It’s true, dentistry can be expensive, but as investment in your health, your appearance and your self-confidence, it is well worth the cost. At Dental Health and Wellness Boston, we have been able to assist patients who have been thinking about dental work such as adult orthodontics or smile rejuvenation for years, sometimes even decades, find an affordable way to achieve their dream smile. We would like to share with you some of these pearls to affordable dental care we have learned throughout the years!
Pay for dentistry with pre-tax money. Many companies now offer their employees medical spending accounts such as Healthcare Savings Accounts (HSA) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA). Both of these accounts accumulate pre-tax contributions deducted directly from the employee’s payroll and can be applied to many dental costs and procedures. A Healthcare Savings Account accumulates over the years and can carry over any unused portion into subsequent calendar years. The Flexible Spending Account is a similar pre-tax account, however, the contributions are good only for the calendar year, and unused money is forfeited. Administration, maximums and eligible procedures vary by employer, so check with your human resources department to see what you may be eligible for.
Take out a home equity line. Interest rates are at an all-time low. We have seen a rise in the number of patients who have taken advantage of the low interest rates and use an equity line to make their dental work more affordable. This is idea for complex dental plans, such as implant work and complete smile makeovers or smile rejuvenations, that can be quite costly.
Maximize your dental insurance benefits. Dental Insurance is different than medical insurance and can be complicated. It is also not meant to pay for all of your dental work. Dental insurance traditionally pays between $1,000 and $2,500 per year. Put in perspective, that amount is less than the total cost to complete a root canal and the subsequent build-up and dental crown for just one tooth. For most insurance companies, available benefits are for the calendar (or fiscal) year only and are not carried over from year to year. Be sure you are not letting your available dental benefits go to waste.
Span two calendar years. Let’s say you have a large treatment plan, including several crowns. Ideally it would be done all at once but could take several weeks, or months to complete. By spanning the dental work over two calendar years, beginning in December and finishing in January, insurance benefits could potentially be used in both years depending on your individual treatment needs and insurance plan. We are able to customize your treatment plan to fit such a payment schedule so be sure to discuss this option at your Dental Health and Wellness Boston consultation.
Try dual insurance. Get insurance coverage through your employer and your spouse or partner’s employer at the same time. Acquiring a secondary dental insurance plan can often double the available insurance benefits, further minimizing actual patient cost. Actual coverage determination is based on your individual plan provisions, so check your policies closely before enrolling.
Elect the high option. If your company offers different options or levels of coverage for dental insurance during open enrollment, consider opting for the higher plan if you are anticipating a lot of dental work. Often higher option plans often include provisions for dental implants or orthodontic (braces) coverage that basic plans do not offer.
Use third party financing. Companies such as Care Credit offer accounts similar to credit cards specifically to be used for medical and dental expenses. They often offer many no interest loan options for 6 to 60 months for qualified applicants. As with most financing, we have found that with the recent changes in economic climate, their qualification process has become more stringent, depending on employment history and credit scores.
*Average cost based on estimates – visit Dental Health and Wellness Boston for a complete consultation
A beautiful, healthy smile can be life-changing. At Dental Health and Wellness Boston, we will work with you to determine the best options for both dental treatment and treatment financing. Please contact our office to learn more about our cosmetic dentistry options, and how we can work with you to fit your budget.