THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO PAYING FOR BRACES. We all want to look our best. But how do braces help us?

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1 THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO PAYING FOR BRACES We all want to look our best. But how do braces help us?

2 DR. SAL AND HIS STAFF ARE DEDICATED TO EXCELLENCE AND CARING FOR THE CORRECTION OF ORTHODONTIC PROBLEMS IN PEOPLE OF ALL AGES: CHILDREN, TEENAGERS, AND ADULTS.

3 Are Braces Right For You? 3 TABLE OF CONTENTS A quick way to determine costs: 4 Why do braces cost so much?: 6 Don t go broke fixing your smile: 9 3 ways to pay for your new braces: 12

4 Are Braces Right For You? 4 A QUICK WAY TO DETERMINE COSTS The reason why it can be difficult to find direct answers to orthodontic costs through online research is because costs depends on a variety of factors. Consultations & Evaluations : The first consultation will allow your doctor to conduct a thorough history of dental experience, examine your soft and hard tissues in your mouth, make observations about the parents teeth and jaws, and discuss braces, other treatment methods and appliances available to you. Treatment for Children: Our philosophy at Dr. Salvatoriello s offices in New Hampshire is to avoid braces. If we can see your child between the ages of 7-10 years, we may be able to prevent tooth alignment or jaw imbalance problems in their future. Early intervention is the best way to reduce treatment costs. Types of Treatment: The American Dental Association recommends that a child first visit the family dentist between the ages of 6 and 12 months and that child should also visit an orthodontist by the age of 7 years or as early as an orthodontic problem is first detected. At this age, your orthodontist should be able to determine what type of facial development he/she is going to experience. Pre-Eruptive Guidance (PEG). A method that allows the teeth to straighten themselves to a greater degree. Space maintainers hold onto the existing room in the mouth while primary (baby) teeth are being lost. Both methods usually decrease the second phase of treatment, and in many cases it can eliminate future orthodontic treatment.

5 Are Braces Right For You? 5 A QUICK WAY TO DETERMINE COSTS Length of Treatment: Your doctor will provide you with all the essential instructions and tools to maintain good hygiene and take proper care of your appliances, but the overall length of treatment depends heavily on motivation and support. If the patient does not avoid gummy, chewy, or hard foods, brackets may get knocked off. Sometimes unanticipated repairs are a result of bad oral habits, like chewing on pencil erasers, pen caps, or fingernails. Imagine the size of the health care bill after gum disease treatment. Replacing 1 front tooth with an implant after the extraction of 1 tooth can result in approximately $4,000 in total fees. This is an example for why it s important to save natural teeth and invest in early interceptive treatment. Tips for Patients: Are Braces Worth the Investment? Braces help to straighten teeth and can give you a beautiful smile, but braces and other treatment methods can prevent serious long-term health problems, like: Tooth decay or loss Gum disease and jaw problems Affected speech and/or chewing Abnormal wear to tooth enamel

6 Are Braces Right For You? 6 WHY DO BRACES COST SO MUCH? Orthodontics is a specialized service that requires a team of educated and trained professionals. The services are provided by a business, so there are day-to-day costs involved to keep the practice running. The overall cost of braces will include, professional costs, materials and laboratory costs, and other operating expenses. Professional Cost: These include the specialty care, technical skill, and accurate judgment of your doctor and his/her qualified staff. A specialist in orthodontics is a college graduate, continues on to 4 or more years of dental school, and then 2-3 years of post-doctoral training. This equals 12 years of intensive training after high school. Plus, the New Hampshire Dental Practice Act demands that all orthodontic assistants are certified to perform basic supportive orthodontic procedures. An orthodontic assistant qualified to perform skilled procedures is someone who has additional years of training and/or has at least 400 hours of clinical dental assisting experience. The education and training beyond college reflect a higher salary base. We factor this into our treatment costs. Materials, Laboratory Costs, and Operating Expenses These costs include sterilization, diagnostic casting, hypoallergenic removable appliances, retainers, brackets, wires, bands, and specialized equipment like x-rays and digital cameras. Operating expenses such as facility rent, taxes, electricity, heat, and water are necessary to keep offices open to the public.

7 Are Braces Right For You? 7 WHY DO BRACES COST SO MUCH? Tips for Patients! Chances are, an orthodontist with several decades of experience will confidently provide more accurate diagnosis because they will have in-depth knowledge of traditional treatment methods and the latest technologies. Also, the fields of dentistry and orthodontics are constantly evolving because technology keeps advancing. Ask questions about the type of materials and equipment the practice will use to make treatment more efficient. Check to see if your provider has published recent treatment philosophies on their website and/or in professional journals.

8 DO YOU HESITATE TO SMILE OR SPEAK AROUND OTHER ADULTS WITH STRAIGHT TEETH? MAYBE YOUR JAW IS MISALIGNED AND YOU TRY TO HIDE YOUR PROFILE IN FAMILY PHOTOS. ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT IS ONE WAY TO IMPROVE YOUR SMILE AND YOUR HEALTH.

