How a Pre-Treatment Estimate for Dental Procedures Can Help You Determine the Best Course of Action
At Ballantyne Endodontics, we firmly believe that choosing your dental provider is a highly personal decision. Just like parents take the schools they send their children to extremely seriously, so should you when deciding on which dental provider will perform the services you need.
However, too often, patients are meant to feel like they can ONLY go with a provider covered under their insurance plan. The first thought that comes to mind is that going outside of their insurance network will lead to extremely high costs and an added headache. We are here to tell you that this is often not the case.
Your insurance coverage may not significantly lower the cost of your procedure, and when that is the case, why not go with the provider of your choice? So what should you do instead? To ensure that you get a satisfactory price from the best provider, get a pre-treatment estimate for dental procedures to plan your course of action. In the long run, you may save money by choosing this route with an out-of-network provider than by trusting your insurance company.
The way we see it, there is freedom in getting to pick your provider — so take the extra time to do your research, get a pre-treatment estimate, and make the best decisions for your health and well-being. Continue reading for a deeper break-down of your options.
Why Dental Insurance May Not Reduce Your Price
Dental insurance averages $300 a year for the premiums. But the benefits most plans offer have a maximum amount, between $1,000 and $2,000.
Though you may save a little money, dental insurance has another downside. If you have an HMO, your insurance may require you to go to specific providers covered by the plan. By limiting your provider options, you don’t have control over who you visit if you want to use your insurance plan.
How to Select a Dental Provider for a Specific Treatment
When selecting a dental provider, do not choose one based only on your insurance coverage. As noted, you may not save as much money as you thought. When it comes to some procedures, like dental implants of endodontic treatment, some insurance companies don’t cover these to begin with. So in that case, it really doesn’t matter if you go in or out of your network. Especially in these cases, you should pick a provider you feel is best for your needs.
Choose a dental provider who has experience in the type of treatment that you need. We cannot repeat this sentiment enough! For instance, if you need a procedure to repair a root, you will want to visit an endodontist who specializes in treating the interior of the teeth.
Once you find one or two dental professionals who you feel comfortable visiting, and have good records of treatment, schedule an estimate before you make your final provider selection. During the pre-treatment estimate for dental procedures phase, you can compare the costs of the providers.
Why Is Pre-Treatment Estimate for Dental Procedures So Important?
Just as you wouldn’t buy a car without looking at the price, you should not schedule a dental treatment without getting an estimate. A pre-treatment estimate for a dental procedure involves an examination, during which the provider determines what they need to do to repair your dental problem and estimate how much it costs.
By choosing providers that excel in their fields and getting estimates from each, you can find the best combination of high-quality treatment and a good price. By taking this approach, you can make an informed decision on who should be the provider of your care. Plus, you may find that the cost to go out-of-network is not as bad as you thought it would be.
Alternative Ways to Pay for and Save on Dental Procedures
Most dental offices require payment immediately. If you don’t have the cash to cover the full cost at once, you have alternatives to pay for the treatment, including a discount plan, insurance, third-party financing, and spacing out expensive treatments.
Dental Discount Plan
Some patients carry a dental discount plan that they pay for, like insurance. However, unlike insurance, the plan only offers discounts on treatments and does not completely cover procedures. If you have one of these plans, check with your dental provider that they will accept the plan. If they do, you must choose if you want to use the plan or your dental insurance if you carry both. You cannot use a discount plan and your insurance for the same services.
Once you choose a provider, ask if they will accept your dental insurance plan. Even with insurance, you will likely still need to cover the costs of your treatment and have your insurance company pay you back for the amount covered. While this may be the case, many offices will still accept your insurance and are likely to still accept your insurance even when out-of-network.
Third-party financing groups such as CareCredit or LendingClub can help you to pay for your dental procedures. With these options, you can fulfill the practice’s requirements for immediate payment while paying back the financing company yourself over time.
LendingClub offers several payment plans that pre-qualify applicants. Unlike other types of loans, LendingClub does not cause harm to your credit score to explore your options. Only when you succeed in acquiring a Fixed Rate Loan or apply for a credit account will the company process a hard credit inquiry. Plans vary in loan length, interest rates, and payment amounts, but you have the advantage of spreading out the cost of your dental treatment over time.
CareCredit is a credit card that you use to pay for dental care or other healthcare payments. As with other credit cards, you will need credit approval and must make monthly payments. Even though you have to make monthly payments, this program offers low monthly payment options as well as extremely competitive interest rates.
Spacing Out Treatments
If your dental issue requires several steps, ask the endodontist when you get a pre-treatment estimate for dental procedures if you can safely space out the parts of the treatment. With more time between each step, paying for the entire treatment becomes easier. While you can do this for some conditions, you may not be able to delay some forms of care. Always discuss treatment delays with your provider first before making a decision. Waiting too long in some cases could cause more issues and a higher cost to fix the problem.
Next Steps: Get a Pre-Treatment Estimate Comfortably Choose the Provider of Your Choice
Before settling on your choice of treatment, get more information about the cost by scheduling a pre-treatment estimate for dental procedures that you need. You may find that even if your insurance doesn’t cover the provider or treatment, you may not spend as much as you thought. Also, with numerous alternatives available to help you pay for dental services, you can have more freedom when choosing your provider. If you live in the Charlotte-area, talk to your dentist about a referral to Ballantyne Endodontics for a pre-treatment estimate.