How affordable is orthodontic treatment and what financing options are available?

Financial Options

Parents are always striving to ensure their children have the best possible healthcare, and this is particularly true when it comes to orthodontic treatment. While it is certainly an investment, it is one that is well worth the cost. And, taking steps to safeguard the health of you or your children’s teeth now is a wise decision. Here, we’ll examine the cost and some common methods of paying for orthodontic treatment.

The cost of orthodontic treatment depends on the patients age, the nature of the problem, the type of braces needed, and the overall complexity of the treatment plan. 

Research by the oral hygiene wing of the US-based Colgate-Palmolive Company estimated the the cost of metal braces without insurance ranged from $3,000 to $7,500. They also pointed out that removable or clear aligners can be 20% more expensive than conventional metal braces. However, at Ballard Orthodontics the fee is the same whether you have conventional braces or clear aligners. Of note is the fact that patients with insurance typically paid an average of $3,400 for metal braces.

If times are hard, it might be difficult to justify the cost of orthodontic treatment. And, if you don’t have adequate insurance, the expense of braces can be even greater. However the benefits of a correct bite and a great smile can literally transform your life. 

Medical and Dental Insurance 

Medical insurance will occasionally cover some of the expense of orthodontic treatment. However, it is rare and typically only if you or your child has a unique medical condition that affects the teeth or bite. These conditions would include a cleft palate or some type of craniofacial syndrome. Additionally if you are needing a sleep apnea or snoring elimination appliance, medical insurance will occasionally cover a portion of the cost and the insurance specialists at Ballard Orthodontics can check with your medical insurance to determine what that portion is. As a general rule though, Medical insurance does not cover much in the way of orthodontic treatment. 

Dental insurance will cover a few procedures performed in an orthodontic office. These would generally include space maintenance, mouth guards and teeth grinding appliances. However, similar to medical insurance, dental insurance does not cover much of the cost of orthodontic treatment.

This leaves us with the question . . . what kind of insurance covers orthodontic treatment and how do I get it? Here is how that works. If you have dental insurance and your dental insurance has an orthodontic benefit attached to it, this orthodontic benefit provides you with a specific amount of money paid by the insurance company for orthodontic treatment. The amount can range from $1000.00 to $5000.00. Occasionally an orthodontic benefit package will only cover those 18 and under but many insurance companies have this orthodontic benefit for all on the policy regardless of age.

At Ballard orthodontics they work with all insurance companies, including Canadian insurance companies wether they are signed up on their plan or not, so never hesitate to reach out to them with any and all insurance questions you have. Their insurance specialists have over 35 years of combined experience working with all types of insurance plans and can sort out for you what type of insurance you have and how much of the recommended orthodontic treatment is covered by that insurance. They can also send in pre-authorizations for treatment, submit claims and help you navigate the constantly changing landscape of insurance.

Lastly, they routinely work with those using Health Savings Accounts, FLEX plans and Medical Savings Accounts. So know when you team up with Ballard Orthodontics, you are with a team that has a vast amount of experience in all aspects of orthodontic financing. 

Payment Plans

At Ballard Orthodontics, a variety of interest free payment plans and payment options are available to fit your budget. Many are surprised to learn that most payment plans offered require no downpayment. Although, having an initial downpayment has the advantage of lowering your monthly bill and occasionally one is required but for vast majority of the patients much flexibility is available.

Most payment plans range from 6-30 months depending on the length of treatment.

Ballard Orthodontics also offers a discount on treatment cost for each additional family member treated. They discount the total cost for payment in full at the beginning of treatment and sometimes they have been known to trade orthodontic services for a service you provide, so never hesitate to ask about trades.

Care Credit

Care Credit is a company Ballard Orthodontics works with that will finance your orthodontic expense once you have been approved. It works much like a credit card with an associated interest rate attached and monthly payback schedule. Many find this to be a very convenient way of paying for not only their orthodontic treatment but other health care related expenses as well.  

Dental Charities

If you’re on very limited means, a dental charity might be able to help you in paying for orthodontic treatment. Check out Smiles Change Lives and Smiles For A Lifetime. If you’re accepted into a program like these, you and your child could get braces at a very low cost or even for free. Ballard Orthodontics works with a few different charities so if you find yourself connected with one they are not aware of feel free to call that to their attention. 

Tax Deductions 

If your braces are considered medically necessary, costs above a certain level are tax deductible. Keep track of all your expenses, including check-ups – it all adds up. Further information is available from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) regarding these deductions. At Ballard Orthodontics they keep very precise records and are more than happy to provide you with any information that would lessen your tax burden.

Type of Payment Accepted

US patients: Ballard Orthodontics accepts payment in cash, check, Visa, Master-Card and Discover

Canadian Patients:  Ballard Orthodontics has fees in both US and Canadian currency, if you would prefer to pay in Canadian currency simply let us know and both cash and checks are accepted. 

Ballard Orthodontics is committed to doing everything it can to work within your budget and help ease the financial burden of paying for orthodontic treatment. Know that before you agree to any orthodontic treatment, you will be well aware of the cost, what services will be rendered, how much insurance will cover, what your portion will be and the payment plan arrangements. 

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