Tag Archives: Care Credit

Can I Get Cosmetic Dentistry at a Discount?

Hi,

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?

Sincerely,

Pam, from Sterling, Colorado

 

Hi Pam,

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.

 

Affordable Solutions for Teeth Falling Out

My mom is almost 87. She recently had to have a filling and then later that day when I went to check on her two teeth just fell out. Her dentist never even mentioned they were a problem. I can’t just leave her that way. She needs to replace them, but I don’t know if a bridge is a good idea at her age. Maybe her other teeth are too old? What would be an affordable solution for her?

Bridgett

Dear Bridgett,

I need to say up front it sounds like your mother needs a different dentist. If she has teeth just falling out from no obvious issue, it means she has an advanced periodontal disease. He should be checking her gums at her regular check-ups and warning her about the state of her gums. There are steps which can be taken to treat gum disease.

If I’m right and she has gum disease a dental bridge is out of the question. It will just pull out the remaining teeth it’s attached to. Ideally, you’d replace missing teeth with dental implants, but that’s also out of the question with gum disease. Plus, you asked for an affordable solution. Dental implants can cost upwards of $40,000.

An image of complete dentures

Normally, I wouldn’t recommend dentures because of their complications with bone resorption. However, your mother is 87. I don’t think that’s going to be an issue for her. It usually takes between 10 and 20 years for it to become a problem. Now, if your family has a history of centenarians, you may reconsider. But most don’t.

Cu-Sil partial denture

If you go to another dentist who thinks he can save quite a bit of her teeth, please do that. You don’t have to lose all your teeth to get dentures. There is something called a Cu-Sil partial (pictured directly above). It will leave holes for her healthy teeth. It uses little rubber rings to keep it secure to her teeth. It actually makes it more stable. Then, if the tooth is lost in the future, it’s simply a matter of closing up the hole and adding another false tooth.

Affordable Dentists Will Work with You

Most patients, especially elderly ones, don’t have the funds to just pay for large procedures outright. However, most dentists are willing to work with patients giving them payment plans. If you can’t find a dentist like that. Sign your mother up for Care Credit. It’s a medical credit card of sorts, which will allow her to pay off her treatments slowly. In fact, depending on the state of her credit, she can even get 0% interest as she pays it off. They also have no penalty for early repayment, so it’s a win-win situation.

This blog is brought to you by Drs. Kevin and Hillary Peck.

Can’t Afford Dentist With Infected Wisdom Teeth

What do you do if you have infected wisdom teeth but can’t afford a dentist? I’m in agony. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep.

Vera

Dear Vera,

Woman grabbing her jaw in pain
Don’t Ignore an Infected Tooth Because of Money

I know you’re in a great deal of pain so what I’m saying is in the deepest compassion. You cannot afford NOT to deal with this. This infection will spread. Your heart and your brain are very close to your jaw. If the infection spreads to either, it’s life-threatening and can happen so quickly the medical community may not have time to help.

There are ways to deal with this when you’re broke.

There are affordable dentists and even oral surgeons who will do the work you need and let you pay them out as you’re able. They know how serious this is and will work with you rather than allow you to put your life at risk.

If, for some reason, you can’t find a compassionate dentist in your area. There’s something called Care Credit. It’s a medical credit card which has low and even no-interest payment plans.

Call your doctor and get on some antibiotics. It WILL NOT take care of the infected wisdom teeth. Those need to be extracted. But, it will buy you a little bit of time while you find the care you need. He may even be willing to provide a stronger pain reliever than you can get over-the-counter.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Kevin Peck.

Will an Affordable Dentist Help a Minor?

I have a problem. I’m a teenager (13) and still suck my thumb. I’m really embarrassed about it. I don’t want my parents to know but it is making my teeth stick out. The kids at school make fun of me about my teeth. Is there a dentist that won’t charge me too much and would let me come without my parents knowing? I need to find out what to do about my thumb sucking and my teeth. I can pay some. I’ve got a little business I do knitting scarves for people.

