Dental work can be expensive. And if you don’t have dental insurance, or your plan only covers part of the bill, you may be looking for ways to reduce and even finance the cost.
Here are some financing options for dental work and tips to help lower the price:
1. Provider financing
Some dental offices offer in-house payment plans and financing through third-party lenders. The terms and interest rate may be custom for each plan and depend on your financial situation. Certain offices may also offer exclusive financing for emergency dental care or dental procedures that require return visits.
For example, braces typically require monthly appointments for adjustments and maintenance. Instead of paying the total cost upfront, your orthodontist might allow you to make a payment each time you visit until the braces are off. It’s also important to note that some dental procedures might be excluded from provider financing. Be sure to ask before planning ahead.
2. Dental care credit cards
Dental care credit cards are a lot like retail store credit cards — except they can only be used for dental work at specific dental offices. This type of credit can come in handy if you can’t pay out-of-pocket and don’t want to add the charges to your everyday credit cards. Dental care credit cards can also be useful if you plan to get several procedures in a row and need an open line of credit.
Some card issuers offer promotional financing for new accounts like 0% interest for 6, 12, 18 or 24 months. However, it’s important to read the fine print of the contract. If you don’t pay the balance in full before the promotion ends, you could be charged interest for the entire original purchase. Interest charges can make the total amount you pay much higher than the original price of the dental procedure.
3. Medical loan
Medical loans are personal loans that can be used for medical financing, including dental work. The loan is provided by a bank, credit union or private lender as a lump sum, so you can use the money at nearly any dental office you choose. Getting a loan for dental work means you'll likely repay the money with interest, but some lenders offer a fixed interest rate, which can keep the rate and monthly payment the same until the balance is paid off.
Tips to lower the cost of dental work
While healthy teeth may be firmly in place, some dental care prices are not. Here are some suggestions to help bring the cost down:
Negotiate – Research how much your dental procedure costs at other offices in the area. Then, approach your dentist with the information and ask them to match the best price.
Go to a dental school – While you may want to leave surgical procedures like dental implants to the experts, dental schools could provide basic quality care for less.
Be honest about your finances – If you’re in a tough spot, let your dentist know. Some dentists, especially one you’ve known for a while, may be willing to lower the cost or delay your bill a few months.
Take the pain out of financing dental work
Dental health is important. If you need help with medical bills and can’t pay out-of-pocket, you don’t need to drain your savings account or disrupt your monthly budget. Explore what financing options are available and choose your best option.