After a recent visit to the dentist, you were referred to the orthodontist. As a result of this appointment, you’ve discovered that you now need to have braces put on your teeth in order to get that beautiful smile. The price could vary from around $4,000 to $8,000, depending upon the type of braces you’re getting and the length of time for which you will have them, so cost is certainly a concern. What factors need you consider to decide if braces are an affordable option for you?
Your Insurance Policy
The first step you need to take is to find out if your insurance policy will cover all or part of your braces. In the event that they do, you’re certainly in luck. The entire burden will not be placed upon your shoulders, and you will have at least some support in paying for these little fixtures. If you have the option to switch insurance companies, this strategy could be a helpful way to find one that is more aligned with your needs.
The Possibility of Payment Plans
What should you do if your insurance does not cover the braces or if you are unable to pay the remaining sum? Ask the orthodontist office if any payment plans are offered. For example, instead of having to pay a lump sum of money, you could break it down into easier monthly payments. For example, $4,000 divided up amongst four years breaks down to just over $80 per month, which is a manageable amount of money for many people.
Your Monthly Income
Whether you are doing a payment plan or paying for the braces upfront, you need to consider how much money you make per month and if you will be able to afford them. Try to set aside the amount of money you’ll need for a couple of months before making the decision. In the event that you are unable to save up the necessary funds, you might have to consider an alternative plan or borrow the money from somebody.
Using a Credit Card
Some people are tempted into using their credit cards to pay for the full price of the braces. This might be a possibility for you, but you need to be careful. Decide if the debt is worth the braces, and evaluate whether you can wait until the money is saved up before having them put onto your teeth. Perhaps you know that you’re going to be making a lot more money within the next couple of months. In that case, it may be okay to charge them for now. Affording basic necessities in life is difficult enough, and adding braces on top of that can be frustrating. Be sure to take all of these factors into account when deciding if you can afford braces.
Peter Wendt is a freelance writer and researcher living in Texas. He has always lived his life on a tight budget, so when it came time to get braces from his Houston Orthodontist, he was thrilled at the variety of interest-free payment plans they offered.