There are a ton of people that want to get braces but aren’t able to because it is just way too expensive.
Getting proper orthodontic treatment from a fully qualified orthodontist is going to cost in the range of 5-7 thousand dollars. This cost is usually discussed with the patient at the first initial consultation.
The reason why orthodontic treatment is so expensive is because teeth move very, very slowly.
Since the movement of your teeth is so slow, treatment can be any where from 2 years to a lot longer if you are an adult!
Contrary to what you may think, moving your teeth slowly is going to result in faster results than if you were to try and move your teeth quickly.
How long treatment will take will all depend on the amount your teeth have to move and varies between patients. There will be some of you that will get through the whole treatment within 6 months whereas others may find that they have to wear braces for a few years.
Another reason orthodontic treatment costs a lot is because of all the costs involved in running the orthodontic practice.
You might think that all the materials used are the reason for the cost but other than the brackets, all the materials are pretty inexpensive.
The vast majority of orthodontic practices out there will fit in a high number of patients into their practice, every single day. To ensure they see all patients, the orthodontists will usually have assistants to help them out.
Most patients are seen to about once per month for adjustments which can mean that each orthodontic practice will see a large number of people on a daily basis.
The assistants will take care of all accessory work, including dealing with patients, preparing for each patient, and cleaning up after each patient is let go.
Most patients will deal with one orthodontist throughout their treatment period and each orthodontist will have many patients which can make this job very intense at times.
If you’re wondering what payment options are available for when you get orthodontic treatment, then here they are…
First Payment Option – Payment Plan By the Orthodontic Practice
There are some orthodontists out there that will have a flat charge for the complete treatment, from beginning to end and they will let you know up front that it will cost XXXX.XX dollars.
Then of course they will give you the option of paying for the whole treatment over the next few months without charging you any interest.
This is probably one of the most popular options that is used by both the parents of children getting treatment and adult patients alike. The great thing about this option is that you can negotiate with your orthodontist with how much you end up paying each month and for how long.
Second Payment Option – No End Date
This option is where the patient will end up paying a certain amount for every visit to the orthodontist that they make. Not ideal in most cases because not only will it put pressure on the patient but it will also place pressure on the orthodontist to hurry and get the treatment completed ASAP.
But there are cases where this option is useful and so it is always there for you to consider.
Third Payment Option – Pay Full Amount
Of course this is the option that keeps everyone, especially your orthodontist happy and involves you as the patient knowing exactly how much the whole treatment will cost and then you paying up front for it.
The great thing about this option is that the orthodontist will usually give you a discount of up to 10% for paying in advance, which is always helpful.
Fourth Payment Option – Third Party Loans
This is the option where you as the patient will take out a loan from a health care loan company. This isn’t great for either the orthodontist or you as the patient.
The orthodontist will receive the money from the loan company minus a fee which can be quite substantial.
At the same time the patient will be charged an extremely high interest rate for the total amount of the loan. This is the one option that you are going to want to avoid if possible!
This option is where you essentially get a loan for the total amount of the treatment from the bank. The thing to keep in mind here is that the vast majority of banks out there will not give you a loan for orthodontic treatment and if they do they will charge you a really high rate of interest.
These are some of the most common ways to finance your orthodontic treatment.
The truth is that the vast majority of practices out there want the payment process to be as seamless as possible. The best way to know what your orthodontist office offers is to just ask them up front when you meet with them in the initial consultation.
Ensuring You Make Payments on Time
The vast majority of people out there will opt to make payment to the orthodontic practice over the course of the treatment. But one thing you need to keep in mind is that while you may be able to afford the monthly payments right now, your situation could very easily change in the near future.
You could very easily find yourself without a job, or you might find yourself in a situation like going through a divorce etc.
If you happen to go through one of these situations then it is extremely important that you talk to your orthodontist and keep him/her informed.
It is very important that the patient is seen to regularly regardless of whether or not you are experiencing financial difficulties.
The vast majority of orthodontic practices out there want to ensure that the treatment process is completed properly and therefore by talking to them they will more than likely create a new payment plan; one that you will be able to afford.
If you are really behind on your payments and are just not able to afford the cost of braces then you might have to stop treatment all together.
This is something that you are going to want to discuss with your orthodontist and in extreme circumstances where there are no other options, the orthodontist will remove the braces.
If your orthodontist chooses not to remove your braces then they will more than likely refer you to an orthodontist who will continue on with the treatment.
Before removing your braces your orthodontist is going to make sure that it is safe to do so and that they will not be compromising your dental health in any way.
I really hope that this article has given light to the many finance options that are available to you in order to get orthodontic treatment.