Investing in yourself is worth it! Local expert gives tips on planning for orthodontic work

Jennifer E. Engen

By Cynthia Schweitzer, Practice Director, Baptiste Orthodontics and Dentistry for Kids

It’s easy these days to simply google the services we need and make a choice based off of anonymous ratings, or get a referral without doing much research, but taking the time to make the right decision can save you a world of stress.

As with any large purchase or investment, it is a good idea to do some homework before you commit. Getting orthodontic work is certainly a worthwhile investment, and no different in the need for pre-planning for expediency of experience and success. When you research and plan ahead for your orthodontics, not only will you be able to find the best doctor and office that can provide the most relevant treatment for you, but you’ll discover there are key areas that need consideration  before committing your time and financial resources. Here are a few of those key areas for your attention that will make your orthodontic investment successful: 

Consider your many doctor options

If you go to your dentist and they recommend braces or orthodontic treatment for either you or your child, keep in mind that you have many options for care. Your dentist might recommend a few doctors they work with, but be sure to check with your dental insurance to see which providers take your insurance. Also go online to check out orthodontists specifically in your area.  Be sure to read the reviews and ask around for referrals from people you trust. 

When considering the right doctor for you, look at where they are located and how convenient it will be for you to go, as follow-up treatments will be scheduled fairly frequently, every four to eight weeks. Consider looking at doctors near your work or child’s school for ease of convenience. 

Financing your treatment

You will need to create a budget in order to plan ahead and know how you are going to pay for the treatment.  If you have dental insurance, do your homework ahead of time to understand what type of coverage you have.  Is there a copay or an age limit? Do they cover traditional braces and / or aligners? The orthodontist office will verify your coverage prior to your appointment, but having that information yourself before your appointment will better prepare you in understanding the total estimated cost. 

If you do not have insurance or your insurance does not specifically have orthodontic coverage, look into other options that can help you finance your treatment.  Do you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) or a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?  Consider increasing your contributions to these cards to cover you during the time of your treatment.   

Other payment options

Many offices, like ours, also offer payment options.  For most plans, you will likely be required to pay an initial payment to start treatment. The remaining balance of the contract can be paid monthly (and in some cases, interest free).  This will allow you to have manageable monthly payments. Determine how much you can afford for your initial payment; the more it is, the lower your monthly payments will be.  Our office also offers discounts if you pay in full!  If you are able, do consider doing this in order to take full advantage of the savings. 

Our office also offers third party financing, such as Care Credit. Care Credit is a credit card for health-related expenses. You do have to apply to see if you qualify, but for many this is a great way to pay for orthodontic treatments. 

Finally, look to see what offers, coupons or discounts are available. In our case, we have several promotions throughout the year. You can find them on our website, as well as in the local online news site, newspaper, and flyers handed out during community events.   

What’s the total time and committment?

Other factors to consider are time and commitment. The success of your treatment depends not only on what your orthodontist does, but also the commitment you put towards your treatment.  Are you able to attend all your required appointments?  Do you have any life events or upcoming commitments that might make it a challenge?  If you are looking into braces for your child, consider all the dates your child will be out of school and schedule their longer appointments for then.  Spring break, summertime and winter break are great times to start treatment because they don’t interfere with school.  Of course, those appointments tend to get booked up quickly so do plan ahead, and make your appointments during the most convenient time for you.  

If you would like assistance in planning  your tentative orthodontic treatment for you or your child, we’re happy to help: Baptiste Orthdontics, 12 S. Park Ave., Apopka, 32703; (407) 217-2927.,12967

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