Dental Implants with Low Monthly Payments
Dental implants are one of the most stable and natural looking ways to restore missing teeth, the drawback is that they are typically much more expensive than other restorative treatments. A dental implant can cost between $1500 and $3000 per tooth just for the implant placement. The implant restoration can add on another $5000 per tooth and if a bone graft or gum graft is required before the implant can be placed, that will add an additional fee. A three tooth dental bridge can cost up to the $7000 range, increasing with the number of teeth to be replaced.
Dental insurance has not quite caught up to the advances and fees of modern dentistry so it generally does not cover very much. Most dental plans will only pay out between $1500 and $2000 per year and some may not cover restorative work at all so it is important to understand what your dental insurance plan will pay for before you begin treatment. Fortunately, there are a number of payment options available to most patients to help ease the out-of-pocket cost. Let's review some of the financing programs that you may consider for your dental implant treatment.
In-house Financing With Your Dental Office
Before you begin a search for a third-party financing option, speak with your dental office to see if they offer an in-house financing program. A lot of offices will let you pay overtime without the added burden of interest so even if it is not something that they advertise, be sure to ask the financial coordinator what options are available.
There are third-party financing companies available such as CareCredit and Lending Club which are a great way to finance dental implants. Such companies do typically require a credit score of at least 640 and are often accepted by a large range of medical professionals, not only Dentists. If your Dentist accepts one of these options, ask about the terms that they work with. Some dentists may only offer six months or one year financing while others may offer two or three years financing. One of these medical loan options will allow you to pay your dental bill in full at the time of service and then make monthly payments to the loan company until it is paid off. The thing to keep in mind with this type of medical loan is that the interest rate is usually "deferred interest" which means that you will not pay interest unless the entire balance is not paid off within the term limits. If your payment time expires and you have not fully paid off the loan, interest is usually charged in full for the entire purchase amount.
Personal Bank Loan
Another one option you might consider is an unsecured loan through your personal bank. For an unsecured loan, no collateral is required in order to receive funds. If you do not have good credit, you may still be able to acquire a secured loan using collateral such as a car title or real estate deed. Some banks may even offer a line of credit which can be either secured or unsecured. The line of credit gives you the ability to pay off and reuse funds until the loan terms. An unsecured loan is usually the best choice but they do require excellent credit. In the event that an unsecured loan is unpaid and becomes delinquent, the bank will use a collection agency to obtain repayment by the patient. Using collateral greatly increases the patient's chance of obtaining a loan they need to receive the dental implant treatment that they need for a healthy smile.
Sub-Prime Lender Financing
A subprime lender uses more than just a patient's credit score to determine risk in lending to the patient. The patients income, employment history, and other credit information is gathered and assessed to determine if they are a good investment. Subprime lenders usually have a higher interest rate and may also include an origination fee for the loan.
Flexible Pay-Over-Time Plans
Another third-party financing option is a flexible pay overtime plan with lenders such as Healthcare Finance Direct. This option typically works for any patient including those with a low credit score. Dental offices that offer this type of financing may do so in order to provide treatment to patients who would otherwise be unable to get good dental care. A flexible pay-overtime-lender uses an underwriting process that, like subprime lenders, uses more than the patient's credit score to determine the risk of lending. Keep in mind that this option will usually require a down payment and interest will accrue during the term of the loan.
Dental Discount Programs
Finally we have the option of a dental savings plan. This is an affordable, flexible option available for patients as an alternative to traditional dental insurance. With a dental savings program there is no waiting period to use the benefits like there usually is with insurance so as soon as you join a discount program, you can put your benefits to use! Using a dental savings program, patients may be able to say between 10% and 60% on all dental care, including dental implants though it is only good for the treatments offered within the plan so make sure you select one that can be used with your needed treatment.
Dentists available on the savings plan have agreed to the program's fee schedule so if you already have a dentist, they may not be on the list of designated dentists for your dental discount plan. Discount programs prescreen Dentists before accepting them into their network so even if you cannot use the plan with your preferred dentist, many qualified dental professionals are at your disposal!
Even though extensive dental work can be expensive and straining on your finances, it is often a necessity to ensure the health of your mouth and your overall health. Do some research to find out what options are available to you and what your preferred dentist accepts. Leaving missing teeth untreated can cause damage to surrounding teeth and the jawbone so it is important to receive the treatment that has been advised.