Olivia

Dear Olivia,

Child with Pediatric Dentist

I’m so sorry the kids at school are giving you a hard time. I’m even more sorry you feel like you have to deal with this on your own. I wish you felt like you could talk to your parents. I don’t know your situation. Hopefully, there is some trusted adult in your life you feel safe with.

If you don’t feel safe, please tell a teacher or police officer. I also want to commend you on having a business at your age. You sound like a gal who’s going to change the world and I’m very proud of you.

Finding a dentist who’ll work with you financially isn’t a problem. Most would be happy to work with you. The biggest issue is the fact that you’re a minor. Legally, dentists cannot treat you without your parents there. They could lose their license. But, don’t get discouraged yet. I may have a way to help.

Affordable Ways to Stop Thumb Sucking

About any general pharmacy will have a type of clear nail polish designed to help people stop sucking your thumb. It’s not very expensive. You essentially just paint it on your thumb and the taste is so foul that it prevents you from sucking y our thumb.

This will deal with your thumb sucking problem but not your teeth. I’m guessing your parents don’t take you to the dentist regularly. I’d tell them your teeth are bothering you. When your teeth are out of alignment it can lead to migraines and even TMJ problems.

You may do some up front research ahead of time to look for affordable dentists in your area. At your age, you could go to either a pediatric dentist or a general dentist. Many work with Care Credit which is a medical card that can allow you to may payment plans for low and even no-interest.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Kevin Peck.

Affordable Dentist for White Fillings

I’m in need of help. You may think I’m just being vain, but I can’t get my dental insurance to cover white fillings. I need one on a front tooth. My insurance will only give me a silver filling. That’s just too humiliating to consider. Is there a way to find an affordable dentist who’ll let me get a white filling at a reasonable price without my insurance?

Cienna

Dear Cienna,

Phoenix Affordable Dentist

William Somerset Maugham once said, “Money is like a sixth sense – and you can’t make use of the other five without it.” It’s frustrating when you don’t have money to do things that are actually important and good for you. Dental insurance companies are renowned for only covering the most basic of care, even if another procedure is better for you. That is true of how most of them handle fillings as well.

It’s not vain to want your teeth to be all the same color. Plus, there’s the added worry about the high mercury content in silver fillings. While many dentists demand payment upfront, there are some affordable dentists who’ll be willing to work with you.

Some do payment plans. Others will give you the white filling while billing your dental insurance for the amalgam filling and letting you pay the difference.

In your place, I’d find a dentist you trust and explain your situation. Dentists want you to have a smile you’re proud to share. It reflects on them as well. I’d be willing to bet most will work with you.

Affording White Fillings and Teeth Whitening

I know affordability is an issue for you, but I just want to be sure you know once the fillings are made, the color cannot be changed. Because you said it will be on a visible tooth, make sure your teeth are the color you want. You can whiten them now, before getting your filling so they’ll match.

Or, if you need to save up because of costs, you can get your fillings then when you’re ready to whiten, you’ll just have to re-do them.

You may want to talk to your dentist about Care Credit. It’s a medical credit card that will allow you to get both procedures and pay them out in reasonable bits. Depending on your credit, you can even get zero interest terms.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Kevin Peck.

Is There Such a Thing as an Affordable Smile Makeover?

I don’t make a lot of money. In fact, I’m pretty close to the poverty line, thankfully on the plus side of it though. I’ve wanted to improve the appearance of my smile for years. Everything I read says smile makeovers need porcelain veneers, which are way out of my budget. Is there such a thing as an affordable smile makeover?

Mary Anne L.

Dear Mary Anne,

Scottsdale Affordable Dentist

It’s admirable that you’re working toward improving your smile despite financial challenges. Your smile is an investment. A beautiful smile exudes confidence, which in turn helps you to be more successful in dealing with peers.

If you were getting a top of the line smile makeover, then yes, porcelain veneers are the way to go.  There are affordable dentists who might be willing to let you pay out your smile makeover, but each dentist has their own policy in regards to what they’ll accept payments on. If they don’t take payments on cosmetic procedures, Care Credit is always an option.

