Exploring Cosmetic Dentistry Payment Options for Patients

June 22, 2021 by AACD Executive Office

Sponsored by Rectangle Health

As professionals in the cosmetic dentistry field, you know firsthand the immeasurable value that patients receive when they invest in a smile that they want to share with the world. Veneers, crowns, implants, teeth whitening, and bridges have the power to wholly transform a person’s confidence and quality of life. But this payoff often comes at an unavoidably high price, due to the specialized services that cosmetic dentists provide, the materials used, and the additional professionals involved in changing raw materials into a smile-transformer.

While non-cosmetic dental work is often covered, insurance companies do not provide the same level of coverage to patients seeking cosmetic dental work, because of the elective nature of many cosmetic procedures. Without the assistance of traditional dental insurance coverage, and unless they are enrolled in a comprehensive full-coverage dental plan, many patients are left wondering how they can possibly afford cosmetic dental services.  

Unfortunately, the price of treatment and involvement from insurance companies might be out of your control. However, you do have the power to help your patients confidently elect care by sharing tips and programs to make their treatments more affordable. From third-party financing companies to in-house financing choices that are available through your practice, patients have options when it comes to paying for the services that they want, and you sharing those options with patients can make the difference in whether or not they choose to receive care from your practice.  

Equipping patients with knowledge and flexible payment options is not only good for your patients, but also for your practice, as more patients can choose to begin treatment than would be able to otherwise. Learn more about the common financial options that are available to patients for cosmetic dentistry and empower more patients to say “yes” to a smile that they feel great about.  

Option #1: Traditional Credit Card 

Paying for cosmetic dental services using a traditional credit card is a viable option for patients who are comfortable doing so. Before choosing this option, patients should refresh themselves on their credit limit and interest rate and have a plan in place for paying the balance off. Many credit cards offer an 0% introductory APR period for newly opened accounts. If patients plan to pay off their balance within the covered amount of time, opening a new account can be a wise choice for those whose credit score is in the approved range. 

Option #2: Healthcare Credit Card 

Healthcare credit cards function very similarly to traditional credit cards, but they can be used only for approved healthcare-related expenses. These approved expenses can cover a wide range of health services, from surgery to a spa treatment, and cosmetic dentistry is included as an authorized category by major card carriers. 

Many of the most popular healthcare credit cards, such as CareCredit, pay the dentist upfront and require a standing contract with the practice and a percentage fee taken from each payment. Patients must apply and be approved to open a healthcare credit card, which includes passing a credit check, and their credit score can be affected in the same way as if they were to open a traditional credit card. Patients make payments to the credit card provider to pay off the balance owed. These specialty credit cards typically offer patients a generous interest-free window within which to make their payments, but beyond that window, the interest fees are above average. 

Option #3: Flexible Financing Options 

There are certainly benefits, for both patients and dentists, to directing patients to the outside financing options described above. To read the rest of the full article, please click here

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