How many of us have had minor or major dental problems but haven’t been able to work them out because we couldn’t afford the dentistry work? It probably happened to all of us, at least once. But did you know there are alternative ways to pay for the dentistry work? They’re called dental loans and here are all the details you need to know about them.
Can You Get Dental Loans and What Do They Include?
Seeing as dental work is so expensive, most people save up money so that they have a little something to fall back on should the need strike. Apart from that, dentistry is not usually included in insurances. So, what happens when you don’t have insurance for it nor do you have any money to pay? Can you get dental loans?
Luckily for all of us, the answer is yes. In fact, you can get dental loans for both necessary and cosmetic procedures. Here is the list of things for which you can get the loans.
– Cleanings twice a year
– Crowns and bridges
– Fillings for all cavities
– Extraction, including wisdom teeth
– Treatments for root canals
– Implants for teeth
– Gingivitis and periodontal disease treatment
- Cosmetic dentistry
– Getting porcelain veneers
– Whitening the teeth
– Cosmetic surgery for the gums
– Tooth bonding
– Reshaping of the teeth
– Braces, including invisible ones
The Process for Getting Dental Loans
Before you can consider which dental loans to apply for, you need to take a minute and think about your needs.
First of all, you should be clear on whether you want cosmetic dentistry done or if you need actual medical intervention. In both cases, you need to ask yourself if it can wait. For example, if you believe you want a cosmetic operation, it’s probably possible to postpone it until you can save some money and pay for it in that way. There are also some medical, dental conditions that allow for a breather before you have to deal with them.
The reason you should try to do this is that getting dental loans is no different from other loans. You still have to pay interest on the money you borrow, and you might get in trouble regarding future, bigger loans. It just might not be worth it for some porcelain veneers, so do yourself a favor and think about this matter before you proceed.
If you decided to go on with it, the next step asks for you to consult your dentist and get an estimate of how much the procedure is going to cost. Ask him or her to break down the plans for you. Remember that, apart from the intervention itself, you also need to ask about x-rays, the time involved to do the work in itself, anesthesia, and all the medication and special equipment you might be asked to use or wear after the procedures are complete.
It’s best to perform this step before you head on to your designated lender. Costs vary from one dentist to another. Apart from that, you might need different specialists if your case is a complicated one. For example, you might need a regular dentist, as well as a surgeon if you need a root canal or an orthodontist if what you’re looking for are braces.
One of the final steps of this process is checking your credit score. If you do and you find it to be too low, you might not qualify for a loan. Checking it allows you to see details, as well as working on it so that you can get it up to par again.
What Types of Dental Loans and Other Financing Options Are There?
Since we now know that dental care can be financed otherwise than by paying it out of your personal pocket or asking the insurance company, let’s take a look at what types of dental loans and other options there are.
#1. Using your credit card
Think about your dentistry work as one, big shopping spree. Use your credit card to finance it, just like you would for buying furniture or taking care of other expenses. However, even if this seems like the easiest choice, it might not be the wisest. If you put a large amount on your credit card, if might affect you in the sense of interest and payments per month.
Apart from that, if you max out said credit card, it will cost you some points on your credit score. This, in turn, might affect you in the future, when you’re trying to apply for a more significant loan, such as a mortgage.
#2. Third parties
Since dentists don’t finance dentistry themselves anymore, getting dental loans has become increasingly difficult. However, you can turn to third party companies that provide health care financings, such as the Care Credit program or Citi Health Card.
These choices are becoming more and more popular as time goes by because they are a lucrative monetary solution for both patients and doctors. They don’t ask for any charges upfront or costs to enroll and no teaser rates. The monthly payments are typically low to attract patients, and the plan extends over a substantial period, so you don’t even feel it budget-wise. Apart from that, you get instant approval.
Third parties cover all sorts of medical procedures, so you can rest assured any ailment you might have will, probably, be included in the plan. However, as with other types of loans, you need to read the contractual clauses and the fine print. Even if we are talking about dental loans, they are still financial transactions.
#3. Getting dental insurance
Even though insurance doesn’t exactly qualify in the realm of dental loans, you can still consider it. Getting it is very easy and straightforward, much like getting standard health insurance. There are many plans to choose from, which vary in length, amount of money, and coverage, so you have to read them all through very carefully.
Here are some of the options many of these plans include.
- Dental Preferred Provider Organization or Dental PPO
- Dental HMO or Health Maintenance Organization – be careful because these limit your access to dentists and ask for co-pay every time you visit
- The Dental Indemnity Plan – this method won’t ask you to co-pay, but it will require you pay upfront a part of the total cost of your dentistry work.
#4. Getting a loan
Receiving literal dental loans from a bank or any other financial institution is one more way to go. However, it has a few downsides which might not be to your liking. Like any other bank loan, it depends on your credit history and score. If they are bad, you will not qualify for the credit.
Apart from that, bank loans usually take a lot of time to complete. If you need dental work straight away, this might not be the solution for you. Also, if you are a student, getting loans of any kind is tough. Consider enrolling in programs specially designed for you. If they are sponsored by a particular school or by the government, they might even be free.
#5. Asking your dentist for a plan
Instead of going through the hassle of dental loans, you could always discuss your situation with your dentist and see if he or she is open to constructing a payment plan for you. Some of them typically agree to settle on informal arrangements, especially if you are a long-time patient, they know, and trust you. If you’ve always paid your bills towards them on time, they will almost certainly agree to allow installments rather than paying everything at once. It’s not a common practice anymore, but they might just agree with this type of repayment.
Dental loans can be quite a hassle, especially if you are in dire need of treatment. They are costly and can last for a while, so you are in for quite a ride. Even so, as long as you do some research and find out which is the best option for you, nothing should stand between you and a perfect smile!