It might sound like some kind of shallow marketing tagline, but it’s true that your smile makes you who you are. No, seriously — the science exists to back that claim up. Studies show that a person’s smile is as unique as a set of fingerprints, and that no two are alike, not even for a pair of identical twins. Thousands of Americans believe in the importance of a healthy smile, and that’s why cosmetic dentistry procedures are on the rise every year.
Naturally, cost is a factor when it comes to getting a shiny new smile, whichever cosmetic dentistry procedures you choose. Many Americans have some kind of dental insurance via their employment to help supplant the cost of routine dental care, but most cosmetic dentistry actually isn’t covered by insurance. So, the question then becomes: if you want a better smile, can you even afford it in the first place?
First of all, know that some procedures are covered.
Traditional dental insurance often provides coverage for procedures such as root canals, routine cleanings, general repairs, fillings and occasional surgeries. However, because insurance often covers only what’s essential to bettering your health, the cost of plenty of elective procedures — teeth whitening, dental implants, invisible braces — gets left to the patient to cover. It looks like your options are either pay out-of-pocket or suffer through the indignity of a non-ideal smile, right?
Wrong. It actually is possible to land affordable dental care without insurance.
Cosmetic dentistry isn’t cheap, as you probably have come to expect. You’re likely looking at thousands of dollars for the common procedures (like veneers or implants) or maybe even more depending on the scope of your desired treatment. Chances are, you don’t have that kind of money simply sitting around waiting to be spent. That’s why it would benefit you to begin to look into your financing options that can help you land some affordable cosmetic dentistry procedures. You could always charge the entire operation onto a credit card, though that may lead to paying significantly more down the line.
A better option: ask your dentist about potential loan opportunities.
Some cosmetic dental practices offer short-terms loans you can take out, to help cover the initial cost of the procedures. Because you’re working directly with the dental practice, the interest rates are typically much lower, allowing you a larger safety net for paying back the cost. You could also look into what are known as discount dental plans, which typically work with specific dentists and dental practices, in order to earn you additional savings from the get-go. This is probably one of your best bets for figuring out how to finance dental care without insurance.
So, let’s circle back around to the original question. Can you afford any kind of major cosmetic dental care without insurance? The answer is a provisional yes, mainly because each situation is different. For the most specific, elaborate answers to your particular dental plan questions, get in contact with your local dental care professional.