9 Are Braces Right For You? 9 DON T GO BROKE FIXING YOUR SMILE Value your health: You can choose to live with crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw, but your quality of life will continue to depreciate. Crooked or crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain. This may contribute to conditions that cause not only tooth decay but eventual gum disease and tooth loss. Misaligned jaw joints can result in chronic headaches or pain in the face and neck. When your smile is left untreated, many orthodontic problems become worse. Therefore, the cost of orthodontics is often less costly than the additional dental care required to treat more serious problems that can develop later. Dr. Salvatoriello, DMD has said, We believe that cost should not be the barrier when you seek the highest quality of professional orthodontic care. After all, the benefits of treatment will last a lifetime. One really cannot put a price on your future health, comfort, appearance, happiness and success. That s why we ve worked hard to eliminate any potential barriers. Find a good specialist: To keep costs as low as possible, you will want to see a doctor who specializes in orthodontics and dento-facial orthopedics. A specialist will be able to identify the severity of the problem and provide effective treatment methods that will work the first time. You and your orthodontist will become a team. The orthodontist should motivate you and provide you resources before, during, and after treatment. On average, braces will be on for 24 to 36 months. Treatment will be completed on time (which can save you a great deal in additional expenses), if you cooperate with your doctor and follow instructions. Ask for a fixed fee: A fixed fee is the way to go. This means you will be given one cost for the entire treatment plan without having to worry about additional costs along the way. In this case, the doctor takes on the risk because he or she has the experience and training to accurately estimate expenses.

10 Are Braces Right For You? 10 DON T GO BROKE FIXING YOUR SMILE Practices that do not provide a fixed fee can charge the patient for broken appliances or making the repairs. Accidents happen throughout treatment, even if you are being careful with the appliances. Therefore, the patient takes on the risk of paying more than they expected. necessary. In such cases, dental insurance plans provide partial or complete coverage for qualifying orthodontic care, up to a specified lifetime maximum. Use health insurance: Your orthodontist s staff will call the insurance company to verify what type of coverage you have and how much will be covered. Then, the best treatment options and payment plan will be discussed with you. Your dental insurance plan may offer different coverage for you than your child. Most orthodontic procedures are considered cosmetic as an adult, and are usually not covered -- just as your health insurance plan does not cover cosmetic surgery. However, your child may need orthodontic treatment to correct their bite alignment to prevent other problems, so it may be considered medically

11 Are Braces Right For You? 11 DON T GO BROKE FIXING YOUR SMIL Tips for Patients! I heard dental schools are way cheaper. Many people choose to save money by taking their child to a local dental school. The lower cost may fit into your family s budget, but it may be worth investing in a wellexperienced specialist. You want the job to be done right on time, the first time, in order to save money in the long run. Do you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)? FSAs are popular benefits provided by employers that allow workers to set aside money to cover healthrelated expenses. Employees with an FSA will pay towards that account before taxes are taken out of their paycheck. This can add up to a lot of savings over time. Make sure if you have a FSA, you use your funds by the end of the year because they become forfeit if not used. These funds can be used to cover a variety of expenses, so make sure you know what it covers.

12 Are Braces Right For You? 12 3 WAYS TO PAY FOR YOUR BRACES The total cost of orthodontics can be intimidating. We believe that the benefits of treatment will last a lifetime and we work hard to eliminate any potential financial barriers to treatment. Payment in Full. For those of you who are economically capable of paying the full balance for orthodontic treatment, you have the opportunity to save up to 4-8%! Pre-paying will eliminate billing costs, therefore we provide up to an 8% discount for what we call the accounting services reduction. The discount is determined by the agreed upon fixed rate, or the total cost of treatment. You can receive an estimate for the total cost of orthodontics after your first visit. Cost is largely influenced by the complexity of your child s teeth and jaw problems. The credit card market is very competitive, and there are several banks and credit unions offering simplified plans. Credit.com shared a blog post The Best Credit Cards in America: Simple Cards, to give you an idea how to find a card that is right for you. CareCredit (3rd Party Financing). We accept CareCredit at our offices. CareCredit involves a third-party financier that is not affiliated with our orthodontics office, but it can help pay for your treatment. You can apply for CareCredit online or through our in-house rep and get accepted within minutes. The moment you are approved, the funds are at your disposal without having to wait for the physical credit card. Credit Cards. Our three orthodontic offices in New Hampshire have credit card machines that process all major credit cards, such as Visa and Mastercard.

13 Are Braces Right For You? 13 3 WAYS TO PAY FOR YOUR BRACES CareCredit Plans: No interest if paid in full within 6, 12, 18, or 24 months Purchases of $2500 or more are eligible for a 60 month offer Fixed monthly payments Easy application process with no fees with quick & confidential results This payment method can be made with or without dental insurance. In some cases, dental insurance does not include the entire orthodontic treatment cost. Therefore, you have the option of choosing to finance the remaining balance with a third party such as CareCredit. Tips for Patients! What if you lose your job? Sometimes life throws a wrench into your plans, and you may have issues making your monthly payments. Most providers will help you lower your monthly payments. CareCredit offers longer payment options with a reduced, fixed interest rate. Late payments result in an interest charge, which can set you back from reaching your goal. Remember, there is 0% interest and n0 penalties for any of these payment methods if the monthly payments are made on time.

14 Get started today! Call Dr. Sal to schedule your consultation and receive all the information you need to help determine the best orthodontic plan for you or your child.

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