Dental Financing Options: How to Finance Your Dental Work

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According to Statista, nearly 76.5 million adults in the United States don’t have dental insurance.

Dental Financing Options

Dental care is one of the most essential aspects of healthcare. Besides improving your overall wellness, dentistry can do wonders for your self-confidence and appearance.

But what if the dental work turns out expensive or out of your means? Well, several flexible financing options help take care of your oral health and wellness costs. 

Looking to finance your dental procedures? This comprehensive guide explores the various dental financing options available, from dental insurance to payment plans and medical credit cards.

Discover the benefits and drawbacks of each option to make an informed decision that suits your dental needs and financial situation.

Understanding Dental Financing

While small tooth-related procedures and check-ups can be taken care of as out-of-pocket expenses, sometimes things can go beyond that. For instance, invasive dental treatments, procedures, and surgeries require technical expertise, resulting in higher costs.

However, the thought of costlier dentistry should not deter you from taking care of your oral health. Regular dental checkups and treatments might be heavy on your pocket, but they are essential.

Luckily, several funding options are offered by lenders, dental clinics, and the government to pay for oral care. 

You might think that financing options like a dental loan and credit card are expensive and require a good credit score to qualify. But that’s not true in most cases.

Typically, an orthodontic financing plan has a low-interest rate or even 0% interest rate for up to 12 to 18 months. 

Common Dental Procedures Requiring Financing

The following tooth-related procedures may require financing to cover the treatment costs:

  • Dental Implants 
  • Root Canal
  • Dental Bridges 
  • Teeth Whitening 
  • Dental Crowns 
  • Dentures
  • Smile Makeovers
  • Dental Surgeries 
  • Dental Filling 

Affording everything you need to maintain your dental and oral health is not easy, especially for individuals with low income. Fortunately, you can subsidize your dental work by spreading the cost over time.

Let’s explore the different options you can use to finance your dental costs.

Dental Insurance

Dental insurance offers coverage to help you pay for dental services.

Dental Insurance

These policies enable you to pay for all or a part of the treatment your dentist performs, from surgeries to routine cleaning and X-rays

It is important to remember that dental insurance is different from medical insurance. Dental insurance usually follows a 50% to 80% coverage structure for in-network dentists. 

Types of Dental Insurance Plans

You can choose from the following common types of dental insurance plans:

1. Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO)

PPO is one of the best insurance plans to pay for dental procedures. This plan enables its members to access a network of professional dentists who accept significantly discounted fees for covered services. 

2. Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

With an HMO plan, you have to pay a monthly payment of annual premiums, but they are restricted to the network. This plan gives low-cost coverage with a focus on preventive care, including X-rays, cleanings, and oral evaluations. 

Pros and Cons of Dental Insurance

Pros

  • Offer 100% coverage for preventive service.
  • Include an incentive to get cleanings and regular checkups.
  • Can offset premiums with money saved for expensive treatments.
  • Low-interest rate

Cons 

  • Plans have a few coverage exclusions 
  • They may limit your ability to see any professional you want 
  • Insurance may not cover certain cosmetic or orthodontic services 

How to Choose the Right Dental Insurance Plan

Remember, not all dental insurance plans are the same. You have to research thoroughly and visit multiple lenders to find a policy that suits your preferences well.

When choosing a dental insurance plan, make sure to find the oral professionals who are in your network. Also, don’t hesitate to ask what the dental policy covers.

For example, a policy may offer coverage for cleanings, exams, X-rays, root canals, filling, and tooth removals from the start. 

Payment Plans

Many oral surgeons offer payment plans without checking your credit history to help you get the care you deserve.

Payment Plan

Depending on your circumstances, it can be the best way to pay for dental treatments.

However, it is advised to compare several options and don’t rush into a payment program unless it is the best. 

Benefits and Drawbacks of Dental Payment Plans

Benefits

  • Low origination fee
  • Affordable and accessible oral care 
  • Easy acceptance and approval process

Drawbacks

  • Higher interest rates
  • Hard credit score requirements 

How to Qualify for Dental Payment Plans?

To qualify for a dental payment plan, you first need to check your credit history because a few providers may approve your application if you have a less-than-perfect credit score.

