Regular appointments with the dentist are essential for your overall health, as well as your budget. Having your teeth checked and cleaned on a regular basis will help avoid painful and costly procedures in the future. Even if you have dental insurance, you may have to pay a copayment or any other charge that is not covered. Pay the dentist using your insurance or taking advantage of any payment plan that your provider can offer.
Use your insurance first. If you have dental insurance through your employer or your spouse’s employer, your dentist can send you the receipt. Make sure your dentist’s office has your insurance information in your files and bring your insurance card with you. Most plans cover preventive care and certain dental treatments.
Ask about any payment plan. Many dentists understand that dental insurance is not as common as health insurance and they will offer their patients payment plans to help them manage the accounts they have with them. You may be able to take advantage of interest-free financing for a limited period of time, especially if you are a good customer. Work with your dentist to draw up a payment schedule that is reasonable for both.
Use a financing company. These are companies that will pay your dental expenses and then divide what you owe into affordable monthly payments. Often, you can choose a payment term of up to two years and, if you have good credit, you may not have to face finance charges.
Check the availability of help from the government. If you receive benefits from the federal or state government, such as Medicaid (if you live in the US), you may be eligible for free or reduced-price dental visits. Most states offer emergency dental care and some states also offer more comprehensive care. For people under 21 years of age who receive Medicaid, routine visits to the dentist will be covered.
Find a federally qualified health center in the USA (Federally Qualified Health Center). These health clinics are installed in areas throughout the country that are defined as areas with insufficient medical attention. If you have Medicare, you are eligible to receive services at these centers and some offer dental care. Ask the center closest to you to the websites of the Bureau of Primary Health Care Services Delivery Sites.
Pay the total amount in cash. If you can pay all your dental expenses at the time of your visit, you should consider doing so. Paying with cash will allow you to pay the bill in full and avoid financing fees and other commissions. Make sure you get a receipt indicating the date of payment and save it in your file in case you receive a bill from the dentist at a later date and you need to prove that it was paid in full.
Pay with a check. If you have funds available in your checking account, write a check to pay your dentist. You can pay the receipt in full or at least pay the balance and ask for an invoice to pay the rest. While your canceled check may serve as a receipt, ask for one anyway, especially if you can pay the bill in full. You will want something in writing that reflects the amount you have paid and the amount you still owe.
Use a credit card. Most dentists accept the main credit card as a form of payment. Use a card that has a low interest rate, so you do not end up paying more than you should for your visits to the dentist. Try to pay the balance in full when the credit card bill comes in the mail to avoid interest charges in addition to other commissions.