I really dislike my smile. Many of my teeth are crooked or broken – my lateral incisors nearly stick straight out! I don’t have any photos of myself smiling as a child because I’ve always hated my teeth. I was wondering if there was a payment program I could sign up for to get a smile makeover? The majority of my teeth need to be redone, but I can’t afford it. Is there a way to get discounted cosmetic dentistry? I’d let them use my photos as promotional material, would that help me get a discount?
Pam, from Sterling, Colorado
Unfortunately, offering the dentist the use of your photo in exchange for a smile makeover isn’t going to get you a discount. Most patients are so happy with their crowns or veneers that they agree to let the dentist use their photo anyway. So that isn’t the best bargaining chip.
The good news is, the dental field is full of dentists with integrity and empathy. Many dentists volunteer or work with charities to help others access care they may not otherwise get. Affordable dental offices understand that many people need extensive dental work, but lack the savings or insurance to get it.
Fortunately, many dentists offer payment plans or Care Credit to help patients afford the care they need. However, offering these options to a patient with bad credit or who couldn’t afford it in the first place can ruin the relationship between doctors and patients, so have an open and honest conversation with your dentist.
Avoid going to a “cheap” dentist for cosmetic work, as it can cost more in the long run. Luckily, many offices will let you make payments on your treatment, as long as it is fully paid for prior to your first appointment. You can also talk to you dentist to see which parts of your smile to prioritize. In your case, you probably want a treatment plan for lateral incisors. Doing a little bit at a time is the most affordable way to access cosmetic dentistry.
This blog post is brought to you by Phoenix affordable dentist, Dr. Hillary Peck, of Peck Family Dentistry. Please note Dr. Peck is a licensed general dentist with years of experience in treating cosmetic dentistry cases.