Also, there are other cosmetic procedures that don’t include porcelain veneers which can make a huge difference in your smile. One of the most affordable things you can do is get your teeth whitened. It’s cost effective while taking years off your appearance. It’s also simple to do and can fit into almost anyone’s schedule.

Of course, a lot of what would help depends on what you perceive is wrong with your teeth. If you have chips or gaps, dental bonding is an affordable way to close those.

I hope this helps you. Talk to your dentist about specific issues. He or she may have some remarkably creative solutions.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Kevin Peck.

Is it Possible to Save Time AND Money at the Dentist?

ThereI have a large family. It’s nearly impossible for me to pay for everyone to get their dental work done twice a year and afford it without spreading it out throughout the year. What that boils down to is we’re at the dentist EVERY month; more if someone needs a filling or crown. What I’m looking for is a dentist who will let us all come on the same day, but pay it out throughout the six months. Is that possible?

Sandy B.

Dear Sandy,

Yes, that’s possible but it depends on the dentist. Your best bet is to look for someone who calls himself an affordable dentist. They’re generally more willing to work with patients, especially those in your situation.

The other thing to look for if you want your family to all get treatment is to find a dentist who treats both adults and children. There are many general dentists who are happy to treat children.

However, don’t just jump at the first dentist you see who meets these two criteria. Check their reviews. You want to make sure they’re skilled and thoughtful with patients. You don’t want a dentist who is going to cause your children to dread the dentist.

In fact, if you find a great dentist who works with whole families, does great work, and is good with patients, it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to afford to go. There’s a medical “credit card” of sorts called Care Credit. The best thing about this is you can set your terms. Depending on your credit, you can even get zero interest payment plans and there’s no penalty for paying it off early.

I hope this helps you get the dental care you need without feeling like you have to live at the dentist’s office.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Kevin Peck.

Are All Dentists Judgmental?

I’ll admit I don’t get to the dentist as often as is recommended. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just I can’t afford it. Not only do I not have dental insurance, so everything must be paid for out of pocket, but I lose income by going. I’m paid by the hour and dentists only seem to be open during normal working hours. I have to miss work to go. Essentially, I’m charged twice if you think about it. Even though I don’t go very often, I do try to go every two years. I rarely have a problem with my teeth, but I get a lecture every single time. I’ve switched dentists every couple of years for that very reason, but no matter who I go to, there’s still that lecture. Why are they so judgmental? Why can’t they seem to understand it’s a sacrifice for many people to get to the dentist?

Avery L.

Dear Avery,

I can understand your frustration. Here you are trying your best, making sacrifices to even get to the dentist and when you do, they treat you like someone who doesn’t take care of things. First, I want you to know that not all dentists will lecture you. In fact, some dentists will just be grateful you came and tell you so. Both sets, judgemental and non-judgmental, likely have the same mindset behind their response. They care and want you to get the proper care for your teeth. They go about it different ways, some more productive than others, but they mean well.

It sounds to me like you want dental care, but you need an affordable dentist. There are dentists who work to keep their fees down. They may even work with your schedule, so you don’t lose income. Explain your work situation. It may not be that they hold regular Saturday or evening hours, but would be willing to meet with you twice a year at less than peak times so you don’t lose income to get your teeth cleaned. They wouldn’t want you to advertise they’re doing that, but would be willing to help.

Another option is to consider using a program such as Care Credit. It’s a medical “credit card” of sorts. It allows you to go ahead with treatment and then slowly pay out the bill for the services you receive. Depending on what type of credit you have, you may even be able to get zero interest payments.

Something patients don’t generally consider is how much going to the dentist regularly saves them money, health, and time. If you get your teeth cleaned regularly you’re less likely to develop a cavity. If you do happen to develop one anyway, they’re often caught so early that a simple, small filling will be enough. When things are left to progress without early intervention you end up with a more invasive (and costly) procedure, such as a root canal treatment, or worse, an extraction and the need to get a tooth replacement.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Kevin Peck.