Did you know that 40 percent of Americans can’t afford a $400 emergency? To make matters worse, another 12 percent said that a $400 expense would not allow them to pay regular bills, such as housing costs and buying groceries. This includes unforeseen medical expenses, like those that may arise due to a problem with your teeth.
Your dentist may advise you to fix an existing problem such as cavities, a broken tooth, or even an infection in your mouth that can get worse over time. But what options do you have if you or someone in your family has a recommendation from the dentist for a treatment plan that you simply cannot afford? Delta Dental of Colorado’s Chief Dental Officer, Dr. Brad Guyton, offers some ideas on how to approach this.
Talk to your dentist about a phased treatment plan
One way you can handle this is to talk to your dentist about your treatment plan to see if they can offer what is known as a phased treatment plan. A phased treatment plan spreads out the number of treatments over a longer period, which will reduce the amount of upfront costs by spacing them out over a series of visits.
In a phased treatment plan, the first phase of the treatment will be to address any pain you’re experiencing as quickly as possible. Once the pain can be managed or eliminated, your dentist will tackle the next priority in the treatment plan and continue addressing issues with each treatment. This is very common and is a great option to avoid high upfront costs.
Low-cost or low-income dental services
If you would like more information on low-cost dental services or low-income resources, visit the link here from the Department of Health and Human Services. The Colorado Dental Association also has a list of low-cost clinics available here, and dental care is also available at some of our Colorado Medical Dental Integration sites as well.
You can also get financial assistance through Connect for Health Colorado, which provides premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions for qualified individuals.
Additional help for dental treatment plans
One option is getting financing from your dental office. Many dental facilities offer in-house loans or financing. These can help with smaller expenses such as filings, or with bigger expenses like braces for the kids.
As always, it’s best to start discussing your options with your dental office sooner than later.