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ORAL HEALTH & DENTISTRY

Taking the Pain Out of Paying for Dentistry

Written By : Generations of Smiles Writers

Reviewed By : Charles Rodgers, DDS

Published: May 19, 2023

Nearly 60 percent of people who haven’t been to the dentist in the past year have avoided doing so because of cost. Are you one of them?
If so, we’ve got good news for you: Smile Generation has partnered with Wellfit to offer a financial marketplace with a focus on oral health, offering customized credit options and payment plans to suit your unique needs. Say goodbye to the hassle of paying for dentistry and read on to discover how we're taking the pain out of paying for dentistry.

Should I Finance My Dental Payment?

You might think ‘I have dental insurance, so I probably don't need dental financing’. Unfortunately, the reality is that your insurance coverage may not be as comprehensive as you assume.

Dental insurance often has an annual maximum, which describes the most a dental insurance plan will pay for a patient's dental care in a year. If you exceed that amount in a given year, your coverage runs out and the rest of your dental expenses are out of pocket. 
Only 64% of adults would be able to cover a $400 emergency expense using cash, savings, or a credit card at the next statement

Depending on the type of policy you have and how long you’ve had it, you will likely have a lot of your dental expenses come out of pocket.[i] You are not alone if you have an unexpected dental expense that exceeds your budget. The Federal Reserve research from November 2020 shows that only 64% of adults would be able to cover a $400 expense using cash, savings, or a credit card they paid off at the next statement.[ii]

What is Smile Generation Financing?

Research shows oral health is connected to overall health, making your dental treatments essential to healthcare. If your budget cannot support paying for your dental care treatment plan, financing your payment could be an excellent option for your oral and overall health. 

Smile Generation Financing is an easy and intuitive marketplace, that offers personalized payment recommendations based on your preferences, treatment needs, and credit profile. All options available are presented with a soft credit check, meaning there’s no impact to your credit score to find out what is available to you. The healthcare coordinator at any Smile Generation-trusted dental office can help you find the payment option best suited to your needs.

A credit card just for your dentist?

There are a variety of financing options that cater to your individual needs. These include deferred-interest and long-term low-interest options through our Smile Generation Financial Credit Card and True 0% payment plans through Scratchpay. We also offer flexible in-office payment arrangements to help you get the treatment you and your family need.

Here are a few things to bear in mind with any dental financing or payment plan:[iii]
  • Read the agreement. Taking the time to understand your financing plan agreement entirely is an excellent investment of your time. 
  • Understand how interest in your plan works. Is there a promotional amount of time with no interest? What happens after if you still have a balance? Likewise, if you have an interest rate, know the rate and how it affects what you owe. 
  • Finance what you can afford to pay back. Financing plans have monthly minimum payments, so ensure your monthly budget can handle yours. 
Financial Tip #1 An alternative to dental credit cards: in house- payment arrangement. If you do not want to apply for another credit card, ask if your dentist offers in-house payment options for uninsured patients.
We understand the importance of receiving the necessary dental treatment to maintain your oral health. That is why we provide patient financing options to help make dental care more accessible. Our goal is to provide you and your family with the necessary financial support to access the dental care you require, without added stress or worry.

For more information on Smile Generation Financing, visit our Dental Financing Page or ask at your Smile Generation-trusted dental practice.

Dental savings plan comes with built-in discounts!

What is a dental discount plan?

A dental discount plan is a membership-based product that can significantly discount major dental services, like dental implants, root canals, dental crowns, or other restorative treatments.

There are no annual maximums or deductibles with a dental discount plan. Also, there are no waiting periods for your savings plan to be available to you; you can use it the same day you start the plan. So, while you pay out of pocket for the services, you can use the dental discount plan as often as you need during the year and enjoy the discounts on covered treatments.
Financial Tip #2 Most dental discount plans for an individual cost less than $150 per year. If you need extensive dental care, a dental plan may make more sense as the savings will be greater than dental insurance which typically has a benefits cap.

What’s the Difference Between a Dental Plan and Dental Insurance?

Both dental plans and dental insurance reduce the amount you pay for dental treatment. However, how they benefit you differs. Here's an explanation of the difference between dental financing and a dental discount plan

Dental insurance works like health insurance. After paying the premium and the patient meets the deductible, the insurance will pay for qualified expenses up to the annual maximum.

Dental plans are discount memberships. That means there are no deductibles, annual maximums, or waiting periods. Instead, you pay a yearly premium and then enjoy discounts on the services as negotiated by the savings plan agreement.
Dental Insurance vs. Dental Plan comparison chart

Can I Use My Dental Plan as a Supplement to My Dental Insurance?

In short, yes! One of the most extraordinary things about dental plans and private dental insurance is that it does not have to be an either/or proposition. Instead, they can work together to reduce your overall cost of dental treatment.

Smile Generation Dental Plan

The Smile Generation Dental Plan can reduce the cost of your treatment at a Smile Generation-trusted dental office. For a simple membership fee, you get up to 50% discounts on major dental services, like dental implants, root canals, crowns, or other restorative treatments.

Average costs of dental treatments with dental plan and without
(Sample savings for Nevada. See a more detailed list of dental plan discount treatments and anticipated savings for your state here.

Your Smile is Too Important to Put Off

We know that you want what is best for your oral health. However, we also understand dental care treatments are often unplanned expenses that don’t always fit your budget. We want to help you get the care you need with our Smile Generation Dental Plan and Smile Generation Financing options. You might find they relieve your budget and give you something to smile about—with much healthier teeth.

Want to get started with your Smile Generation Dental Plan or learn more about Smile Generation Financing? Visit the Smile Generation Plans and Financing Page.

 

Find your trusted, local dentist today!

 
 

Sources

[i] Vujicic M. Time to rethink dental “insurance”. The Journal of the American Dental Association. 2016;147(11):907-910. doi:10.1016/j.adaj.2016.08.005. Accessed July 14, 2022

[ii] The Fed - Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2020 - May 2021 - Dealing with Unexpected Expenses. federalreserve.gov. https://www.federalreserve.gov/publications/2021-economic-well-being-of-us-households-in-2020-dealing-with-unexpected-expenses.htm. Published 2021. Accessed April 14, 2022.

[iii] Dental Care Financing Plans - Dental Benefits - Mouth Healthy. Mouthhealthy.org. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/dental-care-concerns/financing-plans. Published 2022. Accessed July 15, 2022.

Smile Generation blog articles are reviewed by a licensed dental professional before publishing. However, we present this information for educational purposes only with the intent to promote readers’ understanding of oral health and oral healthcare treatment options and technology. We do not intend for our blog content to substitute for professional dental care and clinical advice, diagnosis, or treatment planning provided by a licensed dental professional. Smile Generation always recommends seeking the advice of a dentist, physician, or other licensed healthcare professional for a dental or medical condition or treatment. 

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