money over time. Some of our patient’s parents have used a twist to this scenario in which they match the funds that their child saves and that pretty much covers their cost for braces. If you are a child or a teen and you are able to save some money and put it towards your braces, we have seen that it makes you own it and you tend to be better at taking care your braces, and do a much better job at cleaning them and brushing them and even break less brackets. This in turn leads to a better outcome of your treatment and decreases your time in braces and we can finish faster. So, in this example if your treatment costs $4500, you will pay the whole amount at the start of your treatment. This is the simplest way of paying.
- Pay for braces with a down payment: This is another popular way to get started with braces. Let’s say you were able to save only a $1000 dollars for your “My beautiful smile fund” and you were ready to get started, this is how it will work. In this example, the treatment cost is $4500. You give your $1000 dollars as a down payment and the balance of $3500 ($4500 minus $1000) will be divided into approximate equal payments over the span of your treatment, which is on average about 24 months. So again, in this example, after the down payment, your remaining balance of $3500 is divided by 24 months ($3500/24) and would equal monthly payments of $145 per month for the next 24 months. In this example you can change the amount of down payment to more or less depending on your situation. If you decrease the down payment, then your monthly payments will increase, and in the same manner if you increase the amount of down payment your monthly payments will decrease. The best part of this payment option is that there is no interest charged so this is a good way to pay for your braces.
- Pay for braces with orthodontic insurance. Let’s say that you are lucky enough to have dental/orthodontic insurance and would like to use that money to pay towards your braces. This works about the same way as in the above example. Let’s assume your dental/orthodontic insurance will cover about $1000 dollars towards your treatment cost for braces. So in this case if your treatment cost is $4500, your insurance will pitch in $1000 and your balance will be $3500 ($4500 minus the $1000 Insurance payment). Then you can divide the $3500 over the 24 months and your monthly payments will be $145/month. Now, in some cases the insurance can contribute more than the above example and possibly $1500, which will decrease your monthly payment even further. Call us and we can check on your insurance benefits for you and figure all this out before your visit. But, you get the idea!
- Paying for braces using 3rd party financing. This is another popular way to start your braces. In this option, the 3rd party, such as CareCredit or Springstone Financial, will check your credit and determine the amount for which you qualify and get you on a great payment plan. They can even extend payment options to beyond the typical 24 months, up to 60 to 72 months, depending on your preference. With this option you will pay a certain amount of interest, but this is a flexible way to pay for your braces. Sometimes in this option you don’t have any down payment to start, but again it varies and one can apply online.
- Paying for braces using a combination of the above examples: In some cases you can combine the above paying options and come up with an individual payment option that suits your unique situation. But the great news is that you have all these different options to pay for your braces! Please feel free to call us and we can discuss the option that best suits you and your individual situation.