Getting braces for your child can be a very expensive endeavor. Depending on the type of braces and the extensiveness of the repair needed, the price of orthodontics can range anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000. This may be more than the typical family can manage to pay for, especially if there are multiple children in the family needing orthodontics. So what can you do to make your treatment more affordable, while still receiving quality care?
Choose the Most Affordable Option
There are many different options for orthodontic care including clear braces, ceramic braces, and plastic aligners such as Invisalign. These can vary greatly in price. If you are on a strict budget, traditional metal braces are the cheapest option available. Metal braces may not necessarily look the best, but they work efficiently for even the most difficult cases.
Before deciding on a treatment plan, check with your dental insurance company to see what they will cover. Most dental insurance will cover as much as 50% of the total cost of care. Each company and dental plan differ, so you will need to check with your individual provider. If you do not have dental insurance or orthodontics are not covered, you can also seek out a supplemental orthodontic insurance.
Flexible Spending Account (FSA)/ Health Savings Account (HSA)
Many workplace insurance plans also offer either a Flexible Spending Account or Health Savings Account, where you can save your pre-tax dollars for healthcare expenses. Most plans will allow you to use these funds for orthodontic expenses. Most plans will only let you save so much per year in your account. The main difference between the two is that the unspent money you save in an HSA is not lost at the end of the year, and it is able to be rolled over. This advantage allows you to plan years in advance and have more money deducted from your paycheck into your HSA to cover the cost of braces. An FSA has more strict guidelines, but you will still be able to use the money you have saved from that year to pay towards braces. One thing that you need to remember about an FSA is that you cannot be reimbursed until after the treatment has already been performed.
Most orthodontists do not expect you to pay for your full treatment up front. They typically offer payment plans that can last the duration of the treatment. Most orthodontic treatment plans are between one to three years. The more that you are able to pay upfront, the cheaper that your monthly payments will be.
If you do not have dental insurance and are not able to pay the high costs of braces, then you may consider going to a dental school instead of an orthodontist office for treatment. The cost will be significantly lower, but appointments may be more time-consuming. Services are typically performed by orthodontic students that are close to the end of their program. All treatment will be supervised by a licensed orthodontist.
Smiles Change Lives
If you are a low-income family, another option is the Smiles Change Lives program that offers reduced treatment costs for those that meet the criteria. Orthodontists donate their time to underprivileged children eight to seventeen-years-old that are in need of oral treatment. It may take you a while to get into the program, but you can get braces for your child for as low as $600.
With proper planning, you can find many available options to make your orthodontic treatment affordable for your family. Quality orthodontic care is an investment in your child's oral health and self-confidence. For more information on affordable orthodontic care, contact a clinic like Reed Orthodontics.