Furthermore, some plans may have specific eligibility criteria or exceptions. Make sure to read the terms and conditions thoroughly to ensure your eligibility. 

Medical Credit Cards

Overview of Medical Credit Cards

Medical credit cards are one of the best ways to cover expensive tooth-related services that are not covered by insurance. 

Medical Credit Cards

Usually, you have to apply for a medical card at a hospital or doctor’s office with a minimum credit score. The same-day approval allows you to pay for dentistry work immediately and get the care you deserve. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Medical Credit Cards

One of the biggest advantages of a medical credit card is that you can use it to pay costlier dental expenses over time. Also, they offer exclusive discounts and rewards on specific dental services. 

On the flip side, if you’re unable to repay your medical loan within the period you agreed, you might have to pay interest rates of 25% or more. Additionally, it can result in long-term damage to your credit score. 

How to Select the Right Medical Credit Card for Dental Financing?

While medical credit cards offer unique advantages, there are several factors you should consider to make an informed choice:

  • Check the eligibility requirements and credit limits
  • Inquire about interest rates after the promotional period
  • Consider annual fees and other charges 

Personal Loans

Using Personal Loans for Dental Financing

If your medical insurance plan does not offer coverage for dentistry work, a personal loan can be used for financing dental treatments. 

Dental loans are unsecured personal loans that come with fixed per-month payments and interest rates. Some banks and credit unions offer personal loans with soft credit checks.

Factors to Consider When Using Personal Loans

When using personal loans to cover dental expenses, research as many lenders as possible to find the best match. Review the loan agreement carefully to avoid any complications.

Above all, choose a loan with longer term lengths, as it can reduce your monthly repayments. Ask about the annual percentage rate (APR) to get an idea of how much interest you will have to pay over the life of the loan. 

How to Apply for a Personal Loan for Dental Expenses?

Here are a few critical steps you should follow to apply for a personal loan for dentinal expenses:

  • Find a reputable lender and complete the online or paper application process.
  • Provide personal and financial information 
  • Provide the requested documents, such as proof of income, medical records, and government-issued ID.
  • If approved, review and accept the loan terms and conditions and get the loan amount directly into your bank account. 

Government Assistance Programs

Overview of Government Assistance Programs for Dental Care

Depending on which state you live in the United States, a few government assistance programs, like Medicare or Medicaid, might provide coverage for certain types of tooth-related treatments.

Grants

However, the dental treatments that qualify for a government grant will be more therapeutic and limited to “FAST” relief, such as dentures and tooth extraction. 

Eligibility and Application Process for Government Assistance Programs

The eligibility criteria for each grant may vary. Generally, government financial aid programs consider your age, residency, income level, medical history, and the nature of dentistry work needed to determine your eligibility.

The application process for a government assistance program can be complex as it requires documentation of treatment plans, medical records, and income proof.

Pros and Cons of Government Assistance Programs for Dental Financing

One of the best things about government financial aid programs for orthodontic care is that they have no or low monthly premiums. Furthermore, some plans offer special financing options to cater to special needs groups, such as senior citizens and disabled individuals. 

On the negative side, government assistance programs may not cover all types of tooth-related procedures. 

Conclusion

If you find dental treatments, like smile makeovers and implant surgeries, a little too expensive, you’re not alone. It is estimated that somewhere 44% of Americans skip oral care simply because they can’t afford it. 

Third-party financing options, personal loans, dental insurance policies, medical credit cards, and government grants are here to make expensive dental procedures more affordable. 

The longer you wait to treat your oral health issues, the pricier they get. Financial strains should not cost you your health. Therefore, find a suitable financing option to pay health and wellness costs over time.

FAQs

Question: Is there any interest-free financing option for dental needs?

Answer: Yes, there are some dental schools, dental credit cards, and dental offices that offer interest-free options for tooth-related work. However, you have to pay off the borrowed amount within the promotional period to avoid high interest. 

Question: How do you know If your medical insurance will cover the dental treatments?

Answer: Speak with your insurance provider or review your insurance policy to know if your dental expenses are protected. 

Question: What is the best way to finance your dental needs?

Answer: The right way to finance your dental services depends on the nature of the work and your financial situation. You can consider a dental loan or find government and non-profit programs to maintain your oral health without breaking the bank.

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