Q: I've recently retired from a job. I'm looking for some help because I have problems with my teeth and can not afford services. The upshot of my recent dental check up was that I needed 5 extractions of my upper teeth, full upper denture, a root canal, and a few other services. Total bill was $3,000! One of my teeth is lose and I'd like to see a dentist again soon, but I can not afford the whole bill. Is there a dental payment plan option available to retirees and seniors?
P. C., Dumfries, VA
A: I am getting a lot of questions about payment plans recently. The fact is, people are faced with substantial amount of dental work and just don't see how they can cope with the costs. There are medical and dental financing options, and many dentist offices will offer financing options. Usually they go through Care Credit or Capital One. However, many times, the applications are rejected because of the applicant's low credit score. Also, many times, with a payment plan, the interests are significant so over time, the patient ends up paying even more. A great suggestion for people who would like to afford their dental services is to become a member of a fee-for-service plan. This is how a fee-for-service (or discount) plan works: For a small monthly membership fee, typically less than $20, you are guaranteed a significantly lower cost of your dental, vision, etc. services at participating service providers. In principle, you, the patient, are responsible for the payment of the discounted price at the time of service. However, with a significantly lower cost of services, you may now more easily qualify for the dental payment plan, and, if your application for credit is accepted, your monthly payments will be lower too.
Coming back to your question, P. C., I recommend to purchase one of the fee-for-service or discount plans right away. They usually have no waiting periods, or at most a few days waiting periods. They will save you as much as 15-60% on services that you need now. Some even save 80% on dental check ups. And, if you still need a payment plan after savings, I recommend to consult with the dentist office first. Enjoy your new teeth!
Dental Fee-For-Service or Discount Plans