There are numerous individuals who require braces, but have to hold back as they are not able to bear the cost. The cost scares off parents and adults as the price can go up to $5,000. Braces are considered to be a great investment and this investment can multiply if you have multiple members in the family who require braces. Those people who have dental insurance have reported that the insurance does not cover a large portion of the bill and this makes it a difficult decision whether or not one should opt for braces. Also, some kinds of orthodontics are more expensive than others. So, the question that arises is: “How can I save money on braces or get free braces?”
Well, you will be excited to learn that there are various programs in all 50 states in the United States of America. These programs have been created to serve people who cannot afford the cost of paying their dental bills. Some of the free braces programs and methods to cover the price of getting braces have been explained in detail below for you to understand what options you can avail. Learning about the different options that you have available for paying for braces can help to reduce the financial burden.
Programs and Methods Available
Smiles Change Lives
This is one program that serves teens and kids all over the United States in all fifty states. Those children between 11-18 years of age can apply for this program. If the application gets accepted, then you can get your braces for around $250-$500. For your application to be accepted, the child’s family must not be earning a lot of money (just around $10,000 per individual, thus a family with four members cannot earn over $40,000). Not only that, but your teeth must be severely or moderately crooked for the program to accept your application. You have to prove that you actually need these braces and that the program will be able to change your life. This means that your jaw alignment or your teeth must really require great attention for Smiles Change Lives to consider you as one of the people who require braces at a discounted rate. Many people don’t even consider the $250 as a high amount and refer to this program as the free braces program because it is affordable. Those who get the procedure also get the advantage of free checkups and also they are advised to brush, floss, and take excellent care of their teeth. It should be understood that only a few people get accepted to be a part of this program. To learn more about if you are eligible, you can visit the Smiles Change Lives Website.
Once students in dental school complete their training to become dentists, there are many students who move on to orthodontics training. Those dental schools where training takes place, kids and adults can get free braces or braces at discounted rates. The dental schools who offer such programs are usually interested in difficult or serious oral cases. They want to handle complicated matters in order to teach students about the worst cases that they may have to handle. So, if you live near a dental school, then there is a great chance that you can save thousands of dollars on your braces. The student who will perform the procedure will be supervised by a certified and experienced orthodontists during the treatment.
Also, the treatment by a trainee may take longer for completion as compared to when getting your braces at an orthodontist’s office. In most cases, you will be asked to provide your contact details and you will be approached based on the convenience of the experienced staff and time availability. You will have to reach the dental school based on the time that they provide as they require you for their practical and you need this opportunity to save money along with getting the straight teeth that you have always wanted. Those people who are interested in opting for this option should get in touch with the American Association of Orthodontists to learn about accredited dental colleges situated near your region.
There are a number of general dentists that you can contact to see if they are willing to work for the oral care of your family at a fixed cost. Another option could be to ask your dentist to refer or talk to orthodontists in the area who are willing to treat clients who cannot afford the high cost of braces. Also, you can check online to see if there is a dental society available in your state. Every state has a dental society and these societies have been created for people who require basic treatment or care. Check out the list of dental societies online and you may be able to get free braces or oral care at a discounted rate.
There are also groups all over the USA known as Dental Groups. The cost of the plans offered by these groups may vary, but you should expect to get a bill for around $20 per month. These groups even offer discount packages for people on a budget to avail. You can get to as much as 20% off on your braces if you contact a dental group in your area. An example of a dental group is: Western Dental. The particular group offers a range of treatments in different areas. You may not be assisted by the same physician as orthodontists do not practice at just one location, but due to the great discounts and offers families consider this tradeoff an acceptable one.
Dental Insurance Programs
One thing you should remember about dental insurance programs is that they vary from state to state. There are many children in the United States of America that are covered via a program referred to as Medicaid. This is a state insurance program and it may cover the cost of braces, especially if you have difficulty eating, talking, or swallowing your food. It is not easy to become a part of the Medicaid program as there is a lot of paperwork required. Not only that, but you may have difficulty finding a dentist who is in alliance with this particular insurance program. There are many states that have tried to make this process easier for parents and students to avail, so it is worth checking out. You may be able to get free braces or you can ask about discounted offers for kids once you get accepted.
Health Insurance policies do not always cover dental plans. Thus, it is important that you scrutinize the insurance plans before you actually opt for one. Select a plan that is able to defray a great portion of the cost of getting braces. The coverage will vary from plan to plan, however if you do your research, then you will definitely be able to find a plan that trims around 50% of your dental costs. There are also plans that only provide coverage for patients who already have braces, so you should beware of such plans. Remember that there are even plans who have a waiting frame, thus it is essential that you do not have to wait for a long period of time until the treatment becomes obligatory. If this occurs, you may come to know that a particular treatment is not covered or you will have to delay the treatment until the waiting frame has passed.
Payment Plan for Braces
Those people who do not have dental insurance can talk to their orthodontist about a payment plan. The payment plan just means that you will pay for the treatment in installments. These installments make the cost of braces bearable as you don’t have to pay for the treatment all at once. Based on where you are getting your braces from, the requirements of your orthodontist may vary. Some orthodontists ask patients to provide a down payment and fulfill their obligation over the treatment timeframe. For most braces cases, the treatment lasts for around two years. The payment plan is convenient for people who cannot pay cash up front, however making the entire payment before the treatment is desirable by many as one can get discounts and save hundreds of dollars on their dental bill.
State Plans or Government Programs
Government or state programs have been designed for low income families. An example of a government program is Medicaid and this program covers thousands of individuals all over the United States. If your child is accepted into the program, then you should contact the state office or you can get in touch with the casework in order to get all of the information you need. Medicaid does not really cover cosmetic procedures, but if the state feels that your child desperately needs braces, then he/she may fully be covered for braces through Medicaid. So, give it a try and apply to see if your child meets to requirements for free braces.
Many people are not informed about the dental charities that reside in their area. You will have to do your research to find such groups. Families with a low-income are usually assisted through this group. The amount that you must pay for the treatment will be based on your financial situation and the guidelines designated by the charity. The patients who are accepted get treatment at discount rates or can even get braces for free. Two popular charities in the United States are A Lifetime Foundation and Smiles Change Lives.
Remember that is not impossible to get discounts on braces. You just have to search and ask at all of the right places. You can talk to groups that your family belongs to within the community such as organizations, clubs, or even your local church. Just ask around to see if there are any orthodontists who are members to the same group as you and see if they are willing to help. You can even make a visit to your child’s school to see if the school counselor or nurse can recommend a program that suits your budget.
If you feel concerned about the cost of braces, then the patience and effort to search for an orthodontist will be completely worth it. Straight teeth will not only make you more attractive, but will help boost your self-esteem and confidence. Now that you understand and have knowledge about the various payment options and plans, you will be able to make the right decision for yourself, your child, or your family. There are numerous options available and now it is time for you to decide how you will finance your orthodontic bill while looking forth to a beautiful smile and a very bright future.