Healthy teeth are not just a matter of improving your appearance. These days there is an equal emphasis on the health benefits of having properly aligned teeth and being able to enjoy biting, chewing and speaking with the ease that this important asset brings you.
Braces used to be something that children primarily had, but with new technology and a greater understanding of the numerous benefits associated with great healthy teeth, many adults are also turning to orthodontic specialists such as ManhattanOrtho.com in order to fix their smile and enjoy all the advantages that are associated with good teeth and gums.
No dental insurance
It is estimated that at least 130 million American’s have no dental plan coverage of any kind and even those that do have cover, often find that not all types of orthodontic treatments are covered.
Depending on your current level of income, there is a possibility that you might get some financial help with the cost of orthodontic work such as braces through one of a few recognized programs designed to help people get the dental care they need.
The American Association of Orthodontists has a list of programs on their website for each individual state and details of schemes like smiles change lives (SCL) which require a financial commitment that is capped at $600 from the applicant and the balance paid by SCL for those that qualify.
Meeting the cost
It is so important to get the orthodontic treatment that you need even when the cost might seem at first to be prohibitive.
There is quite a range of diseases that can stem from having poor dental care and there is worrying evidence to suggest that as out of pocket expenses have risen for many of us, the number of people receiving regular check-ups and having dental work has fallen.
Infections such as endocarditis, which is an infection of the inner lining of the heart, and cardiovascular disease, may be linked to oral bacteria. It is potentially like playing a game of Russian roulette when you avoid maintaining a good level of dental care in order to try and save money.
Skipping regular dental care can also be a false economy in the long run, as a more serious problem resulting from what was initially a minor issue can add a few zero’s to the final bill. A good example of this would be putting off a cavity filling to save about $125, only to have a much larger bill to pay when you end up needing root canal treatment at a later date once the problem has escalated.
Ways of reducing your bill
One of the best ways of reducing your dental costs really is to start treatment as early as possible rather than let a problem become worse and therefore, more expensive.
A good number of orthodontists probably won’t charge you for a consultation, so it makes sense to get an evaluation of the state of your dental health and work out an affordable timescale, so that you can start to plan and save for the estimated total cost.
Emergency cash fund
If you have some money set aside for emergency situations, you might be able to negotiate a discount for paying the total fee for treatment in advance or get a discount if you have more than one child or family member who needs dental work.
Another way of making a potential saving if you are struggling to meet the anticipated cost of dental work, is to see if you might get treatment at a dental school near to you. Any work would be carried out under the supervision of a professional, but the treatment period will probably be longer due to the fact that a student would understandably learning on the job.
Spreading the cost
You might find that your orthodontist will agree to offer you a payment plan. You might find that the practice itself offers a scheme with a low or possibly zero interest rate, but a specialist third-party payment plan provider, will charge interest, which will add to your total cost.
However you manage to reduce your bill, the most important thing to remember is that your smile and dental health can be key to your general health, so it pays to find a way of meeting the orthodontic bill rather than simply putting off, which could be a big mistake.
Joseph T. Hung, DMD, MMSc, is a busy orthodontist practicing in New York. He hopes to help many people get the dental care they deserve by writing about the latest advances in orthodontic care. Read his informative articles and learn more about dental issues on Facebook.