Are you in need of a dental procedure that you can’t pay out-of-pocket or would rather finance? You’re not alone. Costs for dental procedures can be expensive and, all too often, insurance plans don’t cover enough or have expensive deductibles.
Here we will take a closer look at the average costs of dental procedures, the factors that impact the costs, and three types of affordable dental loans to consider. Find the right solution so you can take care of your dental needs now and prevent more serious problems down the road.
The average costs of dental procedures
How much do dental procedures cost anyway?
“Dentists set their own rates for dental care after evaluating their dental practice and the local market. After all, a dental practice is just like any other business, and must be priced competitively,” says Andrea Randall of Starmount and Unum Dental, a provider of dental insurance.
Dentists set their own rates for dental care after evaluating their dental practice and the local market. After all, a dental practice is just like any other business, and must be priced competitively”
A few experts in the industry weighed in, providing the following cost estimations.
Connie Feng, D.D.S. at Twin Leaf Dentistry offers the following quotes but warns, “It varies widely based on location and whether the office participates with insurance networks.”
Now, let’s take a closer look at why dental costs can vary so greatly.
4 factors that impact dental costs
Many factors can impact how much you pay for your dental procedures, but the most prominent include where you are getting care if you have insurance, how the dentist codes the procedure, and the quality of the dentist and their work.
Several practicing dentists explain each of these four factors in more detail below.
First up is location. “As in many other areas of the consumer market, dentistry and the fees associated with it can drastically vary. Fees can vary by zip code (yes, insurance companies set their reimbursement rates based on the zip code your doctor is in),” says Alvarez.
He adds, “If you see a dentist in Midtown NYC or Beverly Hills, expect to pay much more than seeing one in the South Bronx or Compton.”
Next is insurance. “For a given procedure, the price will vary significantly based whether or not you have insurance. If seeing an in-network provider, there is a negotiated rate between the dentist and the insurance company.
This will impact not only the amount the dentist will make off the procedure but your portion of that amount as well. If you are seeing an out-of-network provider, or you have no insurance at all, your payment is based on the office’s typical fee,” says Jennifer Dean, D.D.S. and practice owner of Rancho Sante Fe Cosmetic and Family Dentistry.
You may save around 15% to 20% on a certain dental procedure just for visiting a network dentist”
Randall adds, “You may save around 15% to 20% on a certain dental procedure just for visiting a network dentist. 59% of adults ages 19 to 64 have private dental plans according to the American Dental Association.
However, there are different types of dental insurance and various plan designs with different benefits. Consumers with the right dental plan and benefits can significantly reduce their cost of care.”
3) Coding of procedures
Several dentists also mentioned that procedure coding could impact cost.
“Average costs differ widely, even from community to community, let alone county or state to state. This is primarily due to the coding process with dental insurance companies,” says Barnard.
Dean adds, “Different dentists can approach and code things differently. For example, if you need two fillings on one tooth, one dentist may charge that as two distinct and separate two-surface fillings, while another may charge that as a single three-surface filling, which is typically cheaper.”
4) Quality of care
Lastly, you get what you pay for.
“Private practice fees can also vary greatly even within a single locale, depending on experience, technical expertise, materials cost, etc.,” says Travis Mattson, practicing dentist at Dentolutions.
He adds, “Shopping on price alone is not easy, as not all dentistry and materials are the same. For example, in the case of a crown, a dentist could have a crown fabricated in another country and milled on a computer for much cheaper than one handcrafted by a master technician/ceramic artist in the United States. Those differences often get reflected in the end result, as well as the fees charged.”
Alvarez summarizes this point saying, “Just as with cars or clothing, you can buy a Honda or a Mercedes, you can shop at Walmart or Chanel, and you can also choose to see a clinic dentist for a low cost, or you can see a fee-for-service dentist at a higher cost.
The types of fees are different, and the materials and quality of care you receive will also be different. You may need a filling that can cost $75 to $100 done in silver mercury amalgam, or you can have a Lucite reinforced ceramic on-lay filling that costs up to $2000. The choice is yours.”
These factors should be taken into consideration when choosing a dentist. Be aware that you can save by choosing an in-network provider or going to a provider in a lower-income area, but you also should consider the quality and expertise of the dentist.
Evaluate all of the factors to find the right balance between price and value. If you can’t afford it out-of-pocket, consider a loan to get the care you need.
How can I get a loan for dental work? 3 types of dental loans
When paying out-of-pocket is not an option, Alvarez says, “Third-party lenders such as CareCredit and LendingClub (both big in the plastic surgeon and veterinary markets) can help patients finance dental work.
Many times they can do so at no interest, or low interest for terms up to seven years. Further, some doctors will also offer in-office financing or payment plans to their patients.”
Choosing the right financing option can make a huge difference in how much you end up paying for the procedure. Here are three dental loan lender types to consider and advice on how to figure out which you should choose.
Bad credit? Findo out how to get approved for dental loans even when you have bad credit.
1. Third-party personal loan lenders
Did you know there are dozens of online personal loan lenders competing to earn your business? It’s true, and these loans may be used to pay for anything including your dental expenses.
Many people wonder, “Can I get a loan for dental implants?” or “Will personal loans cover the cost of braces?” The answer is yes. Borrowers get approved based on their credit, not the intended use of the funds.
Personal loans are typically repaid in installments over a set term along with interest. You will want to compare lenders based on the loan amount and interest rate they offer you, their eligibility requirements, their fees, and their overall quality of customer service.
Top choices include:
It takes a few minutes and, in some cases, you can have the funds in your account within one business day.
But are there dental loans for bad credit? Some lenders will approve borrowers with lower credit scores, while others focus on excellent-credit borrowers. By applying, you will find out which lenders will approve you.Click here to find your best rate today
2. Credit cards
Credit cards are another viable option. There are many you can choose from, but the best are those that have a no-interest introductory period.
You can be granted several months to repay an amount without any interest charges. However, once the period is up, the interest rate will jump up and can be more expensive than alternatives like personal loans.
To figure out if this is the best solution, calculate how long it will take you to repay the procedure. If you can’t pay it off before the end of the promotional period, find out how many additional months it will take you and how much interest you will pay during that time. Then, you can compare it to other options to decide which is best.
3. Local dentist with payment plans
Lastly, some dental offices will directly offer you payment plans for your procedures. These are also worth considering. Be sure to ask how long you will be able to spread out the payments, how much they will charge you, and what is required to qualify. Once you have all the details, compare this offer to the other options to identify which deal will offer the best overall value.
Take care of your dental needs
Although many people don’t like going to the dentist, dental care is a critical part of overall health. One of the best ways to keep your dental costs down is by keeping up with your preventative care.
Barnard says, “Dentistry is not expensive; neglect is. For example, a neglected cavity can progress into a systemic issue, which requires more expensive treatment.”
If you or someone in your family ends up needing an expensive procedure, keep in mind that there are financing solutions that can help you afford it. Consider personal loans, credit cards, and in-office financing.
By shopping around and comparing rates you can ensure you get the best deal and keep borrowing costs to a minimum.